Pentagon equity chief praises book calling 9/11 first responders 'menaces' as she pushes for 'revolution'
DoDEA Director Tom Brady has said, 'Kelisa Wing is exactly the right person to lead our efforts... to support meaningful change'
FIRST ON FOX – A self-described "woke" Pentagon equity chief, who is currently under probe over anti-White tweets uncovered by Fox News Digital, recommended a "social justice" book for classrooms which called 9/11 first responders "menaces."
Kelisa Wing is a diversity, equity and inclusion chief at the Pentagon's education wing – the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). She is involved in curriculum at DoDEA, which services over 60,000 military-connected children at 160 schools around the globe, according to a press release announcing her position in December 2021.
Fox News Digital found that on two occasions DoDEA's diversity, equity and inclusion chief promoted the anti-police book "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates while representing herself as an employee of the Pentagon's education wing.
Coates wrote in "Between the World and Me" about 9/11 responders, "They were not human to me. Black, white, or whatever, they were menaces of nature; they were the fire, the comet, the storm, which could — with no justification — shatter my body."
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The Pentagon was one of the targets of radical Islamic terrorists on Sept. 11; 125 people in the Pentagon and 59 people aboard American Airlines Flight 77 were killed.
According to a Department of Defense historian, "In the first terrifying minutes after the plane crashed into the building the swift actions of survivors and rescuers helped save the lives of many who would otherwise have perished."
In 2018, when Wing was a teacher, she advocated for "Between the World and Me" to be used in classrooms in an article published to "Digital Promise," an Obama-era organization created by Congress which helps teachers monitor "stereotype threats" of students. Wing currently sits on the advisory board of the nonprofit, according to her website.
The article recommended teachers include materials from a "Social Justice Book List." One of the anti-police books recommended was "Between the World and Me."
"Your classroom materials should be a mirror for your students in which they can see themselves represented," the article said.
"We also have to avoid the pitfall of teaching about the same historical people from various cultures as well (e.g., only focusing on Martin Luther King, Jr., or Harriet Tubman) when there are a wealth of diverse, historical and current people of color who we can choose to highlight," the article said.
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Wing has also co-written a children's book about defunding the police, in which she explains to young audiences the differences between abolishing, defunding and disbanding police with anti-racist policies.
On another occasion, in 2021, Wing included "Between the World and Me" in a DoDEA Equity Summit presentation. The video of the session was captured by OpenTheBooks, a nonprofit organization dedicated to government transparency.
"I love this quote from his book and it makes me think about what kind of environment are we setting in our classrooms, in our own schools… Are we seeing children as guilty?" Wing said during her presentation.
The quote from Coates said, "I came to see the streets and the schools as arms of the same beast. One enjoyed the official power of the state while the other enjoys its implicit sanction. But fear and violence were the weaponry of both."
Wing commented, "I hope that we are setting an environment in our schools, in our system, where schools don't look to be not providing access to seeing our children in their full humanity and allowing them to be successful."
Wing is currently under probe for tweets which referred to White people as "Karen[s]" and said she was "exhausted with these white folx in these [professional development] sessions." The matter will be taken to the Under Secretary of Personnel and Readiness – Gil Cisneros – for a final decision 30 days after the initial review, which started on September 19, the Pentagon told Fox News.
Wing's Twitter said, "… this lady actually had the CAUdacity to say that black people can be racist too… I had to stop the session and give Karen the BUSINESS…we are not the majority, we don't have power."
"Caudacity" is a slang term that is used to describe audacity demonstrated by White people.
On another occasion, Wing responded to a user who said, "I am exhausted by 99% of the white men in education and 95% of the white women. Where can I get a break from white nonsense for a while?"
Wing responded, "If another Karen tells me about her feelings… I might lose it..."
As a result of these tweets, as well as the books she co-authored, 22 House Republicans — including some on the Armed Services Committee — requested that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin take "immediate action" to investigate her for "egregious bias."
"This woke ideology is destroying our military and poisoning the minds of American children," Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., said.
"If President Biden wants to know why he has a recruitment problem and low morale, he need look no further," Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said.
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"This is very intentional. They've put her in this place because [the Defense Department] is another institution that [the Biden administration] has every intention of tearing down," former CIA director, Mike Pompeo, said.
In June 2021, Biden signed an executive order which "reinvigorate[d]… the approach… first established in the Obama-Biden Administration" and directed all federal agencies to "establish or elevate Chief Diversity Officers," among other priorities.
The director of DoDEA, Thomas Brady, said, "Kelisa Wing is exactly the right person to lead our efforts in building on the foundational work done to support meaningful change in our organization."
"This new position will take a holistic approach to identifying and improving how we integrate the practice of diversity, equity and inclusion in every aspect of DoDEA, from curriculum and assessment to hiring and professional development," he continued.
Wing said in Sept. 2020 that she was trying to "completely tear down" the system, according to the nonprofit OpenTheBooks.
"I am anti-racist," she said, according to the nonprofit. "[Anti-racist] means I am actively taking a stand to completely tear down, uproot, rebuild, and create something new, and that's exactly what we need to do in education. I know that sounds really revolutionary and hard but there are a lot of mechanisms and tools out there that can help us get there."
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Wing was then asked by an audience member, "As we go through this racial reckoning is it time to really transform education, transform curriculum – is it time for a revolution?"
Wing responded, "Most definitely," according to the nonprofit.
Fox News' Jessica Chasmar, Houston Keene and Charles Creitz contributed to this report.