t’s impossible to be loyal to both DEI and America. In the summer of the devastating Black Lives Matter race riots, West Point, like many other parts of the military, unveiled a DEI agenda. The DEI components included creating a DEI Fellow and a Diversity and Inclusion Studies Minor. Connecting the DEI minor to the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership elevated it beyond an ethnic studies category and made it a strong expectation for cadets looking to understand how to lead men, women and assorted ‘other’ gender identities.
Creating a DEI minor at West Point was the latest move by a woke military brass to define leadership in terms of the willingness of officers to embrace woke leftist politics. From West Point cadets to serving officers, the message is that leaders cannot lead unless they understand the different perspectives of the intersectional rainbow of race, gender and sexuality, and that they will not understand it unless they view those around them purely in terms of identity politics.
Simply, without DEI, it is impossible to be a leader and to accomplish any assigned mission. According to West Point’s defense of its DEI minor:
“First, the ability to lead in today’s Army requires an understanding of the diverse nature of American and coalition soldiers and civilians as well as the complexity of issues associated with different groups, races, ethnicities, cultures, religions, and social classes, among many other demographic factors associated with diversity.”
Is an understanding of identity politics really the first requirement of Army leadership? It is now.
Beyond the usual divisive tenets of identity politics, what does DEI in the military really mean? As West Point’s DEI minor shows, it’s impossible to be loyal to both DEI and America.
The DEI minor includes a variety of courses, among them SS392: ‘Politics-Race, Gender, Sexuality.’ The course sounds typical of the political indoctrination that has come to litter college and high school courses except that this one will “consider how the contemporary issues that relate to race, gender, and sexuality apply to the Army and how they impact the Army officer.”
It’s a seminar that introduces “the concepts of race, gender, and sexuality in the American political system,’ but warns that “emphasis will be placed on the inherent inequalities found within the structures, rules, and processes of the American political system.”
The course doesn’t just emphasize “inequalities,” but “inherent inequalities” that are a defining part of the structure of the nation. Potential examples would include the myth of “systemic racism” and similar conspiracy theories suggesting that America is rigged against minorities. The difference between “inequalities” and “inherent inequalities” is the difference between liberalism and Marxism, as well as the difference between equality and equity.
If America’s political system is indeed suffering from “inherent inequalities,” then the only remedy is to transform that system. That is to remake the Constitution. That treasonous proposition clashes with the Army’s oath of enlistment, which is to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Which one is West Point training its graduates to defend: the Constitution or DEI?
What does it mean to defend the Constitution and what does “Duty, Honor, Country” mean if America is defined by, as a course in the DEI minor argues, inherently unequal systems?
And what does it mean when the Army asks its future leaders to define leadership in terms that are fundamentally opposed to the Constitution and the country? Whom are Army officers meant to be loyal to, the terms of their oath or the woke politics that they are being indoctrinated with?
Gen. Mark Milley, who had come up through the Army, famously replied to a congressional question about teaching critical race theory at West Point, by arguing that, “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.”
American military leaders, unlike Russian or Chinese ones, could read Marx and Lenin, but they didn’t have to accept their propositions, like the “inherent inequalities” in capitalist societies, as true. The fundamental difference with wokeness is that the military’s future leaders are obligated to at least outwardly accept treasonous leftist ideas like America’s inherent inequalities as not only true, but as the basis for their entire philosophy of leadership rooted in DEI concepts.
And those concepts are fundamentally hostile to the concept of America.
At the heart of the debate is the question of what does military leadership really look like? There are two visions of leadership: the traditional one that is grounded in personal character and the military sciences, and the other which is indistinguishable from a college bureaucrat, a social worker or an urban politician. If military leadership first means understanding every possible issue involving “races, ethnicities, cultures, religions,” then how does it even differ from them?
The Army has specific missions and objectives, but DEI is a self-licking ice cream cone. Its only mission is that of most belief systems which is to convince people to adopt them. Like self-help programs and motivational speakers, DEI embeds itself in institutions by claiming that it helps them to better accomplish their goals, but, as a recent lawsuit against West Point’s racially discriminatory admissions practices contends, there’s no evidence that it actually works.
DEI does not help institutions accomplish goals, it makes itself into the institution’s goal and precludes all other goals and the ability to accomplish them. Like a virus, DEI infects an institution and transforms its mission into DEI indoctrination. But to do that, DEI first has to convince the institution that its old objectives, like “Duty, Honor, Country” or to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” are wrong because they violate its beliefs. That is what is happening to the United States military.
That’s why “emphasis will be placed on the inherent inequalities found within the structures, rules, and processes of the American political system” in the DEI minor.
DEI is a foreign and alien creed. Its basic views and principles are hostile to those of the United States. Any institution that adopts it as a qualification for leadership is betraying the country.
When the United States Military Academy adopts it, it’s also betraying its motto and purpose. You can either have “Duty, Honor, Country” or Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Not both. West Point has chosen DEI and by doing so its leaders have abandoned duty, honor and country. ✪