Exclusive — Sen. Tom Cotton: Critical Race Theory in the Military Is ‘Destructive to Morale and Unit Cohesion’

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., interrupts a fellow senator during a confirmation hearing of the
Alex Brandon/AP Photo

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) told Breitbart News on Friday that critical race theory undermines the U.S. military.

Critical race theory is a neo-Marxist ideology and sociological paradigm framing human affairs as defined by class struggle along the lines of race.

“It’s particularly bad for this to be taught to our young troopers, whether it’s at service academy use or in professional military education, or just in routine quarterly or annual training, because they need to look to their right and their left and see not the representative of a racial group, but a battle buddy, a comrade in arms who will lay down their life in defense of each other and their nation,” Cotton said on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow, author of Breaking the News: Exposing the Establishment Media’s Hidden Deals and Secret Corruption.

America’s enemies benefit from internally undermining the U.S. armed forces through left-wing politics, Cotton noted.

He remarked, “If I were in a foreign intelligence service, I can think a few things that would be more destructive to morale and unit cohesion in the United States military than critical race theory, the idea that we are somehow simply representatives of our race as opposed to American patriots who are wearing the flag of our country in defense of our common ideals.”


Cotton observed the increasing aggression with which Democrats and the broader left push racial politics through the framework of critical race theory.

“Almost every bill that comes before the Congress these days has these kinds of affirmative action quotas and set asides, which I would remind your listeners are blatantly unconstitutional and have been for years,” Cotton remarked.

He continued, “But this is the modern Democratic Party. They see the entire world through the lens of race. They see it [through what is] essentially a neo-Marxist view that there only can be oppressors and the oppressed. It’s deeply antithetical to the ideals that animate America.”

Cotton observed the application of critical race theory to Democrat and left-wing analyses of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

He said, “[Critical race theory] popped up most recently in this conflict between Israel and Hamas. You have a very vocal — I think small, but very vocal left-wing of the Democratic Party led by the Squad — people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib — who see the entire world not as individuals, but simply as groups of people, the oppressed versus the oppressor.”

“Obviously, in their worldview, Israel is the oppressor and the Palestinians are the oppressed,” he added. “I think one of the new so-called Squad members likened what was happening to Hamas to what happened to Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, seven years ago, and of course, the BLM organization is an openly Marxist and antisemitic organization.”

Critical race theory erases individualism and frames human affairs as functions of conflict between racial groups, Cotton stated.

He shared, “[The Israeli-Arab conflicts] is just one more instance where you see critical race theory influencing our public debates, and it’s a deeply offensive and anti-American worldview that we aren’t individuals, [but] are simply representatives of a group to which we belong, in this case, the group represented by our skin color, and that some races are inherently privileged and other races are victimized or oppressed.”

“It is a deeply unpopular view among normal Americans, but also very popular in university towns, in the left-wing press, and increasingly in our mainstream media,” he concluded.

Cotton is a retired U.S. Army officer and veteran who completed combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also served in the Old Guard and is the author of Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery.

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