FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Caroline Tabler or James Arnold (202) 224-2353
March 25, 2021 

Cotton Introduces Bill to Combat Racist Training in the Military? 

Washington, D.C. – Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today introduced the Combatting Racist Training in the Military Act, a bill to prohibit the United States Armed Forces from promoting racist theories, most notably Critical Race Theory.

“Our military’s strength depends on the unity of our troops and the knowledge that America is a noble nation worth fighting for. Critical Race Theory teaches that race is a person’s most important characteristic, and that America is an evil, oppresive place. That idea may be fashionable in left-wing circles and college classrooms, but it has no place in our military. Not only will such racist ideas undermine our troops’ faith in each other, they’ll also erode their trust in our country’s guiding principles. The United States military shouldn’t be promoting such divisive, un-American ideas,” said Cotton.

Additional background: 

  • Last month, the Navy released a recommended reading list to facilitate the “growth and development” of sailors. One of the books on this list is Ibram X. Kendi’s bestseller advocating Critical Race Theory and discrimination on the basis of race.
  • Separately, the Navy’s Second Fleet created a book club for sailors to read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, a book that claims white people are inherently racist, whether consciously or subconsciously, and that race is the insidious subtext for virtually all human interactions.
  • The Combatting Racist Training in the Military Act would prohibit the United States Armed Forces and educational institutions operated or controlled by the Department of Defense—such as Service Academies—from promoting the following un-American and racist theories:
  1. Any race is inherently superior or inferior to any other race.
  2. The United States is a fundamentally racist country.
  3. The Declaration of Independence or the United States Constitution are fundamentally racist documents.
  4. An individual’s moral worth is determined by his or her race.
  5. An individual, by virtue of his or her race, is inherently racist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
  6. An individual, because of his or her race, bears responsibility for the actions committed by members of his or her race.
  • This bill would prevent the military from including such theories in trainings or other professional settings, if their inclusion would reasonably appear as an endorsement. It also would prohibit the military from hiring consultants to teach such theories, compelling individuals to profess belief in such theories, or segregating individuals on the basis of race in any setting.
  • The bill would not prevent any individual from accessing materials that contain such theories or otherwise exercising their lawful, protected speech. The bill also would not prevent the military from describing these theories or assigning works that advocate such theories in educational contexts that make clear the military does not sponsor, approve, or endorse them.

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