The Military-Industrial-Critical Race Theory Complex

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The Military-Industrial-Critical Race Theory Complex

The Pentagon affirmed its commitment to critical race theory on Wednesday, pointing to a talk delivered by Bishop Garrison, senior advisor to the secretary of defense for human capital and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Garrison joined a panel at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), which has received funding from every major defense contractor, Wall Street’s biggest banks, several foreign governments, and George Soros’ Open Societies Foundation.

The relationship between Garrison, CNAS, and the Pentagon is illustrative of the military-industrial-academic complex, which is pushing a left-wing diversity agenda unfriendly to the interests of most Americans.

On the panel, Garrison focused on what he claimed is the military’s “diversity” retention and promotion problem, suggesting that racism is at the heart of the matter. Every word and trope seemed drawn from National Public Radio programming. “We know that representation means a lot to folks,” Garrison said. “If I can see more leaders down further in their career being senior leaders, I know that there is a path that potentially exists for me,” he added. “If I see an entire leadership chain that doesn’t represent my own lived experiences, I begin to question, well, what does that mean for my own career?” 

In other words, every aspect of the military’s structure must be made less white. 

Garrison noted that the diversity, equity, and inclusion program is increasingly a “horizontal” rather than “vertical” part of the military. No longer is the paranoia of a racist under every bed confined to the human resources department. Rather, these ideas form the umbrella that casts a shade on everything else. “It really should be more about, well, how we do our day-to-day operations; how do we envision our strategic goals, how do we look at the policies that we’re developing,” he said. “You should be thinking through DEI . . . in all aspects of what you do.”

“I want people to see DEI [diversity, equity, and inclusion] as another tool in the toolkit, another way of solving these problems,” Garrison said. Anticipating criticism, he added that diversifying the military is

not just something that has to be done because of some type of cultural ideology or culture wars that are going on—that’s not the case at all. It is, again, not diversity for diversity’s sake but rather diversity to help us create a safer, more holistic work environment.

But Garrison’s history of overt anti-white racism belies his benign assurances. A Revolver News exposé surfaced tweets from 2019 in which Garrison argued that former President Donald Trump and his supporters were “dragging a lot of bad actors (misogynist, extremists, other racists) out into the light, normalizing their actions.” He added, “If you support the President you support that. There is no room for nuance with this.”

Ironically, Garrison has acknowledged that he has never experienced racism. “From my own personal experiences, the biggest things have been more about just inherent bias and underlying prejudice; I’ve never had anyone directly engage me and call me an outright racist name,” he said in an interview with the public radio program The World. “I’ve never had anyone attack me based on any type of immutable traits.” However, Garrison complained, he has often been invited to programs where he was “the only African American to speak on a variety of topics or issues.”

Garrison’s larger problem seems to be that the people who are most likely to say they feel “extremely proud to be Americans” are the same ones for whom Garrison has the most venom: Republican white men. This is shown in survey after survey. This group must either be indoctrinated, or purged from Garrison’s new military. According to him, white supremacy constitutes a “nation-ending” threat that merits a response from “the totality of the national security apparatus.”

As a supporter of The New York Times’ “1619 Project,” Garrison advocates integrating anti-white policies under the euphemism of “diversity” into the federal government, arguing that it is “the right thing to do morally but also a matter of national security.” His campaign proceeds with the federal government’s imprimatur and the support of D.C. think tanks.

CNAS is, in many ways, the perfect forum for these kinds of discussions. Founded in 2007 by two former officials from the Clinton administration, The Wall Street Journal called it “a top farm team for the incoming Obama administration,” in 2008. The Journal noted that Obama’s roster of transition advisers included many national-security appointments from the Center. 

During the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, CNAS fellows published articles on June 5 and June 9 calling on military leadership and veteran service organizations to explicitly support the people laying waste to American cities. The smoke and flame of riots had given D.C. the appearance of a warzone just days before. Garrison shared the article blasting veterans’ organizations for the “deafening silence” on BLM.

The CNAS also receives funding from every top aerospace and defense company along with Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. The Revolving Door Project made the Center the subject of its study, “The Military-Industrial-Think Tank Complex,” which characterized it as one massive conflict of interest masquerading as a policy center. The report found that the Center has not only received funding from the U.S. Departments of Defense and State as well as U.S. intelligence agencies, but also NATO and at least 11 foreign governments allied with the U.S. The Center also includes George Soros’ Open Society Foundations on its list of significant supporters.

During the postwar era, defense spending affected the development of academic science, as Professor Stuart Leslie argues in The Cold War and American Science. These days, that relationship has flipped. Academic ideas like critical race theory are being used to influence not only massive defense spending but the growth of a federal leviathan hostile to most Americans—as well as a jobs program for spiteful mediocrities peddling anti-white racism.

U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers shake hands as they negotiate points during an exercise called Star Power, at Fort Meade, Maryland, in July 2018. (Source: Defense Visual Information Distribution Service)