Tennessee Republican Moves To Ban Critical Race Theory in Military Service Academies

Rep. Mark Green: 'Marxist' ideology has no place in U.S. military academies

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May 5, 2021

A Tennessee Republican announced legislation Wednesday to ban the teaching of critical race theory at U.S. military service academies.

Rep. Mark Green (R., Tenn.), an alumnus of West Point and an Iraq war veteran, said the presence of critical race theory at America’s elite military institutions, through diversity trainings and "anti-racist" curriculum, fosters "divisiveness" and undermines the military's ability to fight effectively. The movement, he said, is "a Marxist ideology" that contains false ideas about American history.

"Critical Race Theory is based on a massive and purposeful misunderstanding of the American founding, American history, and America as it exists today," Green said. "This is a Marxist ideology created to tear American institutions down.... The United States military service academies are designed to train leaders and warriors for combat—men and women of every race, creed, and religion. Critical Race Theory’s divisiveness will destroy the unit cohesion necessary to win in combat and defend this nation."

The bill comes soon after an April report from the Washington Free Beacon revealing the use of "anti-racist" teaching tools and admissions practices at West Point. One reading list included the work of well-known critical race theorists Ibram X. Kendi, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of the New York Times' 1619 Project. Internal documents also showed the military academy stressed the importance of diversity and inclusion to remain appealing to "America's younger generation" and competitive with other elite institutions that have embraced critical race theory.

Critical race theory extends beyond military academies into branches of the armed forces. A recent U.S. Navy reading list for officers and sailors included books on "anti-racism," the criminal justice system, and gender politics.

Green’s bill follows efforts by other members of Congress to root out critical race theory from the U.S. military. In March, fellow Army veteran Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) called for the elimination of critical race theory training at the Department of Defense, saying it was "anti-American."