“Our military’s strength depends on the unity of our troops and the knowledge that America is a noble nation worth fighting for,” Cotton said in a statement.
Critical race theory would undermine that unity because it teaches “that race is a person’s most important characteristic, and that America is an evil, oppressive place,” he added. “Not only will such racist ideas undermine our troops’ faith in each other, they’ll also erode their trusting our country’s guiding principles.”
The bill would prohibit the military from using material that teaches the U.S. is a fundamentally racist country and that founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are inherently racist.
The military branches also would not be allowed to cite material that claims people are inherently racist based simply on skin color.
Cotton revealed the bill after a report that the U.S. Navy updated its reading list to include Ibram X. Kendi’s How To Be Antiracist, which argued white people are inherently racist and that there is nothing they can do to stop being racist.
Several other lawmakers have criticized the Navy’s decision.
“The views promoted in How to Be an Antiracist are explicitly anti-American,” Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., wrote in a letter to Navy Adm. Michael Gilday, who is also the chief of naval operations.
“According to Kendi, the author, America is fundamentally racist, so anti-Americanism is a moral imperative,” Banks wrote. “Kendi’s ideas are divisive and will undermine morale and weaken our national security.”
The Navy also came under fire recently when a service task force created to “combat discrimination” suggested all sailors should take a pledge to “acknowledge all lived experiences and intersectional identities.”
With support from President Joe Biden, the Pentagon recently conducted a military-wide stand-down forcing troops to confront issues of race and extremism, with particular emphasis on attacking conservative viewpoints.