Recently, my Navy unit held an “extremism stand-down” training that was required of all Department of Defense personnel, as mandated by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin here. According to Vice Admiral John B. Nowell, Jr, the purpose of the training was “to ensure service members and civilian personnel clearly understand the damaging effects of extremism and begin developing more effective, sustainable ways to eliminate the corrosive impacts extremist activity can have on our Force.”
That aim, of course, is laudable. Our Navy is diverse, and we are strong, not because of the diversity, but because of the unity we have as Americans regardless of race. When I go to sea or deploy on land, I know that the mission depends on those around me: good men and women of all races committed to defending our nation. Ultimately, they have my back too, and my life depends on them. Any attack on one is an attack on all. Right up to this point, I am 100 percent with the Navy brass’ goal.
But that’s not actually what the training says. The training we received this month was rushed through in the wake of the Washington, D.C., riot. The course, which was given in a PowerPoint deck, included a slide defining “extremism.” One would expect a broad, catch-all phrase that makes it clear that any radical activity undermining our nation or promoting criminal activity would not be tolerable.
But that would be wrong. Extremism was narrowly defined as “supremacist” beliefs only. That’s it. Nothing else. Nothing about anarchism, nothing about any group that might be found on the left. Everyone in the room – of every race, incidentally – had a collective hush as the chilling effect of this clearly biased definition dawned on our team. As one person on our team put it, “Why does the DoD only care about one kind of extremism? Why do they refuse to talk about antifa? Why is it extremist to attack a Capitol police officer, but not extremist to attack a Portland police officer?”- READ MORE
Listen to the insightful Thomas Paine Podcast Below --