Just in time for Memorial Day, on Saturday The New York Times editorial board accused the United States military of racism in a piece titled, “Why Does The U.S. Military Celebrate White Supremacy?”
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman tweeted: “On a solemn day for remembering those that have given their lives for our country fighting against tyranny and subjugation, the NYT has more than a million possible stories of the ultimate sacrifice by American patriots that they could tell. But they don’t … The Department of Defense is the most diverse meritocracy in the country and the most powerful force for good in world history. We have many stories of valor still waiting to be told this Memorial Day weekend.”
Instead they chose to attack the US military – the most diverse meritocracy in the country and the most powerful force for good in world history. We have many stories of valor still waiting to be told this Memorial Day weekend.
— Jonathan Hoffman (@ChiefPentSpox) May 24, 2020
Retired Staff Sgt. Jones, a bomb technician who lost his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan and is a Fox News contributor, ripped the Times on Fox & Friends, saying:
It’s something that just stirs your blood a little bit, but then you have to realize who’s doing it; this is The New York Times … There are 365 days in a year. There has been 150 years since the Civil War. Why is the New York Times writing this on Memorial Day this year of all years? Because it’s relevance, right? It’s the opportunity to get people to talk about them.
And so right now, today, there’s a black man or woman in the Marine Corps, probably a first lieutenant who will become the very first black commandant of the Marine Corps, and that person has to wake up this morning knowing the goals and dreams ahead of him and that service loves them and wants them to succeed and read something about bases that were named probably before he or she was born for people that were alive 100 years before that, and worry about that? The New York Times tells them that’s what they should be focused on, that’s what they should care about rather than defending the country, or leading, or achieving some of the goals they have in front of them, and to me that’s offensive, that’s as bad as saying that coronavirus was warranted because we had slavery two hundred years ago. That’s not how we look at our country … I find it offensive and repulsive.
The Times, boasting that its editorial board “is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values,” began its polemic by citing the Charleston, S.C., massacre in 2015, saying it “dispensed with the fiction that the Confederate battle flag was an innocuous symbol of ‘Southern pride.,’” adding, “A murderer’s manifesto describing the killings as the start of a race war — combined with photos of the killer brandishing a pistol and a rebel flag — made it impossible to ignore the connection between Confederate ideology and a blood-drenched tradition of racial terrorism that dates back to the mid-19th century in the American South.”
After listing the places where the Confederate flag or images of Confederate generals had been removed, the Times wrote, “Institutions that could once have wrapped themselves in Confederacy ideology without consequence were put on notice public sentiment had shifted.” The Times declared, “Innocent intentions cannot obscure the truth that secessionists embarked on the Civil War to guarantee the rights of some human beings to own others, or the fact that the Confederate banner represents the same white supremacist values as — and is often displayed in tandem with ‘the Nazi swastika.”
Then the Times got to the heart of its attack: “This same toxic legacy clings to the 10 United States military installations across the South that were named for Confederate Army officers during the first half of the 20th century. Apologists often describe the names as a necessary gesture of reconciliation in the wake of the Civil War. In truth, the namings reflect a federal embrace of white supremacy that found its most poisonous expression in military installations where black servicemen were deliberately placed under the command of white Southerners — who were said to better ‘understand’ Negroes — and confined to substandard housing, segregated transportation systems and even ‘colored only’ seating in movie houses.”
The Times then pronounced, “The base names were part of a broad federal sellout to white supremacy that poisoned the whole of the United States.”
The Times concluded, “Military installations that celebrate white supremacist traitors have loomed steadily larger in the civic landscape since the country began closing smaller bases and consolidating its forces on larger ones. Bases named for men who sought to destroy the Union in the name of racial injustice are an insult to the ideals servicemen and women are sworn to uphold — and an embarrassing artifact of the time when the military itself embraced anti-American values. It is long past time for those bases to be renamed.”
Writing at Townhall, columnist Ellie Bufkin noted:
The editorial board of the Grey Lady then revises history entirely by characterizing the whole cause of the south in the Civil War as being driven by white supremacy and a desire to “keep black people in chains.” Referring to leaders of the Confederacy as “traitors” on multiple occasions, the board dismisses any defense which claims the base designations are historic marks that represent only the individuals, not ideologies …
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