A United States Air Force Academy Professor has argued Critical Race Theory should be taught to all cadets so that they can understand how the United States was ‘shaped by racism.’
Political scientist Lynne Chandler García said the Constitution brought about ‘inequality’ and that George Washington was a racist. She argued that the history of the U.S. proved that ‘racism has shaped both foreign and domestic policy.’
Garcia, who teaches the Marxist theory at the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, said she agreed with the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley who recently told Congress that Critical Race Theory ‘is not unpatriotic.’
CRT exploded to prominence in the spring as it started to appear in classrooms from kindergarten to Grade 12, leading to several bans including in Florida and Texas, however it has been taught in higher education for decades.
It teaches that racism is not the result of nature or biology but that it is a social construct, an idea invented to exploit and control minorities. It argues racism is a structural problem in the United States, particularly towards black people, embedded in its institutions, legal system and even the Constitution.
Political scientist Lynne Chandler García said the Constitution brought about ‘inequality’ and that George Washington was a racist. She argued that the history of the U.S. proved that ‘racism has shaped both foreign and domestic policy’
Members of the United States Air Force march in the 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 23, 2017 in New York City
As Garcia wrote in The Washington Post: ‘Cadets, like all military members, take an oath to defend the Constitution with their lives — so it is crucial they have a sensitive understanding of that Constitution.
‘In my classes, cadets learn about the ideals embedded in this founding document. We explore the liberalist theories that promoted these ideals, and we embrace our democratic system of government.
‘But we also acknowledge that the United States was founded on a duality: liberalism and equal rights on the one hand; inequality, inegalitarianism and second-class citizenship on the other.’
She claimed that even the first Commander in Chief Washington was a racist because he ‘is said to have initially opposed the recruitment of Black soldiers’ in the Revolutionary War.
Garcia added: ‘In other words, racism was ingrained in the system from the beginning, and the military still struggles with these issues.’
Not only does she take the view that the founding ideals of the U.S. are bound up in racism, but she argues that those structures of oppression have been perpetuated throughout its history.
Garcia wrote: ‘I teach critical race theories to our nation’s future military leaders because it is vital that cadets understand the history of the racism that has shaped both foreign and domestic policy …
‘It helps students identify the structural racism and inequality that has been endemic in American society. And it provides methods for deconstructing oppressive beliefs, policies and practices to find solutions that will lead to justice.’
She said she wanted future USAF officers to be equipped to lead a diverse group of airmen so they need to have a broad understanding of racism.
‘Officers must comprehend the unique experiences and concerns of their diverse troops. A holistic education leads to understanding and unity as service members consider what it’s like to walk in another’s shoes,’ Garcia wrote.
The former community college teacher concluded the column, saying: ‘Cadets must learn to be brave on the literal battlefield, yes — but they must also be equipped to participate bravely on the battlefield of ideas.’
Last month, General Milley defended the teaching during a House Armed Services Committee hearing, saying that recruits should be ‘open-minded and be widely read.’
Milley hit back last month against growing criticism over teaching critical race theory in the military and said recruits should be ‘open-minded and be widely read’ during a hearing on the Defense Department’s 2022 budget
General Milley was grilled by Republican Congressmen who claim the U.S. military is becoming more ‘woke’ as military institutions like the U.S. Military Academy adopt the teaching.
‘What is wrong with understanding – having some situational understanding – about the country for which we are here to defend?’ Milley asked.
‘And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned and noncommissioned officers, of being, “woke” or something else, because we’re studying some theories that are out there.’
The general stressed during the hearing on June 23 the need for greater understanding of the driving forces behind the Capitol siege by Trump’s supporters, who tried to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election win.
‘What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out. I want to maintain an open mind here,’ Milley said.
He noted that university graduates should be aware of all kinds of theories and that just because he read about Marxism didn’t make him a Communist.
‘I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist, he told the lawmakers.
‘I do think it’s important, actually, for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read,’ Milley said.
Donald Trump later appeared on TV to blast the general who he said had come across as ‘sad and pathetic’ for defending the Marxist race theory.
‘General Milley – I watched his statements and it was pathetic,’ Trump told Newsmax two days after the congressional hearing. ‘I watched the statements of some others – your head of the Navy. It was pathetic.’
‘They didn’t talk that way when I was around, I can tell you. They didn’t talk that way or I would have gotten rid of them in two minutes. In particular Navy and Milley, just sad, pathetic statements,’ the former president continued.
Trump announced he would nominate Milley to take the United States’ top military office in December 2019, he was confirmed in July 2019 and sworn in September 30, 2019.
Joint Chiefs served for four years, meaning Milley will remain in his post until September 30, 2023, a few months before the end of Biden’s third year as president.
Critical race theory: From obscure academic concept to the front lines of America’s ‘culture wars’
Critical race theory (CRT) exploded to prominence in the spring as it started to appear in classrooms from kindergarten to Grade 12, leading to several bans including in Florida and Texas, however it has been taught in higher education for decades.
It is an offshoot of the Marxist ideology Critical Theory, of Herbert Marcuse and Erich Fromm, which argued that there are power structures which ‘enslave’ the minds of the oppressed in society.
CRT teaches that racism is not the result of nature or biology but that it is a social construct, an idea invented to exploit and control minorities.
It argues racism is a structural problem in the United States, particularly towards black people, embedded in its institutions, legal system and even the Constitution.
The theory has sparked a fierce nationwide debate in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests around the country over the last year and the introduction of the 1619 Project.
The 1619 Project, which was published by the New York Times in 2019 to mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on American shores, reframes American history by ‘placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of the US narrative’.
The debate surrounding critical race theory regards concerns that some children are being indoctrinated into thinking that white people are inherently racist or sexist.
Those against critical race theory have argued it reduces people to the categories of ‘privileged’ or ‘oppressed’ based on their skin color.
Supporters, however, say the theory is vital to eliminating racism because it examines the ways in which race influence American politics, culture and the law.