Rep. Jim Banks: CRT has no place in military

In Washington D.C., Critical Race Theory (CRT) caused tensions to rise at the meeting of the House Armed Services Committee this week as lawmakers on the committee debated the appropriateness of teaching CRT in military educational institutions. As the committee discussed amendments to the annual defense spending bill, many lawmakers voiced strong opinions on CRT’s place – or lack thereof – in the military educational system, and warned of the dangers that it may pose both in classrooms and in real-life situations.

Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN) expressed deep concern over CRT’s role and the harm it may cause in our military: “Every single one of us in this room know that this is the greatest country in the history of this world. Are we perfect? No. Is our history perfect? Of course not. But there’s nothing that comes close to what we have in America. And it is not sustainable to tell our troops anything otherwise. In fact, it’s dangerous.”

Critical race theory is a curriculum that teaches that “systemic racism” is built into the foundations of the United States and attempts to convince students that white skin color naturally affords certain privileges while others are left as the victims of an inherently oppressive system which includes no path for success. While the radical left advertises CRT as a “true” history of the U.S. that children ought to learn in schools, the reality is that the theory will poison a generation of students who will be taught that racism is what built this country.

Not only is this an incredibly dangerous path generally, with some critics asserting it will only further exploit racial tensions, CRT takes the active step of pitting students against one another based on how they look. CRT is a false history that is unhelpful, and worse, unbiblical.

The debate over the role of CRT in our military and its educational institutions is a crucial one, because the perceptions held by those in uniform might impact their ability to act in stressful situations. Some have warned that introducing CRT into such institutions may have dangerous consequences; rather than teaching pride in the country they have chosen to defend, CRT would teach our young men and women taking on the uniform a warped version of the country’s history. CRT would present a false narrative that our own country is in a constant battle between oppressors and the oppressed, and that anti-whiteness needs to be the mindset adopted by those who reject racism. 

Members of our military should not be taught that they are representing and protecting a country built on racist foundations. Instead, they should be proud of the country whose uniform they wear and commended for their service, regardless of their personal backgrounds and heritage.

As Rep. Banks noted, this is the greatest country the world has ever seen – and teaching anything less may have dire consequences for our defense in the future.