Rep. Mike Waltz: Military and critical race theory – this is why we shouldn't teach soldiers to hate US

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Imagine being a recent graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and you are given your first orders as an infantry officer in command of a unit in an active war zone.  
 
You are thousands of miles away from home and responsible for the lives under your command. Like in most instances, your unit is comprised of soldiers of mixed ethnicities, religions and backgrounds.  

With all this in mind, you were also taught in a government-funded course that the institutions you serve and that your unit swore an oath to defend, are inherently racist, and that inherent inequality based on skin color should impact your decision making. 

Does this impact your thinking as you order a soldier to move forward against a machine gun? Will you select a soldier of a different race because you have White guilt? 

As a Green Beret who served in combat while deployed in Afghanistan, I know what it’s like to command a unit comprised of different ethnicities. It’s not something you care about or consider while giving orders.  

In the face of gunfire, you often have less than seconds to make decisions. You have one focus: to complete the mission while mitigating injuries and fatalities.  

When a West Point cadet’s family came to me with a screenshot of a presentation by Emory University and then-guest lecturer Dr. Carol Anderson titled, “Understanding Whiteness and White rage,” I was shocked this was being taught to our future military leaders.  

As I inquired with West Point, it was also shared with me that critical race theory (CRT) is included in a course syllabus. Despite much fervor from Democrats like former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who referred to CRT teachings as a “right-wing conspiracy,” it’s very much alive in our military academies.  
 
When pressed on CRT being taught in the military, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told the House Armed Services Committee, “We do not teach critical race theory. We don’t embrace critical race theory, and I think that’s a spurious conversation.” 

Yet the evidence is mounting.  

In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Air Force Academy Professor Lynne Chandler García admitted, “I teach critical race theories to our nation’s future military leaders” and that “racism was ingrained in the system from the beginning.” 

There is no denying the military – and the United States – has a history of racism and a checkered past. We should understand that. But this isn’t a history course.  

I can’t think of anything more dangerous to unit cohesion and moral than to think your fellow soldier of color’s advancement contributes to your White rage.  

As academic proponents of CRT Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic have put it: “Unlike traditional civil rights, which stresses incrementalism and step-by-step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.” 

Why are we teaching cadets to question the principles of the Constitution that they have taken an oath of allegiance to? 

I was alarmed when Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley sought to defend the teaching of CRT and declared, “I want to understand White rage.”  

According to Anderson, who addressed West Point cadets, “The trigger for White rage, inevitably, is Black advancement. It is not the mere presence of Black people that is the problem; rather, it is Blackness with ambition, drive, purpose, aspirations, and with demands for full and equal citizenship.” 
 
I can’t think of anything more dangerous to unit cohesion and moral than to think your fellow soldier of color’s advancement contributes to your White rage.  

Which is why I’ve co-sponsored legislation to prevent military academies from promoting doctrines associated with CRT.  

When you join the military, everyone has their head shaved and is given the same uniform. You are taught to bleed green and the only color that matters is camouflage.  

The enemy’s bullets certainly don’t care about your race.  
 
As a country, we should want anyone, regardless of race, in our military ranks. Any Americans who are willing to put their life on the line for our country should be accepted with open arms should they meet the criteria that has made our military the best in the world.  

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But learning about CRT isn’t like learning about Marxism or Mao, as Gen. Milley put it. It is a widely held belief among academics and is being taught as reality by professors such as Anderson.  
 
The American military stands as the country’s most trusted intuition yet stands to lose the trust of the public should this continue. There are certainly areas to improve but indoctrinating our soldiers to hate the country they serve isn’t one of them.  

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