Pentagon training promotes left-wing racism

by Washington Examiner

| April 08, 2021 12:01 AM

In the name of fighting extremism and racism, President Joe Biden’s Department of Defense is promoting racial extremism. On this initiative, the Pentagon should stand down.

In February, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered that “every service member” should participate in a “stand-down” (a training session) to address and counteract “extremism in the ranks.” The order came in response to reports and fears that the number of “white supremacists, and other domestic terrorists such as anti-government violent extremists” was growing among U.S. armed forces personnel.

White supremacism is seriously ill. Even if some may have said the concern was overblown, Austin’s initiative was at least defensible and even laudable, as long as it focused on concrete actions and military responsibilities. Alas, and perhaps predictably, the program has devolved not just into social justice nonsense that is not properly the province of the armed forces but into the promotion of claptrap that exacerbates racial divides rather than heals them.

Credit the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal for unearthing the disturbing new information about these particular stand-downs. The outlet published the agenda for a March 22 “all-hands” meeting that fleshed out the “policy … to address extremism.” The agenda included four pages of “additional resources” that leaders should consult to aid in these stand-down sessions.

There was no “Letter from the Birmingham Jail,” nor was it a recommendation of, say, Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the civil rights era. It wasn’t a balanced list of scholarly research on neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Instead, the Pentagon was telling its men and women to imbibe tendentious works of hard-left organizations and writers and of black separatists. Among the recommended resources is the Southern Poverty Law Center, the wealthy, widely discredited (and discreditable) left-wing organization that wrongly includes ordinary conservative outlets among its once-vaunted lists of “hate groups” in the United States.

Among the other radical tracts and videos in the list, the worst are two books by the radical Ibram X. Kendi, a charlatan who got rich spreading the noxious message that (in effect) all whites are inherently racist and all blacks inherently victims. And the inclusion of Kendi isn’t just of the “for your information” variety. In the words of the “resources” list, Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist is “an electrifying combination of ethics, history and law” that is “an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.”

No, it’s not electrifying, and it isn’t essential; it’s vile racism of its own. Meanwhile, last we checked, it isn’t the military’s duty — indeed, it is entirely out of the military’s purview — to be involved in forming a “just and equitable society.” The U.S. has a vibrant civic culture (and when necessary domestic branches of the government) to work on those goals, thank you very much.

The Pentagon’s job isn’t to promote “equity” or “social justice.” Its job, as the Posse Comitatus Act makes clear, is certainly not to weed out extremist groups within U.S. borders. Its job absolutely is not to teach soldiers, sailors, and airmen that the U.S. is an inherently racist country. Its job, instead, is singular and direct: to prepare so well to win wars that we can deter war from happening at all.

The stand-down agenda pushed in the past few months goes well beyond the Pentagon’s duty to ensure that white supremacists don’t infiltrate its ranks. The agenda should be keelhauled, mustered out, ejected. It has no reasonable place in the armed forces’ arsenal.