The Air Force Academy has come under fire for requiring cadets to watch a diversity and inclusion video supportive of Black Lives Matter, triggering charges that military academies are making critical race theory part of the curriculum, the Washington Examiner reported.
"We are pleased to offer this introductory D&I course as part of our commitment to working with cadets and cadet candidates in fostering a safe community built on mutual respect, teamwork, and personal dignity," a note from Yvonne Roland states at the start of a training video at the academy, the news outlet reported.
The video follows a minority student and his friends as they try to decide whether to attend a BLM rally, and describes the slogan "All Lives Matter" as a "really problematic" comment.
"I can confirm this is part of required training for inbound cadets," Air Force Academy spokesman Dean Miller told the Washington Examiner. "This is the first year this training has been used, and it is used at universities across the country."
Retired Lt. Gen. Rod Bishop and Dr. Ron Scott, a retired USAF colonel — creators of Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services to stop CRT implementation — argue the video is "simply Marxism repackaged in new terms," the news outlet reported.
Col. Mark Anarumo, the president of Norwich University and formerly the director and permanent professor for the Center for Character and Leadership Development at the Air Force Academy, told the Washington Examiner the teaching of critical race theory doesn’t allow for "a high-level debate or enhanced understanding of a topic."
"It’s what to think versus how to think," and the "problem with that is there is a natural power dynamic in higher education, or really in any education, where if the professors are steering you towards a certain way to think, and you buck that, your grade suffers," he told the news outlet.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in June told a House Armed Services Committee hearing the Department of Defense doesn’t "teach" or "embrace" the theory. But Lynne Chandler Garcia, an associate professor of political science at the U.S. Air Force Academy, admitted to teaching CRT in a June commentary for The Washington Post.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told Politico there was no contradiction "That a professor at an academic institution such as the Air Force Academy teaches a given theory as part of an elective course does not in the slightest way signify some larger effort by the Department to teach, espouse, or embrace said theory," he said.
One veteran was appalled, however, that CRT was referenced during the Air Force Academy’s Acceptance Day Parade in August.
"I was disgusted by the fact there was a message of divisiveness versus a message of unity. I believe American citizens join the military because they love this nation," the veteran told the Washington Examiner.
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