Marsha Blackburn was halted in her tracks when she tried to get two measures through the Senate that would have “de-wokeified” the DOD and allowed military parents to have a say in their children’s education.
Senator Blackburn (R-Tenn.) proposed two amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week. One of them would have given control to military parents concerning what their children are being taught in school. The other would have restricted funding that is given to the Department of Defense (DOD) for “woke” diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Senate Democrats on the Armed Services Committee crushed her efforts to get the measures passed on Wednesday.
“The U.S. military must focus on confronting the new ‘axis of evil’ – Communist China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. These regimes do not care how woke our military is or what our soldiers’ pronouns are,” Blackburn told Fox News Digital in an interview.
“Pentagon leaders should be spending their time learning lessons about their disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, not promoting critical race theory and wokeism. When our brave men and women are fighting on the battlefield, their children must be protected from government-funded indoctrination. These proposals are not controversial. Democrats should be happy to support them and help refocus the energy and effort at the Defense Department where it belongs — on fighting our adversaries,” she stated.
“Pentagon leaders should be spending their time learning lessons about their disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, not promoting critical race theory and wokeism.”
— P.K. Hathorn (@irisheku) June 17, 2022
The Biden administration and the military have been pushing woke policies at every turn. Republicans have excoriated the military for enacting new diversity and inclusion initiatives. They contend those “woke” concepts are weakening the military’s core mission of protecting the country and are leaving us vulnerable to our enemies.
Former Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby has dismissed concerns by the GOP and conservatives over the issue, claiming that the argument that “wokeness” in the military is “driving a stake through a straw man.” He asserts that diversity and inclusion actually make the military stronger.
"I think a lot of it is driving a stake through a strawman" — Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby on Fox News' concerns about "wokeness" in the military pic.twitter.com/fWc9tMM0b8
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 30, 2022
The first amendment proposed by Blackburn is called “Stop Experimenting With Military Children.” It asserts that parents should be the focal point in their children’s education, “not woke teachers.” Blackburn recounted examples of teachers at the DOD who claim it is “appropriate” to hide a child’s gender transition from his or her parents.
The amendment put forth by Blackburn would have mandated that the DOD inform or notify parents of “any matter relating to their child’s mental, emotional or physical health or well-being.” It would also have ensured that they were informed of the healthcare that their child, or minor dependents, receive.
The second amendment, “Keeping Our Military Focused On Lethal Threats,” cuts right to the heart of the “wokeism” and diversity insanity that plagues the DOD and the State Department currently. It would have forced the military to focus on “creating the most lethal fighting force on planet Earth,” and eschew leftist agendas.
Rather than travel to Japan to strengthen our alliance to confront threats from Communist China, the Biden State Department is focused on diversity. https://t.co/EiO8RcBc0J
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) June 16, 2022
“Instead, Joe Biden’s military leaders are secretly attempting to turn our brave war fighters into social justice warriors,” language accompanying the text asserts.
The secretary of defense would have been required to brief Congress on spending related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives per the amendment. Congress would also have been empowered to wield the power of the purse to keep the DOD in line regarding spending. It would have blocked the agency from using funding as a “blank check” for DEI spending.
Blackburn cited a letter from Defense Secretary Mark Milley to Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who is the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, that showed the military spent 5,889,082 man-hours on climate change and DEI activities.
The Air Force also spent $68 million on DEI initiatives in 2021 according to the DOD budget.
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