Yesterday, the House Armed Services Committee hearing featuring Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday involved some fireworks. The subject was Critical Race Theory, and Gilday’s insertion of a blatantly anti-intellectual and racist book, “How to Be an Anti-Racist” by sometime activist and full-time grifter Ibram X. Kendi, onto his official “reading list” for the US Navy.
The basic thesis in Kendi’s book is that you can’t be “not racist;” you are either racist or “anti-racist.” To be “anti-racist,” you have to follow Kendi’s sacraments; otherwise, you are a racist. Why the head of any of the military services would endorse any hare-brained theory that required the service to divide itself into privileged and shunned groups, based on nothing more than skin color, is beyond me. Indiana Republican Jim Banks had some hard and pointed questions for Gilday. My colleague Jeff Charles has the rundown on the fireworks.
Here is the video.
I don’t want to get on too much of a bandwagon about this, but when Gilday insists that making it the policy of the US Navy to allow officers, petty officers, and sailors to be degraded and humiliated based on race will create a stronger and more cohesive force, he is either mentally deranged (I’m open to that excuse), trying to gaslight Congress and the American people and the Navy, or indulging in recreational pharmacology. Or any combination thereof. You can’t expect sailors who’ve been forced to sit through the bullsh** Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity classes (they aren’t called DIE for nothing) to work together cooperatively or to socialize off duty or to even care about the service that is telling them that their worth is limited to their skin color and sexual preferences and preferred pronouns.
Perhaps worse than Gilday claiming that he didn’t agree with everything in Kendi’s tome, then saying he’s read it, then denying he’d read or had “context” for the most inflammatory and highly publicized writings by Kendi, was this:
Visibly distraught, Gilday fired back:
“I am not going to sit here and defend cherry-picked quotes from somebody’s book,” he said. “This is a bigger issue than Kendi’s book. What this is really about is trying to paint the United States military, and the United States Navy as weak, as woke.”
He added that sailors had spent 341 days at sea last year with minimal port visits — the longest deployments the Navy has done, he said.
“We are not weak. We are strong,” Gilday said.
Charitably, this is horsesh**. The US Navy, today, is not strong. It is essentially broken. As you recall, back in 2017, the US Navy might as well have been operating a bumper-car rink in the WestPac. The investigations were unanimous in faulting crappy leadership from the flag officer level down to petty officers. Sailors were not properly trained. Basic procedures that have been in place on men-o-war (or ‘them-o-war,’ if you don’t like gender-specific nouns) since the age of sail were not followed. If you are CNO and your sailors spent 341 days at sea in a calendar year and there is no shooting war on, you aren’t bragging about how tough they are; you are admitting how stupid and irresponsible you are.
Why Gilday thinks injecting virulent racism, coupled with a new type of “Red Guardism” that demands public self-abasement, and labels as racist anyone who disagrees with the noxious, racist ideology promoted by Kendi, into a high-pressure, zero-defects environment like a warship in a dangerous part of the world is useful, should be the subject of a Ph.D. thesis by some psychiatrist.
Add to that the disastrous Navy shipbuilding program, the lack of capacity in forward resupply bases, and a shortage of surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles that makes the US Navy in the Pacific essentially a one-shot Navy, and you have all you need for a resounding failure that will reorder the balance of power in the WestPac in a way from which we will never recover. If I know this from open-source reading, you can bet the Chinese, who seem to own or rent a substantial number of our bureaucrats, know it, too.
Getting beyond the poisonous poppycock spread by Kendi for fun and profit, there is a real cost to readiness that will potentially be paid in lives. The Navy and its sister services are at a point where our first encounters of the upcoming war with China will make Kasserine Pass and Savo Island and Task Force Smith look like the epitome of military efficiency. Though sown over the past decade, these seeds of these future defeats are reaching full bloom under guys like Gildray, who are much more political commissars than they are military leaders. One hopes that when it comes time for the bill to be paid, they are hauled before a vengeful tribunal to account for their promotion of a corrupt ideology over the welfare of their troops. And if they are dead, I hope a mob treats them how Charles II dealt with Oliver Cromwell.