Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley defends teaching ‘critical race theory’ at West Point

Joint Chiefs Chair Gen. Mark Milley defends teaching ‘critical race theory’ at West Point

June 23, 2021

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America’s top military officer on Wednesday defended teaching “critical race theory” to US Army cadets at West Point — and said it’s important for those in uniform to understand “white rage.”

During a budget hearing held by the House Armed Services Committee, Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that “on the issue of critical race theory, etc., a lot of us have to get much smarter on whatever the theory is.”

“I do think it’s important, actually, for those of us in uniform, to be open-minded and be widely read, and the United States Military Academy is a university, and it is important that we train and we understand,” Milley said.

“And I want to understand white rage, and I’m white, and I want to understand it.”

Milley also appeared to link “white rage” to the Jan. 6 storming of the US Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump in a bid to prevent Congress from certifying his electoral loss to President Biden.

“So, 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,” Milley said.

“What caused that? I want to find that out. I want to maintain an open mind here, and I do want to analyze it.”

In addition, Milley shot back at Republican lawmakers — including US Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) — who criticized teaching future military officers about “critical race theory” and Marxism.

“I’ve read Mao Zedong, I’ve read, I’ve read Karl Marx, I’ve read Lenin, that doesn’t make me a communist,” he said.

“So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?”

Milley added: “And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military or general officers or commissioned noncommissioned officers of being, quote, woke or something else, because we’re studying some theories that are out there that was started at Harvard Law School years ago.”

Milley’s remarks came just days after US Navy Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations, was grilled by GOP committee members about sailors being advised to read the 2019 book “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi.

“I am not going to sit here and defend cherry-picked quotes from somebody’s book,” he said.

“This is a bigger issue than Kendi’s book. What this is really about is trying to paint the United States military, and the United States Navy, as weak, as woke.”

Gilday added: “We are not weak. We are strong.”

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