Posted on June 12, 2021

Tom Cotton Asks Lloyd Austin If Military Is a ‘Fundamentally Racist Organization’

Emily Jacobs, New York Post, June 11, 2021

Sen. Tom Cotton and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had a heated exchange during a hearing this week over the military going “woke” through Defense Department efforts to address “extremism” within its ranks, with the senator asking bluntly if the United States military is a “fundamentally racist organization.”

The intense back-and-forth occurred while Austin was testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.


“We’re hearing reports of plummeting morale, growing mistrust between the races and sexes where none existed just six months ago, and unexpected retirements and separations based on these trainings alone,” Cotton, a former Army captain, told Austin.


Asked if he believes the military is a “fundamentally racist organization,” Austin replied, “I won’t give you a yes-or-no answer on that, Senator, because it deserves more than a yes or no. The military, like any organization, will have its challenges, but I do not believe it is a fundamentally racist organization.”

Cotton prevented Austin from continuing, saying that his “time is limited” before asking him “yes or no” whether service members should be treated differently based on the race or sex.

Austin told Cotton, “{snip} I do not believe that, and that is why we have diversity, equity, and inclusion focus in the military.”


Prior to his time expiring, Cotton asked if troops “subjected to the kinds of trainings drawing on critical race concepts” should report them to the proper authorities, to which Austin said yes.

“{snip}I would also say that diversity, equity and inclusion is important to this military now and it will be important in the future,” Austin added.