US Air Force Academy professor is proud to teach critical race theory to 'future military leaders'

García claims that teaching critical race theory is patriotic, that is gives a "fuller version of American history," and that it does not "promote division among our military members."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY

The Washington Post ran an op-ed on Tuesday from Lynne Chandler García, a professor at the US Air Force Academy, who backed comments made by General Mark Milley in favor of critical race theory indoctrination in the US Armed Forces.

In defense of critical race theory, which is the idea that all events both current and historical must be first viewed through the lens of race and racism, the US Air Force professor says that:

"Critical race theory provides an academic framework to understand... nuances and contradictions. 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."

García claims that teaching critical race theory is patriotic, that is gives a "fuller version of American history," and that it does not "promote division among our military members."

She writes that she teaches "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."

García says that cadets need to not only learn what the Constitution they are defending states, but "about the ideals embedded in this founding document." As regards her teaching, she says that "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."

"...racism," she writes, "was ingrained in the system from the beginning, and the military still struggles with these issues. As a recent inspector general's report  on disparities in the Air Force and Space Force pointed out, Black service members lag behind their White peers in promotion rates but are overrepresented in disciplinary actions. Further, a recent Defense Department report documented the threat of white supremacy within the ranks. Cadets need to understand these contradictions within their institutions."

Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley defended the teaching of critical race theory to military members as well, stating before a congressional committee that military personnel were learning about it to gain "situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend."

"I do think it's important, actually," he said, "for those of us in uniform, to be open minded and be widely read in the United States Military Academy is a university. And it is important that we train, and we understand."

"It's important that we understand that because our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and guardians, they come from the American people. So it is important that the leaders now and in the future, do understand it," he continued.

He said he found it "offensive" that people were accusing military personnel of being "woke… because we're studying some theories that are out there."

Milley described those theories as having started with "Harvard Law School years ago." These theories, he said, "proposed that there were laws in the United States, antebellum laws prior to the Civil War, that led to a power differential with African-Americans that were three quarters of a human being when this country was formed. And then we had a civil war, an emancipation proclamation to change it. And we brought it up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It took another 100 years to change that."

García isn't the only one in military academia to call for critical race theory and antiracism training for the American military. In support of antiracism efforts, Boston University School of Law Associate Director Maureen Leo proposed the removal of entrance standards for the US Naval Academy.

Leo said that her interest was in "strengthening the Corps, promoting antiracist admissions practices at the United States Naval Academy by moving to a test optional admissions criteria."

García did not discuss the controversy surrounding these teachings, or the national backlash that has been faced by critical race theoreticians. It has been discovered that in many instances, critical race theory has been implemented as reeducation, as with Lockheed Martin, Sandia Labs, and Raytheon, all contractors with the federal government.

"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," García wrote.


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