*The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, pushed back gloriously against questions from Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz Wednesday about the examination of critical race theory in the U.S. military.
“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 for which we are here to defend?” Milley said.
He continued: “And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned, noncommissioned officers of being, quote, ‘woke’ or something else, because we’re studying some theories that are out there.”
Milley added that critical race theory education could be useful in understanding the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6.
“I want to understand white rage, and I’m white, and I want to understand it,” he said. “So 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.”
The exchange came at a House Armed Services Committee hearing to discuss the 2022 Defense Department budget. All Gaetz could do was shake his head whilst being rebuked by the Joint Chiefs chairman.
Gaetz originally posed his questions on the theory to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the country’s first Black defense secretary. Austin also dismissed the congressman’s concerns, outright.
“We do not teach critical race theory. We don’t embrace critical race theory, and I think that’s a spurious conversation,” he said. “We are focused on extremist behaviors and not ideology — not people’s thoughts, not people’s political orientation. Behaviors is what we’re focused on.”
Austin also pushed back on the basis of Gaetz’s concerns: “Thanks for your anecdotal input, but I would say that I have gotten 10 times that amount of input, 50 times that amount of input on the other side that have said, ‘Hey, we’re glad to have had the ability to have a conversation with ourselves and with our leadership.'”
Watch Gaetz’s antics get shot down by both Pentagon chiefs below: