The phrase “Make America Great Again” is an example of white supremacy, according to a controversial Army diversity program handout from which the Army has since distanced itself.
The handout was published by Breitbart News and was part of the materials sent out for a diversity and inclusion sessions at Redstone Arsenal Army Base in Alabama.
The material was discussed in a July 6 email from the Army Missile & Aviation Center’s Equal Employment Opportunity Manager Chaney P. Pickard to employees at the center inviting them to attend upcoming diversity and inclusion events, according to Breitbart.
The handout that equated the slogan “Make America Great Again” to white supremacy was an attachment to the email.
The handout divided actions into “Overt White Supremacy (Socially Unacceptable)” and what the handout called “Convert White Supremacy (Socially Accetable).” (The misspellings of “covert” and “acceptable” were in the original.)
Overt white supremacist actions included lynching, hate crimes, the “N-word,” swastikas, neo-Nazis, the KKK, racist jokes and racial slurs.
White supremacist actions labeled “convert” included the MAGA phrase, “Calling the Police on Black People,” “weaponized whiteness,” “Eurocentric curriculum,” “Education funding from property taxes,” and dozens more, including the phrase “all lives matter.”
The handout said that the image was adapted from one published by the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, and the more recent adaptation credited to an organization called “The Conscious Kid.”
A U.S. Army employee on Monday sent an email invite to likely thousands of military and civilian members for a U.S. Army ‘Operation Inclusion’ listening tour, which included a graphic that said saying “MAGA” is evidence of white supremacy. The Army says it was “sent in error.” pic.twitter.com/NUvm0lMVMh
— Kristina Wong ?? (@kristina_wong) July 9, 2020
Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama blasted the handout and demanded an investigation into who sent it.
“Heads should roll,” Brooks said in a statement on his website.
Equating the slogan of President Donald Trump with white supremacy, and doing so months before the November election, violates the Hatch Act provisions barring federal employees from playing politics, Brooks said.
“U.S. Army personnel have violated the Hatch Act and any number of military regulations by distributing materials that, among other offensive things, labels president Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ slogan or ‘Celebration of Columbus Day’ as white supremacist,” Brooks said.
Heads should roll. I ask the U.S. Army to investigate this matter and send me a report of (a) who was involved in these Hatch Act violations, (b) whether they will be prosecuted pursuant to the Hatch Act, and (c) whether they will be terminated for their illegal conduct.
— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) July 8, 2020
“ALL U.S. Army civilian and uniformed personnel who drafted, approved or sent this racist and politically partisan email, using government resources, should be prosecuted for their Hatch Act violations and summarily fired for blatantly and illegally injecting themselves into partisan political activities on government time using federal taxpayer money,” Brooks’ statement said.
Brooks said the Army “is not the place for political indoctrination or reeducation experimentation.”
The Army recalled the handout and issued a statement, according to Brietbart.
“The slides – copied from a non-government website – included a word cloud with phrases that were intended to spark conversation; however, the document was predecisional and inappropriate for the discussion. The unapproved pages were in no way used as part of the ‘Your Voice Matters’ listening tour sessions,” the statement said, noting the incident is being investigated.
“The Army does not condone the use of phrases that indicate political support. The Army is and will continue to remain an apolitical organization,” the statement said.
According to Breitbart, Brooks said that in addition to violating federal laws, the handout was “overt racism by the people involved.”
“In my judgment, what happened here is symptomatic of a much bigger problem that America has where people are, for partisan political gain purposes, trying to divide us based on race, which is something that none of us have any control over,” the statement said.
“We’re born with that attribute which is wholly unrelated to our character, our conduct as people, and I would hope that those who are trying to divide us by race will ultimately be held accountable for the racial division that they themselves are causing.”
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