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General Milley's Statement On Wanting To Understand White Rage Is Met With White Rage From Conservatives

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general mark milley

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, is drawing ire from Republicans after defending critical race theory

Milley had a strong reaction after conservative lawmakers criticized reports that the U.S. Military Academy at West Point teaches a course involving critical race theory, a theory that broadly explores how racial prejudice extends beyond the individual and into institutions. 

General Mark Milley defended critical race theory to Republican lawmakers. 

Milley’s defense of teaching the theory came after a series of antagonistic comments from Republicans, including Rep. Michael Waltz and Rep. Matt Gaetz, at a budget hearing.

Waltz claimed the military was forcing studies in “white rage” and “critical race theory” onto troops and cadets. The academic study has been targeted by Republican lawmakers recently as a symbol of the dreaded “woke” ideology. 

“On the issue of critical race theory, a lot of us have to get much smarter on whatever the theory is,” General Milley said. “I do think it’s important, actually, for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read.” 

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He pointed out that studying ideologies does not mean a person is forced to subscribe to that ideology.

“I’ve read Mao Zedong, I’ve read Karl Marx, I’ve read Lenin — that doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding? Having some situational understanding about the country for which we are personally here to defend,” Milley said.

His comments here appeared to be a direct response to Rep. Gaetz who shortly before had accused the general of pushing Marxist theories on the U.S. without providing any kind of evidence for this claim. 

Conservatives criticized Gen. Milley for his comments on ‘white rage.’

Milley added that he had a desire to understand some of the backlash to the theory and the rage exhibited by some members of the right.

“I want to understand white rage, and I’m white, and I want to understand it. What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the constitution of the United States of America, what caused that? I want to find that out,” Gen Milley said, referring to theinsurrection at the Capitol on January 6.

If he wants to understand this insidious rage, he need only look at the response to his statement. 

Gaetz, who stood shaking his head throughout most of Milley’s statements, took to Twitter to suggest that the general incited more rage in wars on foreign territory. 

“With Generals like this it’s no wonder we’ve fought considerably more wars than we’ve won,” he wrote

Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson labeled the decorated military leader “unimpressive.” He also added that Milley was “stupid” and a “pig” for wanting to broaden his education and that of other military members. 

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White rage breeds more white rage. 

The inherent irony appeared to be lost on the conservatives as they raged against any hint that someone might want to challenge ideas of white supremacy or, simply, learn about racism

Waltz doubled down on his criticism later that night in a Fox interview, adding that he thinks Milley is “confusing critical race theory for some type of diversity training or history class on fascism and communism.”

Yet again, no substantial comparison was drawn between critical race theory and fascism or communism. 

Their resentment towards the notion of learning about race exemplifies the exact white rage that Milley was referring to.

It is the same white rage that Milley resisted when he refused to abide by orders from President Trump during the Black Lives Matter protests to “Crack their skulls.”

It is also the same rage that stormed up the Capitol steps on January 6.

If Milley acknowledges that critical race theory and the military’s academics on race might provide more clarity on this white rage, then perhaps we need the theory more than ever before. 

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her Twitter for more.