Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reacted sharply to questions from Republican Representative Matt Gaetz from Florida about critical race theory in the military. He said that those in uniform need to be open-minded and well-read.
The sharp retort took place at a House Armed Services Committee hearing for the Defense Dept. budget for 2022. The Republicans have time and again used the issue of critical race theory to voice concerns about race on various platforms including local school boards and state legislatures.
General Mark Milley Hammers Matt Gaetz, Says We Need To Be Open-Minded
General Milley rebuked Matt Gaetz for suggesting that the military teaches or embraces critical race theory. Earlier Lloyd Austin, the Defense Secretary called any such suggestion ‘spurious’ and was also critical of Gaetz’s suggestions and said that the military was focused on extreme behavior and not on thoughts, ideology, or political orientation.
Matt Gaetz plus other Republicans had previously attacked the US military for teaching critical race theory, a term that denotes a particular approach to studying institutional racism. But it has been transformed to indicate that it touches upon the notion that racism could be a part of a nation’s institutions, including the justice system.
Gen. Milley said that he had read Marx, Lenin, and Mao, but that did not make him a communist. He stressed that there was a need to have a situational consciousness of the nation that they were defending. He stressed that leaders needed to be receptive and conversant with various subjects.
Matt Gaetz had originally directed his questions at Lloyd Austin, the first Black Defense Secretary of the United States. Austin had been less abrupt than Gen. Miley but had also been dismissive of Matt Gaetz’s concerns.
He dwelled upon the Capitol Hill raid and said that there was a need to understand the reason for the assault and attack on the United States Constitution.