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West Point cadets forced to attend race theory seminars, incl. one calling white cops ‘murderers’

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Sean K. Harp)
April 14, 2021

Last week, combat-decorated U.S. Army Green Beret turned congressman Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) wrote a letter to Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, the superintendent of West Point, describing the concerns “unsettled soldiers, cadets, and families” had about “the U.S. Army’s introduction of elements of critical race theory into cadet instruction.”

In his letter to Williams, Waltz noted one mandatory Sept. 24, 2020 seminar in which white police officers were described as murderers.

“The entire corps of cadets was required to report to Michie Stadium for your address as Superintendent and to hear from a cadet panel. In this session, an active duty female colonel described to the Corps how she become ‘woke’ to her white privilege, and felt guilty for the advantages of her race,” Waltz wrote. “At this same assembly, white police officers were described as murderers with no context or court documents provided to corroborate the anecdotes of police brutality.”

Waltz said while the event may have been a well-intentioned effort to educate cadets about police brutality, “I am hearing forcefully that this session and others like it are instead breading insult and resentment.”

Waltz noted that in February of this year, West Point required cadets to attend at least one seminar on “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” Waltz noted slides from one of the seminars included the titles “White Power at West Point” and “Racist Dog Whistles at West Point.” 

Waltz also noted the mandatory seminar also included segments from a lecture by Dr. Carol Anderson of Emory University titled “Understanding Whiteness and White Rage.”

“Dr. Anderson is a controversial, partisan academic, who has made no secret where she stands politically,” Waltz wrote. “In her book, highlighted in the presentation, she states, ‘The trigger for white rage, inevitably, is black advancement. It is not the mere presence of black people that is the problem; rather, it is blackness with ambition, drive, purpose, aspirations, and with demands for full and equal citizenship.’”

Waltz also noted that in a 2019 op-ed describing the Republican Party, Anderson wrote, “The United States of America is not really their America. They yearn for a white republic.” The congressman noted other comments by Anderson, including a 2020 tweet in which she referred to President Donald Trump as a “white nationalist” and said the GOP’s platform is “White nationalism, The destruction of the sinews of democracy and the American people–California and Puerto Rico abandoned, COVID-19, HR 1 and 4 + HEROES ACT blocked by McConnell, no impeachment–part of the plan.”

“These are only a few examples of Dr. Anderson’s incredibly divisive language,” Waltz continued. “I find it incredulous the U.S. Military Academy is requiring cadets to take courses with this highly politicized demagoguery. While I personally find this language offensive, I cannot imagine being a
young cadet ordered to listen to this incendiary language. Further, these teachings run counter to the history and ethos of our a-political military.”

Waltz’s letter comes just weeks after other Republican lawmakers raised concerns about the inclusion of “How to Be an Antiracist” on the Navy’s official reading list. The lawmakers said the book promotes the idea of using new forms of discrimination to rectify past discrimination. Republican lawmakers also said the book’s author Ibram X. Kendi has promoted racially charged theories, including that Europeans are socialized to be aggressive and “racist” and conspiracy theories that white people are responsible for the AIDS virus and are actually aliens.

“The mission of the Academy is to build future leaders for an Army that must deter and if need be, defeat the militaries of China, Iran and Russia,” Waltz concluded his letter. “It is not your duty to indoctrinate future Army
leaders into a particular political ideology. Consequently, as a member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, I am requesting that you provide the full presentation of these seminars, presentations, assemblies, and other related curricula to my office so that the U.S. Congress can execute its oversight responsibilities of the U.S. Army and the U.S. Military Academy. I look forward to your prompt response.”

Waltz’s letter also comes as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), another Army combat veteran-turned lawmaker, has proposed new legislation that would ban the military from giving racially charged training. Cotton’s bill would seek to bar the military and service academies from using training materials that promote ideas such as that the U.S. is inherently racist, or that because of an individual’s race, they themselves are racist or bear responsibility for the actions committed by members of his or her race.