Air Force Academy: The “Elements” of Critical Race Theory are Part of the “Canon”

The US Air Force Academy on Thursday admitted having included “certain elements” of critical race theory in a course, but insisted that the doctrine is not approved by the federal military institution.

The academy weighed in after Associate Professor Lynne Chandler Garcia said in an op-ed that she was teaching “critical theories of race” to cadets, even though Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said last month that the theory was not taught in the military.

“As an academic institution and accredited university, cadets are encouraged to engage in critical thinking and discourse, which can lead to class discussions on the principles of critical race theory,” said academy in a statement to the Washington Times.

“The US Air Force Academy supports the responsibility of an instructor to challenge students and to do so in an environment of academic freedom,” the statement said. “Although some elements of the CRT canon are included in the course to encourage critical thinking, it is not an institution endorsed theory as an institutional doctrine.”

The course is Political Science 211, “Politics, US Government, and National Security,” according to the academy.

Ms Garcia’s Tuesday editorial met with reluctance from Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee, who called for the professor’s impeachment in a letter to Acting Air Force Secretary John P. Roth.

The congressman, a West Point graduate and two-decade military veteran, said her “full-blown attack on our country and her support for critical race theory makes her unqualified to teach in the one of our prestigious military academies “.

“If we allow this destructive ideology to be taught in our military service academies, we will be responsible for the demise of this nation,” Green said in a statement Thursday. “Professor García must be removed from his teaching duties. “

Colorado Representative Doug Lamborn, whose district includes the Colorado Springs-based academy, called critical race theory “an anti-American ideology rooted in Marxism,” adding that the professor’s comments were “in violation. direct from the clearly expressed intention of the Secretary of Defense. “

During a House Armed Services Committee hearing, Mr. Austin insisted that critical race theory is not taught in the military.

“We don’t teach critical race theory,” Austin said at the June 23 defense budget hearing. “We don’t embrace critical race theory and I think it’s a spurious conversation.”

M / s. Garcia, a professor of political science, said in her editorial on Tuesday that “I teach critical racial theories to future military leaders in our country because it is essential that cadets understand the history of racism that has shaped foreign policy. and interior ”.

In her lectures, she said, “We embrace our democratic system of government,” but “we also recognize 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 hand.

“Critical race theory provides an academic framework for understanding these nuances and contradictions,” she said in The Washington Post. “It helps students identify the structural racism and inequalities that are endemic in American society. “

Sen. Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, said he plans to discuss the issue with Lt. Gen. Richard M. Clark, director of the academy.

“We should not be teaching and indoctrinating our cadets to believe that our military is a fundamentally racist institution,” Cotton told Fox News. “Who exactly is going to raise their hand and take an oath to defend our Constitution if you believe what Professor Garcia teaches on this subject?” “

Ms. Garcia, a former military analyst for the military, “teaches courses in US policy and foreign policy,” according to her online biography.

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