Speaking at an online forum sponsored by the conservative Heritage Foundation, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) slammed what he says is the military's incorporation of critical race theory, saying it will create division among soldiers.
"If it harms unit cohesion or esprit de corps in the military, then we're literally risking our freedoms," Cotton said. "That's why it is so important that the military's highest priority should remain what it always has been, to fight and win real wars, not to get distracted by culture wars."
According to the Associated Press, "Critical race theory is a way of thinking about America's history through the lens of racism. Scholars developed it during the 1970s and 1980s in response to what they viewed as a lack of racial progress following the civil rights legislation of the 1960s. It centers on the idea that racism is systemic in the nation's institutions and that they function to maintain the dominance of white people in society."
Cotton said that the academic theory was "insidious" and also "very dangerous" to unit cohesion.
"We cannot have an Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Space Force where young troopers are looking to their left or right and seeing not fellow citizens who've took an oath to the Constitution ... we can't have them looking at their noncommissioned officers and officers wondering if they're getting tough duty because of the color of their skin, we need them to see each other simply as fellow Americans," the senator said.
According to Military.com. Cotton and fellow Republican Dan Crenshaw (TX) have set up a website to allow service members to anonymously report examples of so-called "woke ideology" in the military.