Joint Chiefs Chairman Army Gen. Mark Milley went viral after giving a thorough statement in favor of critical race theory during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday (June 23).
“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 said. “I want to understand white rage, and I’m white,” he added, referencing the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
“What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out. I want to maintain an open mind here, and I do want to analyze it… It is important that the leader now and in the future do understand it.”
Curriculum items involving critical race theory, race, oppression, and privilege have all been targeted by Republicans who say teaching these subjects will skew children’s perception of their country and racial identity. Several states have proposed legislation to ban lessons following the January 6 attack on the Capitol stemming from Donald Trump’s failed attempt at reelection.
In his response to Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz and Michael Waltz, Milley said learning about subjects doesn’t mean you will automatically follow a particular doctrine.
“I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country from which we are here to defend?” Milley asked.
“I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military… of being ‘woke’ or something else because we are studying some theories that are out there,” the general added.
Twitter showed support for Milley's advocating for critical race theory and other subjects currently being targeted by Republicans.