At a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee last week, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said this about critical race theory: “I’ll obviously have to get much smarter on whatever the theory is, but I do think it’s important actually for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read.”

Fair enough, but that leads to this question: How does one become smarter about CRT? In much of the media, it’s being described as nothing more than an “academic concept” or an “analytic tool” for understanding “white rage” and “systemic racism.”

That assumes there is convincing evidence to support the charge that people with pale skin are especially prone to violent, uncontrollable anger. And is the claim that “systemic racism” is the defining feature of 21st-century America really beyond debate?

Coverage of the hearing may have misled you about what troubled several members of Congress: not military personnel learning about CRT but rather CRT advocates proselytizing to military personnel. It seems that “foundational” military reading lists now include, alongside books on history and strategy, tracts on CRT that allege that all people of color are victims, and all people of pallor are victimizers—irredeemably so.

Rep. Mike Waltz, a former Green Beret, cited a classroom slide labeled “White Power at West Point,” and a seminar at the academy titled “‘Understanding Whiteness and White Rage’ taught by a woman who described the Republican Party platform as a platform of white supremacy.”

Waltz expressed concern that “our future military leaders are being taught that the Constitution and the fundamental civilian institutions of this country are endemically racist, misogynist, and colonialist and therefore it is their duty to resist them.”

He added: “The military needs to be open to all Americans, absolutely, that is the strength of the United States military. But once we’re in, we bleed green, and our skin color is camouflage.”

As suggested above, if you want to understand CRT, the mainstream media is not a reliable source. Look instead to the Manhattan Institute or the Heritage Foundation or to historian Allen Guelzo, director of the James Madison Program Initiative on Politics and Statesmanship and senior research scholar in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University.

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