GOP lawmakers seek to ban anti-racism training in the military

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Rep. Buddy Carter's Military Education and Values Act would bar 'race-based education and training.'

House Republicans are seeking to prohibit the Department of Defense from providing anti-racism training to service members in their latest attempt to stop what they derisively call "critical race theory."

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) introduced a bill on Tuesday to "direct the Secretary of Defense to issue guidance prohibiting race-based education and training in the Armed Forces."

Savannah NBC affiliate WSAV reported that, according to a press statement released by Carter's office, H.R. 3754, the Military Values and Education Act, would bar any training that could cause racial divisions. "I'm introducing this legislation to ensure our military members can focus on their mission, not the agenda of the radical Left," Carter said in the statement.

So far, six GOP colleagues have signed on as co-sponsors: Reps. Rick Allen of Georgia, Vern Buchanan of Florida, Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Louie Gohmert of Texas, and Van Taylor of Texas.

This is the latest attack by Republicans on efforts to combat racism in the United States.

On May 14, U.S. Space Force Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier was relieved of command after attacking anti-racism efforts in the military as "Marxism." GOP lawmakers railed against his removal and lionized him as a "patriot."

Days later, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas shared on social media what turned out to be Russian propaganda while deriding the U.S. military for wanting to turn soldiers into "a bunch of pansies."

"Holy crap. Perhaps a woke, emasculated military is not the best idea," he tweeted.

On May 27, Florida Rep. Brian Mast told Fox News that teaching people in the military about racism would get them killed. "The most dangerous thing for our military is wokeness," he claimed. "We have to keep politics out of the military or it's going to cost people's lives!"

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a bill in March aimed at "combating racist training in the military" by preventing any promotion of "anti-American and racist theories," such as that the United States "is a fundamentally racist country."

Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), who was Donald Trump's pick to be Army secretary in 2017 but withdrew his nomination over previous anti-LGBTQ, anti-Latino, and anti-Muslim comments, introduced a bill last month to prevent "critical race theory" training at military service academies. Eight House Republicans have signed on as co-sponsors.

Despite their attempts to deny the problem, racial discrimination remains a significant challenge in the U.S. military. A 2020 Reuters report found that troops who have experienced racism face great barriers to reporting incidents and obtaining justice.

Though few teachers actually include in their lesson plans any discussion of critical race theory, an academic discipline that points to the impact racism has had and continues to have on American history, culture, public policy, and other areas, Republicans have tried to prohibit it — and any other teaching about systemic racism's pervasive role — in K-12 education.

Last month, Carter urged the Georgia General Assembly to ensure no such topics be covered in the state's schools. "Parents in Georgia tell me they don't want their kids taught critical race theory at the expense of teaching them to read, write, and do math," he said, according to the Brunswick (Georgia) News.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.