Sen. Tom Cotton claimed he had received hundreds of whistleblower complaints as he grilled Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin about the Pentagon’s diversity training, which he described as ‘anti-American indoctrination.’
He repeatedly cut off America’s first Black defense secretary as Austin tried to offer context about anti-racism training in the armed forces during a Senate hearing.
Cotton has been a dogged opponent of the effort, introducing a bill to ban so-called critical race theory from the military.
And he set up a website for whistleblower complaints earlier this month.
During the hearing, he listed some of the examples reported. He said a Marine officer claimed military history teaching had been replaced with lessons on police brutality.
And another said his unity was tasked with reading White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo, which was criticized for putting white Americans on the defensive.
‘Mr. Secretary, we’re hearing reports of plummeting morale, growing mistrust between the races and sexes, where none existed just six months ago, and unexpected retirements and separations based on these trainings alone,’ Cotton said.
And again, these are not my words. These are the words of your own troops.’
He then asked for a yes or no on whether the secretary believed the armed forces were a ‘racist organization.
‘I won’t give you a yes-or-no answer on that, senator, because it deserves more than a yes or no,” said Austin.
‘The military, like any organization, will have its challenges, but I do not believe it is a fundamentally racist organization.’
He was cut off by Cotton who then repeated his demand for a yes-or-no response about where service personnel should be treated differently based on sex or skin color.