This week, U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., the first Green Beret to serve in Congress, sent a second letter to Lieutenant General Darryl Williams, the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, with additional questions about the vetting of speakers and seminars, as well as whether the U.S. Military Academy intends to keep Critical Race Theory in its curriculum going forward.
The letter follows Williams’ response to Waltz’s first letter on the matter in April. In Williams’ letter, he confirmed Dr. Carol Anderson was a guest lecturer on campus and spoke on Critical Race Theory and approximately 100 students attended the optional lecture. Additionally, he confirmed a course held on campus includes Critical Race Theory in its syllabus.
A part of Waltz’s response is below:
While I appreciate the substantive details you provided, I did not receive “the full presentation of these seminars, presentations, assemblies, and other related curricula” that I have respectfully requested in my oversight capacity as a member of Congress on the House Armed Services Committee. My request still stands. Additionally, I have further concerns with the information you have shared with me that I would like to convey to you in this letter.
You confirm in your letter to me that Dr. Carol Anderson of Emory University was indeed invited as a guest lecturer at West Point to teach the courses of “HI463—Race, Ethnicity, and Nation” and “HI460—Civil Rights Movements.” You also explain she “described, in subtle ways, by which black Americans have been disadvantaged through historical American policy.”
In a screenshot of a slide obtained by me, as described in my previous letter, the title “Understanding Whiteness and White Rage” is depicted. This title is an incendiary overview that is by no means subtle, as are her highly politicized public statements. Why was a guest lecturer who characterized the former Commander-in-Chief as a “white nationalist” and the Republican Party platform “white nationalism” invited to teach cadets who should aspire to lead an a-political military? Was there a vetting process and review of her statements made on social media and in media prior to extending her an offer to teach Military Academy cadets?
You also confirm to me that the book Critical Race Theory: An Introduction is used in a political science course. CRT is a theoretical framework, rooted in Marxism, that posits individuals as oppressed or oppressor based on their gender, race, or sexual orientation. These teachings posit Americans as the oppressed or an oppressor—a status from which you are freed only when all existing societal structures, which are inherently systemically racist, are torn down or overthrown. Not only are these teachings antithetical to unity, discipline, and order within the U.S. Army, they are incredibly disturbing given the monopoly on power our military can have over American society and for their implications towards the continued subordination of the military to civilian oversight.
Your reply to me indicates the numbers of cadets receiving this instruction was in the dozens rather than the hundreds. However, as a nation, we are on incredibly perilous ground if any of the future leaders of our military are taught that the civilian institutions and structures with ultimate authority over them – our courts, elected officials, our laws – are systemically oppressive and that they therefore have a duty to oppose them. Does the U.S. Military Academy intend to continue to authorize these types of teachings and seminars going forward?
In that vein, I am respectfully making you aware that legislation (H.R. 3134) was introduced on May 12th 2021 in the United States House of Representatives, that I cosponsored, to prohibit the United States military and academies from promoting doctrines associated with CRT. I am also an original cosponsor of legislation (H.R. 3046) that would prohibit U.S. Military Academies from providing training and education based on CRT. These proposals will likely be considered within the FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act.