Republicans drag 'ridiculous' Mark Milley 'white rage' defense of critical race theory

Republicans who have been challenging the spread of “woke” ideology in the military and elsewhere are not pleased with how Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley hit back on their concerns about critical race theory.

In a House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, Milley had a forceful response to previous lines of questioning from Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz and Michael Waltz, both from Florida, who had grilled Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on critical race theory in the military.

“On the issue of critical race theory, etc., a lot of us have to get much smarter on whatever the theory is. But I do think it's important, actually, for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read,” Milley said. “I want to understand white rage, and I'm white.”

“I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military general officers are commissioned [and] noncommissioned officers of being ‘woke,’ or something else because we're studying some theories that are out there,” Milley added. “I've read Karl Marx, I've read Lenin, that doesn't make me a communist.”


Milley’s impassioned response did not sit well with Republicans who are focused on combating critical race theory both culturally and legislatively.

“I’ve heard directly from numerous concerned parents, cadets, soldiers, and veterans about West Point hosting Dr. Carol Anderson — who has called the Republican Party’s platform white nationalism — to lecture about ‘whiteness and white rage’ and teaching CRT. As a combat vet, I can tell you this is divisive to unit cohesion,” Waltz said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.

Waltz had brought up a lecture from Anderson at West Point in the hearing. Austin, contrary to Milley’s reaction that followed, said that “as you have described it, it certainly sounds like that's something that should not occur,” but wanted to know more specifics.

On Fox News on Wednesday night, Waltz said that he thinks Milley is “confusing Critical Race Theory for some type of diversity training or history class on fascism and communism.”

Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, who last week confronted chief of naval operations Adm. Michael Gilday for including Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist on a “professional reading program” reading list, was also frustrated with Milley’s rant.

“I served in the Navy with Sailors from all backgrounds, and we all shared a belief in the goodness of America and our Constitution. In other words, service members are very diverse and very anti-woke,” Banks said. “The most ridiculous assertion Milley made was that Republicans are attacking rank and file service members for being woke. The opposite is true — we’re defending service members from indoctrination by woke political leaders.”

House Republicans have introduced bills taking aim at critical race theory training. The Stop CRT Act would codify an anti-critical race theory 2020 executive order from then-President Donald Trump that banned federal government agencies, grantees, and contractors from using workplace training that includes certain teachings about race and sexism, and the Combatting Racist Training in the Military Act places similar restrictions on training in the military.

Some lawmakers are also eyeing amendments to add to the National Defense Authorization Act that seek to block “woke” political bias within the Defense Department.

“America’s military serves the vital mission of defending our nation. It is not a grand social experiment. I suggest our military’s leaders take steps to end the embrace of radical leftist politics, especially critical race theory, which is a poisonous, divisive neo-Marxist ideology that has no place in America’s institutions, especially our military,” said Rep. Dan Bishop, a North Carolina Republican and lead sponsor of the Stop CRT Act.

Gaetz later shot back at Milley on Twitter. “With Generals like this it’s no wonder we’ve fought considerably more wars than we’ve won,” he quipped.

That prompted retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling to take a dig at Gaetz, alluding to the fact that the congressman is not a veteran himself.


Also in Wednesday’s hearing, Gaetz had asked Austin about the military’s efforts to root out extremism and the chilling effect that might have on service members, mentioning Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier who was relieved of his Space Force command after denouncing Marxism and critical race theory training. Austin had said that the Department of Defense does not teach critical race theory, adding that he is “focused on extremist behaviors” and “not ideology.”

“Congress should not be sending money to the military in order to teach critical race theory. Frankly, we need our white men and women who serve in our armed forces to be prepared to defend our nation against all foreign entities that are going to cause us harm, not having to answer for their whiteness,” Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, one of two black Republicans in the House, said on Fox News Wednesday night.

Washington Examiner Videos

Tags: News, Mark Milley, Congress, Critical Race Theory, Matt Gaetz, House GOP

Original Author: Emily Brooks

Original Location: Republicans drag 'ridiculous' Mark Milley 'white rage' defense of critical race theory