Even as lawmakers consider bills to crack down on political indoctrination within the military, one Air Force Academy professor said future officers must be trained in critical race theory.
Associate professor of political science Lynne Chandler García championed the controversial ideology, which brands American society as inherently racist, in a Tuesday op-ed in the Washington Post. García said she uses concepts from the ideology in her classroom, as they help cadets "identify the structural racism and inequality that has been endemic in American society."
"The United States was founded on a duality: liberalism and equal rights on the one hand; inequality, inegalitarianism and second-class citizenship on the other," García said. "Racism was ingrained in the system from the beginning, and the military still struggles with these issues."
Rep. Chris Stewart (R., Utah), an Air Force veteran, told the Washington Free Beacon that the critical race theory promoted by García has "absolutely no place in our military."
"Our foreign adversaries, whether it be Russia or China, are getting stronger every day. The focus of our armed forces should be singular: Prepare to fight; prepare for the mission," Stewart said. "It's true that America is imperfect. It's also true that America is the greatest force for good in human history. Critical race theory is an inaccurate retelling of that history through the lens of wokeness."
García has taught at the Air Force Academy, where she specializes in teaching American politics and foreign policy, for four years, according to her LinkedIn. García's use of critical race theory tracks closely with other reports of an increasingly "woke" environment at military service academies. In April, the Washington Free Beacon reported that both the Naval Academy and West Point employ concepts from critical race theory in diversity documents and issue readings from critical theorists such as Ibram X. Kendi.
Many lawmakers have hammered the use of the divisive concept in service academies and the military broadly. Critics say critical race theory undermines unit cohesion and distracts from the military's primary mission of defending the country. Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), an Army veteran, called critical race theory the "most corrosive" influence within the military. Rep. Mike Waltz (R., Fla.), a combat veteran and Green Beret, told the Free Beacon that García's comments are "dead wrong" and "fundamentally unacceptable" for the military.
"Critical race theory is labeling an entire class of people one way or another by the color of their skin and looking through that lens," Waltz said. "Once we put that uniform on, we should be doing everything we can to minimize those distinctions."