A giant Black Lives Matter (BLM) flag was allowed to be prominently displayed at the barracks of a U.S. naval installation in Africa, according to an allegation by a military whistleblower to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR).
The complaint was submitted through a whistleblower complaint page set him by the senator and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) for service members to report examples of bias against conservatives in the military.
The whistleblower wrote that while deployed to a combat zone in Africa, there was a giant Black Lives Matter flag displayed at a U.S. naval installation. The whistleblower, who name was withheld, wrote:
In the barracks area of the installation, a massive BLM flag had been hung from the third story of the barracks, draping over both the second and first rows under it. The flag was probably fifty feet long, by fifteen feet wide. In addition to this, there were many service members that were wearing BLM t-shirts that sported additional BLM slogans, doo rags, and hats, all with BLM plastered on them. I am opposed to the BLM movement for many reasons, and seeing a constant reminder of this group daily, was offensive and distracting to me, especially in a combat zone. I also feel that it is a very politically driven and polarizing group, that has no business being advertised on a military base. There were also multiple people that I worked with, that felt the same way as I did about the group. I asked an individual that had influence on the base and with the base commander, why this was being allowed. He said it was the view of the commander that this movement was not political, and non-partisan, therefore, he had no issue with its advertisement. I asked him then if it would be ok if a hung a massive make America great again trump 2020 flag, and wore hats and memorabilia for the MAGA movement. He told me that would not be allowed, as that would be a very political statement, and cause a lot of offense to some people. I told him this seemed very one sided and hypocritical, and he said it was the commanders [sic] decision, and not his. I share this because I don’t think it was right then, or now, that there is such a double standard, when it comes to these issues. I felt powerless to affect any change, and just had to try and let it go and deal with it everyday.
There is no date for the complaint given. However, under current Pentagon policy updated July 2020, the Black Lives Matter flag would not be allowed to be displayed anywhere on a military installation.
This was one of about 30 other complaints Cotton submitted for the record during a recent Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.
Cotton said during the hearing he and Crenshaw have received “hundreds” of complaints since they set up the web page just a few weeks ago.
The other complaints Cotton submitted contain instances where soldiers were forced to watch videos of systemic racism.
A Hispanic 0fficer in the Marine Reserves said he attended a training session on police brutality, white privilege, and systemic racism.
“The discussion was dominated by high ranking (and white) Colonels and a younger junior Hispanic officer, who seemed extremely well prepared for the session with numerous articles to cite for the evidence of the military being systemically racist. I would later learn that the junior officer is a former DNC staffer,” he wrote.
The Marine said when he and other racial minorities attempted to offer dissenting points of view, they were ignored. “Coupled with the clear religious discrimination, it was the most shocking event I’ve been involved in during my over decade of government service. The sessions effect had drastic negative effect on unit morale, with some officers electing to drop to the [Individual Ready Reserve] as opposed to continuing with the unit. I do not know if they are willing to come forward as well,” he wrote.
He added that his unit encouraged turning in anyone who believed that “All Lives Matter.”
Numerous others complained that in the training they witnessed during a “stand down” on extremism ordered by the defense secretary, there were only examples of right-wing extremism and white supremacy but no left-wing extremism or mention of Black Lives Matter or Antifa. Another whistleblower wrote:
As a member of the US military I have never seen the level of political bias as I now see in the US military. … I witnessed the bias in the extremism stand-down day ordered by the SECDEF. Case in point are the extremism case examples (from the DoD guide) which contained only right-wing examples. There were no examples of extremism from left-wing (Antiffa) or Islamic Jihadism (Al Queda or ISIS). I seem to remember Major Nidal Hassan killing over 10 service members at Fort Hood over 10 years ago but evidently that this kind of extremism does not appear to be a concern anymore. I also remember Antiffa led riots over the summer 2020 which caused billions of property damage and killed several people.
He added, referring to the U.S. Space Force Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier — who was fired recently for comments warning about the spread of Marxism in the military;
I noticed that the military tolerated partisan speech from military members reacting to Tucker Carlson while using their official military social media accounts but immediately disciplined the LTC Lohmeier for his personal views on critical race theory. The military leadership seems only concerned about the events on January 6 and linking them to white supremacy for political reasons.
One soldier said there are “regular” Equal Opportunity (EO) meetings on his base and he attended one where an EO officer came out and said, “All you whites need to [shut] the hell up and listen to your black counterparts.”
One Department of Defense civilian and retired U.S. Air Force officer was counseled for disrespecting Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after he told a colleague at work in a private conversation that he did not “appreciate the new SECDEF accusing the DoD workforce of ‘extremism’ and of being ‘the enemy in our ranks.'”
“Clearly an effort to suppress my first amendment rights. I did not disrespect SECDEF. I stand by what I said,” he added.
Another service member told of an enlisted senior leader who had 20-30 enlisted personnel meet at an off-based location out of uniform to discuss race. She allegedly told them that they needed to support Black Lives Matter because it is “morally right.”
At another discussion on race, a black male soldier who has “increasingly vocalized his misgivings with not only the U.S. military but with white people unilaterally,” allegedly wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the logo and title of the Black Panther Party, according to a whistleblower.
“The FBI designates the Black Panther Party literally as an ‘extremist’ organization, yet it was made clear in our discussion that those aren’t the extremists we’re concerned with and that there’s no reason to even bring it up in conversation. We’ve created a woke environment in which politically-minded people within our organization can take bold, subversive actions like this without even the thought of consequence. In fact, they know the opposite is true,” the whistleblower said.
Cotton said in a statement on Thursday, “Secretary Austin and I agree that core tenets of Critical Race Theory have no place in our military, which must remain an institution that welcomes patriotic citizens of every race and background.”
“I want to echo the Secretary’s comment that servicemembers who encounter any anti-American beliefs, or training which singles out troops based on the color of their skin, or teaches that one race discriminates while others do not, or that America or the military is a fundamentally racist place, or that one race is inherently privileged while others are inherently oppressed, ought to report them up the chain of command, the Inspector General, or directly to me through the whistleblower website hosted by Congressman Crenshaw,” he added.