Sen. Tom Cotton Launches Bill to Ban Critical Race Theory from Military Training

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 25: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) speaks during a hearing to examine United States Special Operations Command and United States Cyber Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for fiscal year 2022 and the Future Years Defense Program, on Capitol Hill on March 25, 2021 in …
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Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is introducing a bill Thursday that would ban critical race theory (CRT) from the United States military training.

The legislation, the Combatting Racist Training in the Military Act, seeks to “prohibit the United States Armed Forces from promoting anti-American and racist theories,” the text states.

Cotton said in a statement about the bill:

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, oppressive 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.

In a press release announcing the legislation, Cotton’s office noted the measure “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.

The bill emphasizes the mission of the U.S. Armed Forces is to ‘‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic’’ and ‘‘bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

“To carry out this mission, the Armed Forces must train leaders who love the United States, its citizens, and the aforementioned founding principles,” the text continues. “Anti-American and racist theories, such as ‘Critical Race Theory,’ teach that the United States is a fundamentally racist Nation, that the Constitution is a fundamentally racist document, and that certain races are fundamentally oppressive or oppressed.”

Writer and contributing editor at the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal Christopher Rufo has been investigating CRT’s advancement within the federal government.

“[C]ritical race theory and related ideologies have begun to make their way into the armed services, with some branches promoting “white fragility” book clubs and the West Point military academy teaching CRT as part of a leadership program,” Rufo wrote Wednesday.

He explained further about Cotton’s legislation:

The premise of Senator Cotton’s legislation is that the military should encourage its members to “love the United States,” defend the “founding principles of the United States,” and maintain policies that treat people as “human beings with equal dignity and protection under the law.” Critical race theory, according to the findings in the bill, undermines these three goals by presenting the United States as a racist, oppressive nation and by encouraging racial division under the guise of “social justice.”

While the bill would not prohibit individuals from exercising their free speech rights to access information about CRT and similar theories, it would prevent the U.S. military from including this type of training “if their inclusion would reasonably appear as an endorsement.”

The legislation would also bar 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 press announcement stated.

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