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ICYMI: Waltz Presses U.S. Military Service Academy Superintendents on CRT

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, U.S. Congressman Mike Waltz (FL-6) questioned Superintendents Lieutenant General Steven W. Gilland of West Point, Vice Admiral Sean Buck of the U.S. Naval Academy, and Lieutenant General Richard M. Clark of the U.S. Air Force Academy on the teaching of Critical Race Theory at U.S. Military Academies during a House Armed Service Committee hearing.

Watch the full exchange here.

“I want to address this narrative that we consistently hear from political appointees in the Pentagon and from our colleagues on the other side of the aisle that the Republicans are blowing these issues out of proportion that we are exaggerating,” said Waltz. “I cannot state strongly enough, if we did not have cadets, military members, and their families bringing these issues to us on a consistent basis, we wouldn’t be addressing them here.”

“I have an entire binder of issues,” said Waltz. “One of them from a conservative Muslim family, another one from a conservative Jewish family. The question I would ask the other side of the aisle, Ranking Member, and you all is, why weren’t they comfortable in an inclusive environment, going through their chain of command?”

Waltz continued, “I want to read you some quotes from the leading proponents of this ideology because I do not think Americans truly know how divisive and destructive this ideology really is.”

Waltz quoted Robin DiAngelo in White Fragility, “A positive white identity is an impossible goal. White identity is inherently racist; white people do not exist outside the system of white supremacy. This does not mean that we should stop identifying as white and start claiming only to be Italian or Irish. To do so is to deny the reality of racism in the here and now; and this denial would simply be color-blind racism. Rather, I strive to be ‘less white.’ To be less white is to be less racially oppressive.” 

“General Clark, do you agree with that statement?” asked Waltz. “You are the leader of this institution, this faculty member is on your staff, do you agree with this type of sentiment?”

“Sir, that is not what she was espousing,” responded General Richard Clark. “She was not indoctrinating.”

“White Fragility is a leading book in the Critical Race Theory mantra of books and thinking, it is very representative,” said Waltz. General Clark responded, “She was encouraging the discourse on the topic, the civil discourse.”

“Would you encourage someone who is teaching white supremacy to have that discourse?” asked Waltz. General Clark responded, “We encourage all civil discourse, so our cadets can learn how to think.”

“At Cal Berkeley, fine, but in an institution that is teaching our leaders to defend, and future military leaders to die for, civil institutions that are being described as inherently racist and a class of people because of their skin color, that’s offensive and that runs against your priorities,” said Waltz.

Waltz went on to quote Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr., who recently addressed Air Force cadets at an Air Force Academy sanctioned conference, “We’re in the midst of another betrayal. Every reckoning in the United States historically has carried with it betrayal. At every moment in which a new America is on the verge of being reborn, the umbilical cord of white supremacy has been wrapped around the baby’s neck, choking the life out of him.”

“Of course, we want to teach history, of course we want equal opportunity for every American. This is divisive, this is not what unifies us,” said Waltz.

Waltz questioned Vice Admiral Sean Buck, “Do you have any empirical evidence, any data, for example, that shows a submarine crew is more combat ready because of the diversity mix?” Vice Admiral Buck did not respond.

“The concern of this committee is that we have political pressure to tip the scales from a meritocracy, in any way shape or form based on some other ethnic or race factor. That’s what we want to be sure is not happening… Is there any incident where you have allowed a selection, the accession, of a lower scoring candidate… over someone with a higher full candidate score based on meeting your diversity goals?” asked Waltz.