Friday, April 12, 2024

“Critical Theory of Race” | US chief of staff defends need to understand history

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Cole Hanson
Cole Hanson
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(Washington) On a rare emotional outing, U.S. Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley on Wednesday expressed dismay at “insulting” comments from Republican lawmakers who accused the military of teaching its recruits a controversial theory about racism, defending the need to understand U.S. history.

At the heart of their lively conversations is widely circulated on social networks: “Critical Theory of Race”.

The term defines a line of thought that emerged in American law schools in the late 1970s to analyze racism as a system, with its laws and logic of power, rather than at the level of individual prejudices.

But it has recently become a general catchphrase for its Republican critics, referring to all efforts to address the dark events in American history, in schools and institutions, including slavery and segregation.

Two House Republican-elected officials, including young Trumpist Matt Gates, have used a parliamentary hearing to question Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin and his chief of staff in sessions that invoke the theory at military academies.

“I find it personally offensive that we accuse the US military and our senior officers, officers, and non-commissioned officers of being get up General Mark Milley said: “—a popular term referring to an awareness of injustice related particularly to the color of the skin, and used by some conservatives contemptuously—”because we study existing theories,” which “were born at Harvard years ago,” Matt Getz shook his head frantically.

And the US Military Academy is a university, and it’s important that we train and understand. And I want to understand “white anger, even if I’m white,” he continued, referring to the January 6 attack on the Capitol by pro-Donald Trump protesters.

“I read Mao Zedong. I read Karl Marc. I read Lenin. That does not make me a communist. So what is wrong with the understanding? […] The country we are here to defend,” he added, wearing his uniform.

Alongside him, Lloyd Austin, the Pentagon’s first African-American president, called Republican questions on the subject “wrong.”

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