If you want to understand a country’s military, take a look at what its officer corps is reading. Military officers aren’t just warfighters. They’re trained to be thinkers, even intellectuals. Many of them have advanced degrees. In Russia, officers above the rank of colonel are required to read a book by Russian nationalist Alexander Dugin called, "The Foundations of Geopolitics." Dugin’s book envisions a Eurasian empire, with Russia at the center of it, and outlines a way to achieve it. In China, meanwhile, recruits are told to read, "The Origin and Goal of History." It teaches that China is successful because its culture is superior to the West’s. You might not agree with them, but these are serious books. They promote the national interests of the countries whose officers read them. That’s why they’re assigned.
So, with that in mind, what is the American military reading these days? Let’s see: a sub-literate pamphlet on how the United States is a disgusting, immoral country that must be changed immediately and forever. The tract is titled, "How to be an Antiracist." It was written by a University of Florida professor called Henry Rogers, who now that he’s rich and famous goes by his revolutionary name, Ibram X. Kendi. The book is garbage. Actually, it’s worse than that. Not only is the book repetitive and embarrassingly stupid, but it’s also poisonous.
Kendi’s premise is as simple as he is: any system that produces unequal outcomes must be racist. Period. That’s it. That’s the entire thesis. Kendi applies it to everything. If some people make more money than other people, the economy is racist. If Ibram X. Kendi decides there aren’t enough Black astrophysicists, then astrophysics is, by definition, racist. If it rains in a Black neighborhood, but not across town, then what you’re watching is weather racism. Actually, Kendi didn’t really write that, but only because he has no detectable sense of humor. But there’s no question he believes it. The book is that militantly dumb.
So how must America respond to all this racism in the United States? Kendi provides a solution. "The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination." He actually wrote that down. In other words, in his book against racism, he promotes racism. You’d think that might be a red flag for people, contradicting as it does the founding principles of the country, as well as basic human decency. But no. The people in charge love the book. It’s all over corporate America. You can probably pick up a free copy at your HR department tomorrow morning if you want.
But the military? You can’t imagine the U.S. military would assign a book like that, recommended to every sailor in the U.S. Navy. Well, yes, actually. Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana demanded an explanation from the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Michael Gilday. Here's how it went:
BANKS: Kendi’s book states that capitalism is essentially racist, and Kendi is clear that racism must be eliminated. So yes or no: Do you personally consider advocating for the destruction of American capitalism to be extremist?
GILDAY: Here’s what I know, congressman. There’s racism in the United States Navy. I have an obligation…
BANKS: It’s a yes or no question, Admiral. Admiral, you recommended that every sailor in the United States Navy read this book. It’s a yes or no question.
GILDAY: I’m not forcing anybody to read the book. It’s on a recommended reading list.
BANKS: Admiral, did you read the book?
GILDAY: I did….
BANKS: Admiral, you read this book. What part of this book is redeeming and qualifies as something that every United States sailor should read it?
GILDAY: I think Kendi’s self-critical of his own journey as an African American in this country, what he’s experienced…
BANKS: Let me ask you again, Admiral: Do you expect that after sailors read this book that says that the United States Navy is racist that we will increase or decrease morale, cohesion, and recruiting rates into the United States Navy?
GILDAY: I think we’ll be a better Navy from having open, honest conversations about racism.
"Open and honest conversations about racism" — well, that would be nice, but it’s an amusing line, coming from someone who claims to have read Kendi’s book, as Gilday says he has. Open and honest conversations are racist, Kendi has said many times. Let’s say, open and honestly, you decided you cared more about the way people behave than the way they look. Let’s say you took Martin Luther King at his word and judged people by the content of their character, not by their skin color. If you do that, Kendi says, you are a racist. "The claim of 'not racist' neutrality is a mask for racism. … The language of color blindness is a mask to hide racism. A color-blind Constitution for a white-supremacist America." That’s the military’s reading.
So, no, open and honest conversations are not allowed in Kendi’s America. Here’s the choice: admit you’re a racist, or else you’re a super-duper racist. That’s his position.
It sounds pretty deranged, honesty. In fact, it sounds like an extremist ideology – just the kind the military is always us warning about. Keep in mind, the Pentagon is investigating National Guardsmen who posted unfashionable opinions on Facebook about the last election, or may have voted for Trump. So with all their investigators running around looking into people’s thought crimes, how closely have they looked, has the Pentagon looked, into Ibram X. Kendi? Have they checked his social media history? Actually, Rep. Banks asked admiral Gilday that question.
BANKS: In college, Kendi wrote that White people are a different breed of humans and are responsible for the AIDS virus. Yes or no: Do you personally consider the conspiracy that White people started AIDS to be an extremist belief?
GILDAY: Sir, I’d have to understand the context in which the statements were made. Banks: That is a simple question.
GILDAY: I’m not going to sit here…
BANKS: Admiral, this is a book that you recommended every sailor in the United States Navy read.
GILDAY: I’m not going to sit here and defend cherry-picked quotes from somebody’s book. I’m not going to do that.
So Admiral Gilday will not defend the man he’s just been promoting to the entire U.S. Navy. That’s odd, though once you dig a little, you can see why he doesn’t want to talk about it. Not long ago, Kendi was invited to speak at the "Aspen Ideas Festival," a place where ideas go to die.
A roomful of academics waited to hear his wisdom. During the question-and-answer session, one of them asked the most basic question of all: how do you define racism? How do you define it? You’d think Kendi would be ready for it. But he wasn’t. Here’s what he said:
AUDIENCE MEMBER: You talked about the importance of defining racism. Unless I missed it which is possible, I didn’t hear your personal definition. How do you define racism?
KENDI: Racism – I would define it as a collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity that are substantiated by racist ideas. (inaudible) A collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity that are substantiated by racist ideas.
Racism is racist stuff. Or as Kendi put it, it’s "a collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity that are substantiated by racist ideas." Right. But how are we defining racism? Kendi couldn’t say. Despite making a bountiful living on topic, getting rich talking about racism, he hadn’t thought about how to define the word.
In a serious society, everyone in the room would have walked out and found something better to do. Bird-watching, maybe.
The so-called intellectual on stage turned out to be an idiot, so they should have left. But they didn’t. They just laughed nervously, worried that if they said something about what had just happened -- if they pointed out that the former Henry Rogers is, in fact, a fraud -- they'd be denounced as well. This is how mediocre people control entire societies: with implied threats. Go along, or we’ll punish you. So they don’t say anything.
The funny thing is, in his book, Kendi admits that he, himself, is a racist. "White Democrats stood aside and let Bush steal the presidency on the strength of destroyed Black votes. Bush’s team transitioned that winter; I transitioned into hating White people. White people became devils to me, but I had to figure out how they came to be devils."
So, this is the man Admiral Michael Gilday – it’s hard to believe that Admiral Michael Gilday has any power in the United States, but he does – thinks the United States Navy should study. Imagine working for someone like Admiral Michael Gilday. Most normal people can’t imagine that. So they’re leaving the military.
SEN. COTTON: One marine told us that a military history training session was replaced with mandatory training on police brutality, white privilege, and systemic racism. He reported that several officers are now leaving his unit, citing that training. Another service member told us that their unit was required to read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, which claims--and this is a quote--White people raised in Western society are conditioned into a white supremacist worldview. … An airman told us their unit was forced into a racist exercise called a privilege walk, where members of the wing were ordered to separate themselves by race and gender, in order to stratify people based on their perceived privilege.
It’s depressing if you think about it. Good people, driven from military service, many of them serving generationally because their fathers and grandfathers did, are having to leave now purely because of the extremist ideology of its leaders. It’s crushing if you think about it. But it’s also scary for all of us. We need the military. The Pentagon isn’t the Department of Education. It’s not the DMV. We have to have it. It’s essential to the survival of the county. But the commissars in the Biden administration don’t care. They’re not slowing down. They’re intensifying the political purge in the ranks. NASA just announced its new mission has noticing to do with space. The new mission is about applying the principles in Ibram Kendi’s book. The new mission is equity.
ASTRONAUTS: At NASA, we’re on a mission of equity. Launching opportunity. Equal opportunity to challenge and inspire. To learn and thrive. To reach those we’ve never reached before. To use science, data and technology to advance equity. To shatter boundaries and break down barriers across America. To create a better future. We hope you’ll join us on this mission.
A mission of equity. Are you going to join a mission of equity? Can you define it?
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson's opening commentary on the June 17, 2021, edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight."