GOP rep demands Air Force Academy professor be removed for teaching critical race theory
Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) is urging the U.S. Air Force Academy to remove an instructor from her position teaching cadets after she wrote an op-ed explaining why she teaches critical race theory in her classroom.
“Professor García’s comments on Critical Race Theory are utterly unacceptable and incompatible with the mission of our United States Military Service Academies,” Green said in a statement on Thursday. “Disparaging the United States as a racist country should disqualify anyone from teaching at one of our country’s most prestigious institutions. Our service academies prepare young men and women to fight for our country. How can we expect anyone to fight for a country they are taught is racist?”
The professor, Lynne Chandler García, penned a column published Tuesday in The Washington Post titled: “I’m a professor at a U.S. military academy. Here’s why I teach critical race theory.”
“In my classes, cadets learn about the ideals embedded in this founding document. We explore the liberalist theories that promoted these ideals, and we embrace our democratic system of government. But we also acknowledge that the United States was founded on a duality: liberalism and equal rights on the one hand; inequality, inegalitarianism and second-class citizenship on the other,” García, an associate professor who teaches political science at the academy, wrote.
“Critical race theory provides an academic framework to understand these nuances and contradictions. It helps students identify the structural racism and inequality that has been endemic in American society. And it provides methods for deconstructing oppressive beliefs, policies and practices to find solutions that will lead to justice.”
Green, a graduate of West Point and Army veteran of two decades, said he knows firsthand how the instruction cadets receive during their training leaves “a lasting impact.”
“If we want servicemembers who are proud to defend this country, we must not denigrate the very principles upon which it was founded,” he said. “Making them ashamed of their country only decreases morale, retention, and unit cohesion. Critical Race Theory is a Marxist ideology that teaches the only way to right previous racial discrimination is to implement racial discrimination today.”
Green’s demand comes just two weeks after Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley clashed with Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill over whether it was important service members understand critical race theory as part of their training.
“I do think it’s important, actually, for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read … and it is important that we train and we understand,” Milley told the House Armed Services Committee. “I want to understand white rage, and I’m white.”
García echoed Milley’s sentiment in her op-ed.
“Officers must comprehend the unique experiences and concerns of their diverse troops. A holistic education leads to understanding and unity as service members consider what it’s like to walk in another’s shoes,” she wrote. “I don’t coddle my cadets out of fear that exposure to certain literatures might make them uncomfortable or test their existing beliefs. Cadets must learn to be brave on the literal battlefield, yes — but they must also be equipped to participate bravely on the battlefield of ideas.”
But Green argued García’s support of a more robust curriculum regarding race and gender in politics disqualifies her from teaching future service members.
“This goes against our Founding principles–not to mention illegal,” he said. “If we allow this destructive ideology to be taught in our Military Service Academies, we will be responsible for this nation’s demise. Professor García must be removed from her teaching position.”