Top Pentagon Chief Fends Off GOP Attacks over Military Teaching About Historical Racism

HeadlineJun 24, 2021

Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has defended the military’s teaching of critical race theory, after Republican Florida Congressmembers Michael Waltz and Matt Gaetz attacked one academy’s curriculum during a House hearing, and as prominent Republicans have suggested the military is becoming too “woke.” This is General Milley speaking at the hearing Wednesday.

Gen. Mark Milley: “And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our 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, and it 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 and Emancipation Proclamation to change it. And we brought it up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — took another hundred years to change that.”

That was General Milley responding to Congressmember Matt Gaetz, who is currently under investigation by the FBI over possible violations of sex trafficking laws and for allegedly paying a 17-year-old to have sex with him. General Milley also elaborated on why teaching about historical racism is essential to understand the events of January 6.

Gen. Mark Milley: “The United States Military Academy is a university. And it is important that we train and we understand. And I want to understand white rage. And I’m white, and I want to understand it. 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? I want to find that out.”

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