Navy chief: Critical race theory proponent’s radical book makes for ‘better Navy’

By Fred Lucas | The Daily Signal

Adm. Michael M. Gilday, the chief of naval operations, did not answer questions Tuesday about whether author-activist Ibram X. Kendi’s opposition to interracial adoption and capitalism is extreme.

But, Gilday did tell the House Armed Services Committee that Kendi’s controversial book “How to Be an Antiracist” would lead to “a better Navy” by promoting more discussion on racism in America.

Kendi is director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, and his book contends that America is a fundamentally racist country.

At the hearing, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., teed up a question to Gilday by noting that “the Navy recently completed a one-day ‘stand-down’ to remove extremism from the ranks.”

“In my view, Kendi has espoused extremist beliefs that clearly violate the oath to the Constitution I took when I served in the Navy,” Banks said.

Banks pointed out that “Kendi labeled Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett a ‘white colonizer’ because she adopted two children from Haiti.”

“Yes or no: Do you personally consider opposition to interracial adoption an ‘extremist’ belief?” Banks asked Gilday.

The admiral’s microphone was off, so his response was inaudible.

Banks said Kendi’s book also states that “capitalism is essentially racist.”

“Yes or no: Do you personally consider advocating for the destruction of American capitalism to be ‘extremist?’”

This time, Gilday could be heard.

“Here’s what I know, Congressman: Racism is in the United States Navy,” Gilday said.

“Admiral, you recommended every sailor in the United States Navy read this book. It’s a yes or no question,” Banks said, pressing the admiral on the capitalism question.

“I’m not forcing anyone to read the book. It is on a recommended reading list,” Gilday replied.

In an interview with Slate published June 12, Kendi outlined critical race theory, which divides people into oppressors and the oppressed, and said he was “inspired” by the perspective and by individuals who have furthered it. Critics say critical race theory casts whites as oppressors and minorities as their victims.

Several times, Banks sought a yes or no answer, but Gilday never responded quite that clearly.

Banks asked: “Did you read the book?”

Gilday responded:  “I did.”

Banks followed that in college, Kendi had said “white people are ‘a different breed of humans’ and are responsible for the AIDS virus.”

“Yes or no: Do you personally consider the conspiracy that white people started AIDS to be an extremist belief?” Banks asked.

Again, Gilday did not directly respond.

“I would have to understand the context of statements made. I’m not going to cherry-pick quotes from somebody’s book,” the admiral said, adding:

This is a bigger issue than Kendi’s book. What this is really about is trying to paint the United States military—in this case the United States Navy—as weak, as woke. We’ve had sailors that have spent 341 days at sea last year with minimal port visits, the longest deployments we’ve had.

Banks later followed up by saying, “So if sailors accept Kendi’s argument that America and the Navy are fundamentally racist, as you’ve encouraged them to do, do you expect that to increase or decrease morale and cohesion? Recruiting rates?”

Gilday didn’t respond by saying he would expect an increase or a decrease.

“I do know this, our strength is in our diversity,” the admiral said, adding:

Our sailors understand that. Racism in the United States is a very complex issue. What we benefit from is an open discussion about those issues, that we don’t try to ignore or rewrite it, but we actually have a discussion about it.

There will be various views, and I trust sailors will come to an understanding of hopefully separating fact from fiction, agreeing or disagreeing with Kendi in this case, and come to hopefully very useful conclusions about how we ought to treat each other in the United States Navy.

Banks: “Admiral, why did you put this book on the reading list and recommend that every single United States sailor read it?”

Gilday: “Because I think it’s really important to consider a variety of views.”

But Banks pushed for a longer answer to his question.

“Let me ask you again, Admiral: Do you expect that after sailors read this book that says that the United States Navy is racist, that we will increase or decrease morale or cohesion and recruiting rates into the United States Navy?”

Gilday replied: “I think we’ll be a better Navy from having open, honest conversations about racism.”

Gilday’s passive view of his recommended reading list wasn’t entirely accurate, said Brent Sadler, senior fellow for naval warfare and advanced technology in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense.

“The reading list is lopsided with anti-racism and a bent toward critical race theory,” Sadler told The Daily Signal. “A reading list is an endorsement. … It is a sanctioned reading list, whether one agrees or disagrees with the list.”

Uniformed officers, Sadler added, are limited in their capacity to question senior and political leadership on any matter.

Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.

Image courtesy of Public domain

8 thoughts on “Navy chief: Critical race theory proponent’s radical book makes for ‘better Navy’

  1. Our military and law enforcement are being reorganized into The Tonton Macoute model to eliminate any resistance to Socialist tyranny!

  2. As a Navy vet I was ashamed and angry when I watched this “traitor and domestic enemy” non answering questions on the news. Don’t any of these people understand the oath we took to the Constitution. Selling there county out for twelve pieces of silver. The Commiecrats are now destroying our military as they are destroying the country and this is what they wanted to do all along. This is their AGENDA, the destruction of America.

  3. We are being infiltrated at every angle with this black lives matter and equity propaganda.

    One former board member of mill river union high school even went on to say that black lives matter used to be a marxist organization….

    When will we stop being lied to by the so-called educators that we pay dearly to indoctrinate our children?

    We need education not indoctrination in our classrooms.

    It is time for everyone that is opposed to people being called racist because of the color of their skin stand up and be counted.

    We used to think this kind of madness would go away instead of being perpetrated all the way from the white house to the golden doom by the governor of vermont’s who voted for this very propaganda and had it painted in front of our state capitol.

    It is time for everyone to stand up and speak out…

    This was my statement to the mill river union high school board last evening..

    MRUHS 6162021

    Good evening,

    After watching the 6/2 meeting I have grave concerns as to the intentions of some members.
    When did it become necessary to vote to say the pledge of allegiance before a school board meeting? Who in their right mind finds it acceptable to disrespect the flag of our nation?
    When did it become acceptable for some to dishonor the lives of my friends and the many people who served and died to make this the best country in the world to be disgraced by people who do not respect them or America?

    At the same time discussions of flying a BLM flag on our school and the introduction of critical race theory into our schools is being promoted.
    It is upsetting that members would support Marxists who burn buildings, assault and kill and loot businesses of people of color. The same organization that collected 93 million dollars and didn’t spend a single penny supporting people of color. Oh… one founding member did help herself to millions to purchase 3 homes and then resigned!

    Why is it that intelligent, educated people of color denounce this racist agenda?
    Why is it that people with common sense see the level of racism being pushed on their children and the destruction it causes?

    You can not lift some up by beating others down because of the color of their skin. This is pure racism.

    We are failing our students miserably right now!

    Our schools rate at the bottom…Why?

    We need to root out all evil from those that have contact with our children.

    We need every taxpayer that contributes to the exorbitant fee of eighteen thousand dollars to educate students to stand up to this radical movement to destroy the lives of our children and eventually the last beacon of hope around the world…AMERICA

    We need to begin to educate students with reading, writing and arithmetic along with history. These are the things needed for the success of our children.

    BLM…burn loot and murder. A proven movement of chaos and destruction

    The Pledge of Allegiance …one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

    If you do not support America you can not properly educate our children.

    We need EDUCATION not INDOCTRINATION in our schools.

    The only flag that should fly on any school in America is the American flag.

    Our freedoms are brought to us by the brave Americans who honor the Red White and Blue.

    May God bless America!

  4. The only thing the Navy should be teaching is how to kick the enemies azz…without spending a second on social just-us bull crap.

    When I was in the Marines we were told we were all one color GREEN…the left playing the military is bound to lead to no good end result..

  5. The left is now giving top military leaders an option…. comply or loose your career.

    • There’s not much to lose when you’ve reached the four-star level – except the respect of your subordinates and non-woke peers. Gilday has passed his ‘Best by’ date and should leave for the good of the Navy.

      I’m sure Lockheed Martin or General Dynamics has a nice office waiting for him, or he could sign on to the board of the Navy- Marine Corps Relief Society and start earning another exorbitant salary along with another pension.

  6. Not intending to detract from the reported line of questioning here, but the Chief of Naval Operations fared no better with Rep. Luria (D-VA), a retired Navy Commander.

    She stated:

    ‘…the U.S. Navy has lost a generation of shipbuilding to failed programs. For example, the DD-21 program office (which resulted in the Zumwalt-class destroyer) was established in 1998. Originally scheduled for a 32-ship production line, but pared down to just three, the Zumwalt and her two sister ships have not deployed.

    Similarly, the CVN-21 program executive office, which was set up to produce what became the Gerald Ford-class aircraft carrier, was established in 1996. The USS Ford has not yet deployed.

    Multiple challenges with the Littoral Combat Ship program have resulted in some of those ships being slated for decommissioning only a few years into their intended lifespan. The Constellation-class frigates, intended to provide a more capable alternative to the lightly armed littoral combat ship, will not be present in the fleet in significant numbers for a decade or more.’

    Minor issues, obviously, compared to rooting out ‘racism’ in the US Navy. Much better to pour more money into ‘Diversity’ workshops than to re-learn how to build, man, maintain and deploy warships. The entire upper echelon of the Navy should be cashiered and replaced with people who can actually accomplish a mission.

  7. It’s sad how extremism is infiltrating every part of government, the education system, and every other aspect of our country. This will tear us apart.

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