(USA Features) Republicans railed at Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley after he appeared to embrace critical race theory during testimony on Wednesday and lecture his congressional critics about “white rage.”
Milley, an Army general, was responding to pointed questions about the controversial theory from Florida Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz and Michael Waltz during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee.
“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 told the panel. “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.”
The general’s comments did not impress several GOP lawmakers who are focused on battling CRT in the military and in primary and secondary education.
“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, a former Green Beret officer who is currently serving with the Florida Army National Guard, told the Washington Examiner.
Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., who confronted Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday last week for putting Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to Be an Antiracist” on a “professional reading program” reading list, was also upset with Milley’s lecturing.
“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,” Banks continued.
“The opposite is true — we’re defending service members from indoctrination by woke political leaders.”
“America’s military serves the vital mission of defending our nation. It is not a grand social experiment,” said Rep. Dan Bishop, a North Carolina Republican and lead sponsor of the Stop CRT Act, which he is seeking to attach to the 2022 defense spending bill.
“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,” Bishop added.
Later, Gaetz fired back at Milley on Twitter: “With Generals like this it’s no wonder we’ve fought considerably more wars than we’ve won.”