Judicial Watch: Records Show Air Force Academy Instructional Materials Include Presentations on Critical Race Theory, White Privilege, and Black Lives Matter – Attacks American ‘Creation Myth’ of the Declaration of Independence
(Washington, D.C.) Judicial Watch announced today that it received 478 pages of records from the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), a component of the United States Department of Defense, which includes instructional materials and emails that address topics such as Critical Race Theory, “white privilege,” and Black Lives Matter.
Judicial Watch obtained these records as the result of a November 2022 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the Defense Department failed to respond to a request for Air Force Academy training material records on Critical Race Theory (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Defense (No. 1:22-cv-03510)).
The records include a PowerPoint presentation titled “Political Psychology, Lessons 32-33: Prejudice and Racism.” On a slide labeled “Race and Partisanship” is a bullet stating: “Opposition to interracial dating correlated with white partisanship after Obama’s election despite being unrelated to party identification in previous decades.”
The presentation includes a set of tables with the headline “White Americans’ Support for Democratic Candidates for President as a Function of Old-Fashioned Racism.” Another slide depicts tables which purport to show “Correlations between Republican Party Identification and Old-Fashioned Racism among White Americans.”
A slide titled “Racialization of Public Policy” includes a bullet stating “They [pollsters] found that the image of a black man greatly impacted responses among Trump supporters.” The next bullet asserts:
After exposed to the black racial cue, Trump voters:
Were less supportive of housing assistance programs
Expressed higher levels of anger that some people receive government assistance
Were more likely to say that individuals who receive assistance are to blame for their economic situation.
Another slide purports to show a chart depicting “White Identity among White Americans,” with the subtitle “How Important Is Being White to Your Identity?”
Additional slides are titled “How White Identity Shapes Politics” and contain tables purporting to show:
- Effect of White Identity on Empathy toward People of Color
- Effect of White Identity on Support for Voter ID Laws
- Effect of White Identity on Support for Political Violence
A slide titled “Race and Politics” includes an image of President Obama with the bullet “Because the President is the leader of his respective party – Obama signified a massive shift in image of the stereotypical Democrat,” followed by the bullet: “The Democratic party became branded as the party of Black Americans.”
A “CRT Talking Points” document prepared at the direction of the Air Force Academy Superintendent includes the question “Does CRT teach cadets to hate our country?” The scripted “academic answer” to the question asserts, “much of what is ‘divisive’ [about CRT] is that it’s hard for people to hear the words ‘white supremacy’ without feeling defensive, even though that is the academically correct way to talk about most of American history.”
The records include a transcript of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s June 23, 2021, congressional testimony in which he tells Rep. Matt Gaetz, “I don’t know what the issue of critical race theory is and what the relevance here in the department. We do not teach critical race theory. We don’t embrace critical race theory. And I think that’s a spurious conversation.”
Two weeks later, on July 7, 2021, Dean of Faculty Brigadier General Linell Letendre forwards to Superintendent Lieutenant General Richard Clark, Commander of Cadets Brigadier General Paul Moga, and others whose names are redacted, a Washington Post opinion piece written the previous day by USAFA Professor Lynne Chandler Garcia, titled “Why U.S. military academies should teach critical race theory.” Letendre adds a note promoting the piece:
My thanks to Dr. Chandler Garcia for putting into words what many of us have expressed to each other around the water coolers about the importance of teaching our cadets how to think. [Emphasis in original] As future leaders of the profession of arms, we owe them nothing less.
An August 13, 2021, email exchange between academy officials details hosting a virtual discussion with Stephen Brookfield, author of “Teaching Race: How to Help Students Unmask and Challenge Racism,” to USAFA faculty members. One official raises concerns over Brookfield’s discussion topics related to Critical Race Theory.
In a separate email chain, a person whose name is redacted sends the Brookfield event information to Letendre: “In case this slipped your notice, I just wanted to make sure you and the dean were aware that the [redacted] book group initiative has the potential to further the CRT storm.”
The dean replies, “Thanks for the SA [situational awareness]. No concerns. We need to keep doing the right things to prepare and develop faculty.” Forty-three faculty members signed up for Brookfield’s talk.
Another presentation discusses the teachings of Brookfield and has the headline “The (White) Elephant in the Room” and bullets which are partially obscured.
A slide in the series has the title “Team Teaching” and includes the bullet: “Allows you to … Demonstrate how to engage in difficult conversations in a way focused on behaviors not personhood, & on learned white supremacy not essential moral differences or failings.” Another bullet states “Allows you to … Facilitate racial affinity groups.”
Another slide is titled “The Fatigue of WWW – Witnessing White Woke-ness.”
An additional slide proposes:
A calculus of understanding amongst Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) who have negotiated the dynamics of structural racism all their lives & are tired of WITNESSING ‘WOKENESS’ in White people coming to new racial awareness. [Emphasis in original]
One of the Brookfield slides is titled, “Hard Truths I’ve Learned as a White Instructor/Leader” and contains bullets such as “I MUST assume that for students and colleagues of color, EVERYTHING is seen through the lens of race. For them, NOTHING is ‘race free’.” And, “I MUST acknowledge my own racist behavior when it’s pointed out to me – not to try to ‘explain’ it away, not protest my innocence.” [Emphases in original]
Still another Brookfield slide contains the bullets “I MUST NEVER ask people of color to teach me about racism – figuring out what whites should do is MY responsibility” and “I MUST NEVER ‘confess’ my racism so as to seek ‘absolution’ from BIPOC students & colleagues.” [Emphases in original]
Among the works written by Brookfield listed in the bibliography is “Creating an Anti-Racist White Identity.”
A slide from Lesson 28 in Behavioral Science 362 is titled “What is CRT?” and includes:
- Recognize that race is not biologically reality, but socially constructed and socially significant
- Helps us understand the legacy of racism and how embedded within social institutions
- Sees racism as systemic
Another slide in the presentation discusses the 1619 Project that argues that America was not founded in 1776.
A presentation, which has no specification as to whether it is intended for faculty or the students, is titled “Free Speech in the Military” and has a slide labeled “The Commie Cadet,” which includes images of West Point cadet Spencer Rapone at his West Point graduation ceremony showing the inside of his cap in which is written “Communism will win,” and one of him wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt under his uniform.
A presentation, apparently intended for the cadets, is titled “American Political System & Theory, Lesson 25-31 Law & Democracy” and a slide containing a list of information under “Things to Know,” which describes Critical Race Theory as: “Critical Race Theory studies racism as a social construct” and “Proponents say learning the history of racism is crucial to addressing inequities.”
Lesson 14 of a Social Sciences presentation is titled “What does Race have to do with Security?” The next slide, titled “Critical Race Theory,” provides several bullet points of “definitions” of CRT, such as:
A collection of critical stances against the existing legal order from a race-based point of view, (Brooks 1994)”
The view that the law and legal institutions are inherently racist and that race itself, instead of being biologically grounded and natural, is a socially constructed concept that is used by white people to further their economic and political interests at the expense of people of color. (Curry 2009).
Another slide discusses the “‘Myth’ of American Peoplehood” with one bullet claiming: “The U.S. too has a creation myth: The Declaration of Independence declares that all men have rights endowed by their Creator; Ideas of social contracts forged in a state of nature.”
In the same Social Sciences presentation is a slide titled: “Lesson 16: Black Lives Matter – Causes and Context.” A bloc of slides in the presentation discusses BLM, with one slide alleging: “White privilege doesn’t mean your life hasn’t been hard. It means that your skin color isn’t one of the things making it harder.” [Emphases in original]
Various slides promoting BLM follow, including one depicting a white police officer holding a sign pointing to a black man, asking, “Is his life worth less than mine?” and a white woman holding a similar sign pointing to a black woman.
Numerous slides depict alleged police brutality against blacks, one of which states “Nearly 90% of documented force used by FPD [Ferguson, MO Police Department] was used against African Americans.”
“The Air Force is fomenting racialism, racial separatism and segregation, and anti-white hatred among its rising young leadership at the Air Force Academy.” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These documents show the Biden Defense Department is teaching these cadets on how to hate America using repackaged revolutionary Marxist propaganda.”
Judicial Watch lawsuits and FOIA requests on Critical Race Theory and other leftist extremism are extensive:
In March 2023, records from the U.S. Department of Defense showed the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) has made race and gender instruction a top priority in the training of cadets.
In July 2022, Judicial Watch sued the Department of Defense for records related to the United States Naval Academy (USNA) implementing Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the training of naval recruits
In August 2022, Judicial Watch’s client David Flynn, who was removed from his position as head football coach after exercising his right as a parent-citizen to raise concerns about Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter propaganda in his daughter’s seventh-grade history class, settled his civil rights lawsuit against his former employers at Dedham Public Schools. As part of the settlement, the Superintendent of Dedham Public Schools, Michael Welch, acknowledged “the important and valid issues” raised by Flynn and specific changes in school policies because of Flynn’s complaint, including banning teachers from promoting Black Lives Matter to students online.
Also in August, Judicial Watch sued on behalf of a Minneapolis taxpayer over a teachers’ contract that provides discriminatory job protections to certain racial minorities. The lawsuit was filed against the superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools, the Minneapolis Public Schools, and the Minneapolis Board of Education for violating the Equal Protection Guarantee of the Minnesota Constitution.
In June, Judicial Watch received records revealing Critical Race Theory instruction at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. One training slide contains a graphic titled “MODERN-DAY SLAVERY IN THE USA.” [Emphasis in original]
Records produced in April 2022 from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) show the government agency responsible for regulating credit unions required “inclusion and unconscious bias training” for the agency’s employees and contractors and offered advice on how to recognize and address alleged “microaggressions” in the workplace.
Records produced in February 2022 from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) included a PowerPoint presentation titled “Race and gender based microaggressions” that was used for training at the organization.
Two sets of records obtained by Judicial Watch in November 2021 related to the teaching of Critical Race Theory in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), Maryland’s largest school system, included a training course with information about a book titled “Antiracist Baby” that introduces the youngest readers to “the concept and power of antiracism,” and says it’s the “perfect gift” for “ages baby to age 3.”
Records from Loudoun County, VA, obtained in October 2021 revealed a coordinated effort to advance Critical Race Theory initiatives in Loudoun County public schools despite widespread public opposition.
A training document provided to Judicial Watch in October 2021 by a whistleblower in the Westerly School District of Rhode Island, details how its schools are using teachers to push Critical Race Theory in classrooms. The training course was assembled by the left-leaning Highlander Institute and cites quotes from Bettina Love, from whom the Biden administration distanced itself publicly after her statements equating “whiteness” to oppression.
Records produced in June 2021 by Wellesley Public Schools in Massachusetts confirmed the use of “affinity spaces” that divide students and staff based on race as a priority and objective of the school district’s “diversity, equity and inclusion” plan. The school district also admitted that between September 1, 2020, and May 17, 2021, it created “five distinct” segregated spaces.
Heavily redacted records obtained by Judicial Watch in May 2021 from Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) in Maryland included documents related to their $454,000 “Anti-racist system audit” and Critical Race Theory classes. Students were taught that the phrase “Make America Great Again” was an example of “covert white supremacy.”