“Welcome to ‘White Grievance Weekly,’ the news magazine of the patriotic and pasty.
“On this show, loyal viewers of OEN – One Ethnicity Network – learn about the never-ending efforts to chap the hides of God-fearing Anglo Americans.
“Last week’s episode we devoted to the dark day 54 years ago when the Supreme Court legalized race-mixing at the altar. It’s been all downhill from there.
“This week’s subject: diversity training in the U.S. military . . .”
Sorry, I can’t watch any more.
Some TV networks need to get a life. And some political movements need to figure out other reasons to exist.
On race matters, right-wing networks are positively aflame with artificial umbrage.
A recent analysis found that since March, Fox News commentators had uttered the words “critical race theory” 1,300 times – wordplay meant to alarm when triggered by Donald Trump’s tweets.
Critical race theory – so scary — is the longtime analytical perspective that sees racism, dating back to slavery, as the fulcrum of America’s political shifts and most of its inner strife.
Said analysis doesn’t sound scary to me. It sounds logical.
Look at the war that almost tore this nation apart and that some continue to fight to this day. Look at the death struggle waged by segregationists.
One hundred and fifty years later, look at the right’s heroes and sounding boards. Look at how one major party wraps itself in whiteness.
And look at what the right finds to construct into sky-is-falling issues, like diversity training in the military.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R.-Ark., reportedly a hankerer for the GOP presidential nomination, has sounded storm sirens about this.
Cotton cited reports of “plummeting morale” and racial strife because the military has implemented training aimed at better race relations. (Point of fact: Said training preceded the Biden administration.)
Cotton cited “unexpected retirements and separations based on these trainings alone.”
Really? People enlisted to face ISIS and the Taliban can’t endure a Powerpoint?
Maybe they simply can’t face the hatred embedded in their bones.
Cotton intones that the republic cannot endure without someone like this. I say: Hit the road, Jack. Join the Proud Boys. Since early January, they have attrition issues.
Not to make this all about race: The training in question also is aimed at making the military more hospitable to difference in general, including the service of women and LGBTQ individuals.
Not surprisingly, complaints of “woke-ness” ring out.
Whatever it takes to end sexual assault and harassment should be part of the military’s mission.
Back to racism: Not that bigotry knows any particular area code, but the New York Times reported this:
The diversity training efforts are driven “by a desire to recruit and retain more Americans outside an increasingly narrow list of ZIP codes largely in the South and West.”
I’ve lived in the South and was born in the West. I can vouch for lots of goodness and good people. However, I acknowledge the overriding concern, and it has nothing to do with regions.
The military represents us. It is hired by us. As with government itself, it is us.
If our policy is to do our best as a nation to provide equal treatment under law and equal opportunity for all, then the military should do it, too.
This should not be controversial, except for political schemers and on-air programmers who cater to indignant people lacking color.
A spokesman of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the Times that anyone who steps forward to serve this nation in the military should be able to do it “free of hate and fear and discrimination. We owe you that.”
Free of hate? Or free to hate?
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.