It wasn’t too long ago that most Americans had no idea what critical race theory was. At least I didn’t.
Now, the term is everywhere. It is the idea that American racism has shaped every institution and norm in our lives. White people are the oppressors and have led lives of privilege and people of color are the oppressed who have always operated from a point of disadvantage in America. Suddenly this ideology is finding its way into every aspect of our lives.
It is divisive and destructive, but nowhere is it more dangerous than in the military.
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas joined Breitbart News’ Alex Marlow on Marlow’s Friday radio show to discuss the impact of critical race theory on our military, our government and our foreign policy.
Cotton served as a U.S. Army officer for four years and afterward, in the Army Reserves. He also completed several overseas deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Marlow asked the senator to address the new woke direction the military has taken.
“What is the message to young troops?” Marlow asked about the 17:40 mark, noting that critical race theory is finding its way into military training.
Newly enlisted troops, Marlow said, are being taught that “some races are treated worse than other races” and that it “seems like an incredibly distracting and toxic message.”
“It’s particularly bad for this to be taught to our young troopers, whether it’s at service academies or in professional military education, or just in routine quarterly or annual training,” he said. “Because they need to look to their right and their left and see not the representative of a racial group, but a battle buddy, a comrade in arms who will lay down their lives in defense of each other and their nation.”
“If I were in a foreign intelligence service,” he explained, “I can think of few things that would be more destructive to morale and unit cohesion in the United States military than critical race theory, and the idea that we are somehow simply representatives of our race as opposed to American patriots who are wearing the flag of our country in defense of our common ideals.”
In March, Cotton introduced a bill to ban critical race theory from being taught in the military. He told colleagues at that time, “Critical race theory teaches that race is a person’s most important characteristic, and that America is an evil, oppressive place. That idea may be fashionable in left-wing circles and college classrooms, but it has no place in our military,” according to Fox News.
Military.com published an article about a March briefing at the Pentagon delivered by Chief Master Sergeant Ramón “CZ” Colón-López, the senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Colón-López told reporters that soldiers “from every echelon that we’re talking to” were likening the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion with the Black Lives Matter/antifa riots that spread throughout the country last summer in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Troops have asked him, Colón-López said, “How come you’re not looking at the situation that was going on in Seattle prior to that?”
Colón-López said he is “concerned about the way that some people are looking at the current environment,” according to Military.com.
He sees this “confusion,” especially prevalent among younger troops, as a reason “why the training sessions on extremism are needed.”
Frankly, I’m concerned about the way Colón-López is looking at the current environment.
In a March commentary piece, Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked, “Is the military more concerned with wokeness than winning the next war?”
It would appear so.
Cotton is right. This kind of training undermines our military and projects weakness to our enemies.
About the 14:20 mark in Friday’s interview, Marlow asked Cotton about where else he sees critical race theory popping up.
Cotton replied, “[Critical race theory] popped up most recently in this conflict between Israel and Hamas. You have a very vocal — I think small, but very vocal left-wing of the Democratic Party led by the ‘squad’ — people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib — who see the entire world not as individuals, but simply as groups of people, the oppressed versus the oppressor.
“Obviously, in their worldview, Israel is the oppressor and the Palestinians are the oppressed,” Cotton said. “I think one of the new so-called squad members likened what was happening to Hamas to what happened to Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, seven years ago. And of course, the BLM organization is an openly Marxist and anti-Semitic organization.”
He continued, “So that’s just one more instance where you see critical race theory influencing our public debates, and it’s a deeply offensive and anti-American worldview that we aren’t individuals, [but] are simply representatives of a group to which we belong, in this case, the group represented by our skin color, and that some races are inherently privileged and other races are inherently victimized or oppressed.”
Critical race theory is a “deeply unpopular view among normal Americans, but also very popular in university towns, in the left-wing press, and increasingly in our mainstream media,” he added.
In a later comment, about the 17-minute mark, Cotton said the tentacles of critical race theory have worked their way into legislation.
“Almost every bill that comes before the Congress these days has these kinds of affirmative action quotas and set-asides, which I would remind your listeners are blatantly unconstitutional and have been for years,” he said.
“But this is the modern Democratic Party. They see the entire world through the lens of race. They see it as essentially a neo-Marxist view that there only can be oppressors and the oppressed. It’s deeply antithetical to the ideals that animate America.”
In the comment section, one critic complained essentially that Republicans were painting an entire party with the same brush. This commenter wrote the Cotton was accusing Democrats of supporting “fringe ideas.”
But positions that not so long ago would have been considered radical are rapidly gaining support among Democrats.
It’s difficult to find any meaningful polling on the subject of critical race theory. One national poll, released on May 10, conducted by a group called Parents Defending Education, found that 25 percent of respondents said it was somewhat or very important for schools to ‘teach students that their race is the most important thing about them’ compared to 70% who said this is not important or not at all important.”
The vast majority of the country, in other words, sees the problem for what it is.
Idaho recently became the first state to ban critical race theory from being taught in the state’s public schools. Other red states will soon follow. It is a dangerous ideology and we need to eradicate it wherever we find it.
This article was previously published by The Western Journal.