In a Friday interview with Fox host Tucker Carlson, former U.S. Army Capt. Sean Parnell criticized the teaching of critical race theory in the military and said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley should “consider resigning” for his comments in support of controversial and racially charged training.
Parnell, who is a recipient of the Purple Heart and a two-time recipient of the Bronze Star including once with a “V” device for valor, said, “If you are looking for a way to destroy the United States military from the inside out without firing a shot, talk about what he’s talking about and implement Critical Race Theory.”
Parnell, who ran in 2020 as a Republican candidate for a Pennsylvania seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and who recently announced his plans to run for Pennsylvania’s Senate seat in 2022, said teaching critical race theory in the military will make it harder to accomplish military missions and “ultimately I think it will cost lives on the battlefield.”
Parnell said, “I was blessed to lead an infantry platoon on the border on Afghanistan and Pakistan. We were probably the most diverse unit that you could possibly imagine. Northerners serving next to southerners, black next to white, Christians next to atheists next to Jews, rich next to poor, young versus old, and, yes, Democrats next to Republicans.”
“We didn’t focus on our many differences,” Parnell continued. “There were no hyphenated Americans with us in Afghanistan and what we realized our secret weapon was is it wasn’t the sexy guns and equipment that we had. It was a love and brotherhood that we have for one another that allowed us to defeat the enemy at every single turn.”
Parnell said when men and women join the U.S. military, they “do so because they believe that America is an exceptional nation worth defending.” He said critical race theory would undermine the U.S. military “because it teaches people that America is fundamentally bad, it’s evil, its systems need to be reinvented because at their core, well they’re racist.”
Parnell went on to say, “If the chairman does not recognize the threat, the caustic nature of critical race theory and the threat it poses to our military, that I think he should consider resigning.”
Parnell’s comments to Carlson came the night after the Fox host criticized Milley’s remarks himself. Carlson said Milley is “obsequious” and “knows who to suck up to, and he’s more than happy to do it.” Carlson also compared Milley’s references of the term “White Rage” to the U.S. slave-era south’s use of the proposed medical diagnosis “drapetomania,” as a means of characterizing fugitive slaves as suffering from a medical condition inherent to their race, rather than simply wanting to escape the conditions of their enslavement.
Former President Donald Trump also criticized Milley last week and said had Milley offered his remarks in support of critical race theory while he was president, “I would have gotten rid of them in two minutes.”
The recent criticism against Milley comes as multiple Republican lawmakers have raised concerns about racially charged training throughout the military.
In April, Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) raised concerns about West Point Military Academy cadets being made to attend a mandatory race training assembly during which they were told white police officers are murderers and another mandatory seminar where segments of a presentation called “Understanding Whiteness and White Rage” were taught. Waltz noted the original “White Rage” presentation was taught by Dr. Carol Anderson of Emory University, and that Anderson had previously described the Republican party as yearning “for a white republic” and representing a “white nationalist” platform.
Earlier this month, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) noted other racially charged training, including ones where military personnel was ordered to segregate by race and sex for so-called “privilege walks” and other instances where U.S. military personnel were told by their superiors that entire military organizations are racist.
Parnell concluded his remarks on Carlson’s show by calling on members of Congress to ban critical race theory from being taught within the military. Parnell also agreed with a characterization by Carlson that the military has been one of the least racist institutions in U.S. history.
“We have been a color-blind culture in the United States military for almost 200 years, we’ve gotten a lot of things right,” Parnell said. “Keep your politics and your social experiments out of our military and let us focus on what we were always intended to do, protecting the United States of America and winning wars.”