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West Point teaching cadets ‘Critical Race Theory,’ ‘queer theory’ and ‘whiteness,’ docs reveal

Cadets train at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. (Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture, Wikimedia Commons/Released)
June 21, 2022

New documents released through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that the U.S. Military Academy at West Point is instructing its cadets on “Critical Race Theory,” and “queer theory” and teaching that “Whiteness” entails structural advantages and race privilege.

On Monday the conservative government transparency watchdog group Judicial Watch released copies of documents it recently obtained through FOIA requests, showing various educational materials being presented to cadets at West Point.

Included in the documents released to Judicial Watch was a course description for a three-credit course titled “The Politics of Race, Gender, and Sexuality.” Among the course materials is the third edition of Jean Stefancic and Richard Delgado’s work “Critical Race Theory: An Introduction,” which is one of the founding works on the controversial critical race theory. The course description states that classes will “serve as an introduction to the theoretical concepts of post-modernism” including “a focus on feminist theory, critical race theory, and queer theory.”

“Finally, the class will consider how the contemporary issues that relate to race, gender, and sexuality apply to the army and how they impact the army officer,” the course description concludes.

Another set of materials obtained by Judicial Watch includes a presentation slide that instructs students that “in order to understand racial inequality and slavery, it is first necessary to address whiteness.” The slide further states that “Whiteness” is a “standpoint or place from which white people look at themselves and the rest of society,” and refers to “a set of cultural practices that are usually unmarked and unnamed.”

Another presentation slide on Critical Race Theory (also referred to as CRT) states that the theory “grows out of the field of law and studies the way that racism is built into and reproduced through the institutions that organize everyday life.”

Another slide is titled “By The Numbers” and includes a graphic titled “Modern Day Slavery.” The slide describes disparities in education and employment opportunities and in the criminal justice system. The slide states:

Blacks are more likely than whites to:

Live below the poverty line

Be victims of homicide (6:1)

Be incarcerated (8:1)

And

Blacks are less likely than whites to:

Have a college education

Receive recommended medical screening tests

Receive bank approval for a housing mortgage

Own their own homes

Receive a job promotion

Another presentation is titled “Education and Work Inequality.” The presentation includes a slide with a text box titled “‘Race and the Invisible Hand’ How White Networks Exclude Black Men from Blue-Collar Jobs.” Another slide in the presentation asks students “Do you think Affirmative Action creates and [sic] environment for ‘reverse discrimination?’ Use CRT to support your answer.” The presentation includes yet another slide titled “Conundrums of Integration” and asks students “What is the difference between desegregation versus integration? How would you apply a tenant [sic] of CRT to this idea?”

The release of these West Point course documents comes as primarily Republican lawmakers have raised concerns about service academy students and military service members being instructed on racially charged and divisive subjects.

Last year, several Republican lawmakers objected to the inclusion of Ibram X. Kendi’s book “How to Be an Antiracist” being included on the Navy’s official reading list. The lawmakers said the book promoted using discrimination as a corrective measure for past racial inequity, with such passages as “the only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination, the only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination” and “if discrimination is creating equity, then it is antiracist.” The Navy has removed Kendi’s book from its reading list this year following criticisms about its inclusion on last year’s list.