Navy won’t remove “anti-American” books from reading list


Several Republican members of Congress have raised concerns about some of the books on the Navy’s 2021 Reading List, but Admiral Michael Gilday said he’s not making any changes.

Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., A Naval Reserve officer since 2021, initially sent a letter to Gilday on February 26 arguing that the views promoted in Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to be an Anti-Racist” about the Chief Naval Operations The Professional Reading Program (CNO-PRP) is “explicitly anti-American” and called on Gilday to explain the Navy’s decision to include him on the playlist or remove him.

Gilday responded to Banks in a March 12 letter obtained by Fox News saying he included Kendi’s book on the CNO-PRP list because “it speaks to the author’s personal journey to understanding the obstacles to a real inclusion, the deep shades of racism and racial inequalities “. He added that he wanted Navy sailors to achieve the same level of “self-reflection”.

Banks told Fox News in a statement that Gilday’s response “shows he’s not serious.”

“We are facing an existential foreign threat and our military is in desperate need of serious leadership,” the congressman said.

Gilday also said in his letter that some of the books on the CNO-PRP Reading List were recommendations from Task Force One Navy, which he contacted over the summer “to identify and remove racial barriers, improve inclusion efforts, create new professional development opportunities, and remove barriers to entering the Navy.

Representative Jim Banks argued that the ideas of “How to be an anti-racist”, written by Ibram X. Kendi (photo), are “explicitly un-American”.
Steven Senne / AP

“While I do not endorse all of the views of the books on this reading list, I believe exposure to a variety of ideas enhances the critical thinking skills of our sailors,” Gilday wrote. “My commitment to them is to continue to listen, to make their voices heard and to make the Navy a shining example of an organization centered on respect, inclusive of all.”

On March 11, Republican Representatives Doug Lamborn of Colorado and Vicky Hartzler of Missouri also sent a letter to the Admiral expressing concern over the inclusion of “How to Be an Anti-Racist” as well as “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle. Alexander and Jason Pierceson “Sexual Minorities and Politics”.

“All three books reinforce the idea that America is a confederation of identity categories of the oppressed and their oppressors rather than a common homeland of individual citizens united by common goals and loyalty to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution. Lamborn and Hartzler wrote to Gilday.

Representative Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, a Navy SEAL, also tweeted about the playlist on Sunday.

“I can’t believe this is happening to the Navy I love: pushing openly leftist propaganda onto their OFFICIAL playlist, threatening the long tradition of political neutrality,” he said. noted. “The chief of naval operations needs to correct this. “

A Navy official previously told Fox News that while not all of the views expressed in the NOC Reading List books are endorsed by the NOC or the Navy, the exposure to varying views improves the critical thinking skills of its sailors.

“How to be an anti-racist” was a New York Times No. 1 bestseller in the summer of 2020 and has been embraced by some schools and educators, advises on how people can be explicitly “anti-racist.” , as opposed to non-racist. The book “promises to become an essential book for anyone who wants to move beyond awareness of racism to the next step of helping to build a truly just and equitable society,” according to the website. of the author.

“The New Jim Crow,” which was also on the New York Times bestseller list, discusses mass incarceration in the United States and compares the country’s current criminal justice system to the Jim Crow laws that imposed racial segregation across the country until 1968. The book aims to tell “a truth that our nation has been reluctant to face,” reads the book’s website.

“Sexual Minorities and Politics: An Introduction” examines how people who identify as sexual minorities in the United States are represented and involved in their communities, according to a description posted on the Barnes & Noble website. It is “the first manual to provide students with an up-to-date, in-depth and comprehensive overview of the historical, political and legal status of sexual and gender minorities,” the description reads.

Banks, Lamborn and Hartzler, who are members of the House Armed Services Committee, make a similar argument that these books undermine faith in the United States and its institutions.

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