The top officer in the United States military tied the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to "white rage" and defended the military's adoption of critical race theory during a congressional hearing on Wednesday.
Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was widely lambasted after he defended the military's use of critical race theory when asked to respond to Republican lawmakers’ questions on the theory being a part of military training.
Milley said during the hearing:
"I’ll obviously have to get much smarter on whatever the theory is. But, I do think it’s important actually for those of us in uniform to be open minded and be widely read and the United States Military Academy is a university and it is important that we train and we understand– and I want to understand white rage and I’m white, and I want to understand it.
"So, 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. I want to maintain an open mind here and I do want to analyze it. It’s important that we understand that because our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and guardians, they come from the American people. So, it is important that the leaders, now and in the future, do understand it.
"I’ve read Mao Tse-tung. I’ve read–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 here to defend? And, I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned and non-commissioned officers of being ‘woke’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there."
Army Lt. Col. (Ret.) Tony Shaffer tweeted: “Who ever thought that the career Army general would finish his service and forever be seen through the lens of his Woke comment: ‘I want to understand white rage, and I’m white…’? General MacArthur would be proud!”
During his Thursday broadcast, Fox News host Tucker Carlson unloaded on Milley: "Mark Milley is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He didn’t get that job because he’s brilliant or because he’s brave or because the people who know him, respect him. He is not and they definitely don’t. Milley got the job because he knows who to suck up to and he’s more than happy to do it. Feed him a script and he will read it… Hard to believe that man wears a uniform. He’s that unimpressive. Notice he never defined white rage and we should know what it is. What is white rage?… It’s one of those diseases that only affects people with a certain melanin level. It’s a race-specific illness. That’s what Mark Milley had to learn by reading about it. That’s why he’s making his soldiers read it too… (laughing) He’s not just a pig. He’s stupid!… Thanks, Mark Milley. We appreciate your contribution to our generation’s scientific racism. By the way, have you read anything recently about winning wars?"
Florida Republican Rep. Mike Waltz tweeted after the hearing in response to Milley: "Our enemy’s bullets don’t care about the color of our skin, just the flag on our shoulder. Critical Race Theory is incredibly dangerous and destructive to morale and unity — and SHOULD NOT be taught to our military’s future leaders. Period."
Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz called for the banning of critical race theory legislatively: "Our military leadership denied teaching Critical Race Theory… right before admitting to teaching Critical Race Theory… and then defending Critical Race Theory. Now, we must legislatively prohibit CRT to protect our service members from this hate."
Many questioned what the “white rage” was that Milley was referring to.
Newsmax host Steve Cortes tweeted: “I’m a minority in America and I’ve never witnessed it. Not at all.”
Milley's remarks even prompted the term “white rage” to trend on Twitter on Thursday.
Conservative writer Carmine Sabia tweeted, “White rage? What an embarrassment to our military and our nation. Everything has to be redone. Wokeness has infiltrated our military and it will weaken it the way it has weakened manhood in the rest of society.”
Journalist Kyle Becker said it was not only unusual but "sick" that the nation’s top military officer would accuse unarmed protesters of an “assault” driven by “white rage” in the “absence of any linkage whatsoever between racism & the contested election.”
The White House fully supported Milley’s remarks. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called them “powerful” during an interview on MSNBC: "I thought they were hugely powerful and hugely powerful from him, right? And, look, as a white woman myself, I think it’s important for us all to be self-reflective about what we’re teaching our children and how we’re engaging with the next generation and acknowledge that we have some dark history in our country. Racism still exists. There’s a dark history of slavery in our country and it’s important our kids know about that," Psaki said.