After being asked how the Defense Department should think about critical race theory, Secretary Lloyd Austin responded, “We do not teach critical race theory.”
The exchange took place at a congressional hearing on the 2022 military budget. Later on, Rep. Mike Waltz quoted a letter from the U.S. Military Academy superintendent that read, “There is one course that has [CRT] as part of the syllabus.” Waltz presented evidence that the course included a seminar on “understanding whiteness and white rage.” Gen. Mark Milley appeared to confirm this, arguing for the importance of teaching military personnel about racial issues, including white rage, citing the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the Capitol.
CRT examines laws and customs that are said to contribute to systemic racism. Republican lawmakers in 25 states have attempted to restrict the teaching of CRT in colleges and schools.