Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, August 18, 2021
The Air Force Academy requires its incoming cadets to watch a diversity and inclusion video supportive of attending a Black Lives Matter chapter meeting.
Critics argue this proves military academies have implemented critical race theory as part of their curriculum.
“We are pleased to offer this introductory D&I course as part of our commitment to working with cadets and cadet candidates in fostering a safe community built on mutual respect, teamwork, and personal dignity,” a note from Yvonne L. Roland, the director of Culture, Climate, and Diversity, reads at the onset of the training.
The video follows Jose, a minority student, and three friends, while the instructions tell cadets to “decide how you think his friends should respond.” In the first scenario, two of the white friends pressure Jose to attend a Black Lives Matter rally, while the third later posits that the slogan should be “All Lives Matter,” which was later described as a “really problematic” comment.
“I can confirm this is part of required training for inbound cadets,” Air Force Academy spokesman Dean Miller told the Washington Examiner. “This is the first year this training has been used, and it is used at universities across the country.”
Retired Lt. Gen. Rod Bishop and Dr. Ron Scott, a retired USAF Col., created an organization, Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services, Incorporated, to stop the implementation of critical race theory, which they argue is “simply Marxism repackaged in new terms.”
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the Department of Defense does not “teach” or “embrace ” the theory during a House Armed Services Committee budget hearing in June, but Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave an impassioned speech defending the merits of teaching the theory, comparing it to learning about Mao Zedong and Karl Marx, during the same hearing.
Lynne Chandler Garcia, an associate professor of political science at the U.S. Air Force Academy, admitted to teaching critical race theory in a June op-ed for the Washington Post, in which she argued that doing so was “vital.”
Critical race theory was referenced during the academy’s Acceptance Day Parade, which occurred earlier this month, according to one veteran who was in attendance to celebrate a relative who was honored as a newly accepted cadet, and he said he has “never been sicker in my life.”