Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz got roasted by a top U.S. military leader over critical race theory

Florida rep Matt Gaetz got roasted by a top US military leader over critical race theory
Screenshot via CSPAN

Today, top military brass had to spend the afternoon at the House Armed Services Committee defending their approach to addressing racism and extremism within the military's own ranks from Republicans who seem to be very concerned that learning about America’s very racist past is now a bad thing.

One of the better moments from the hearing came when Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, who is also the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified by putting a fire hose to the incredibly fake outrage from two Florida congressional Republicans, Michael Waltz and Matt Gaetz.

Waltz, a former Army officer representing Florida’s District 6, spent his allotted time getting visibly agitated that cadets at West Point now have the opportunity to learn about things like critical race theory and even “woke” topics like “understanding whiteness and white rage.” Gaetz, a District 1 congressman who is still under investigation for sex crimes with a minor, then piled on with similar complaints, arguing that officers told him privately that the critical race theory classes were counterproductive and “harmful.”

Using a tone of voice typically reserved for dads who just found out their teen dented the minivan, Milley responded to Gaetz and Waltz in a stern two-minute takedown.

“I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a Communist,” responded Milley. “So what is wrong with understanding … the country which we are here to defend?”

“I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned and noncommissioned officers, of being, quote, ‘woke’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there,” Milley continued.

At one point the camera cuts to Gaetz, who looks like he just realized that Joel Greenberg’s Venmo transactions were in fact public.

This article originally appeared in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

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