Earlier this month, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—General Mark Milley—went viral for his answer challenging the Republican hysteria over Critical Race Theory, an academic framework hinging on the stance that current racial inequalities often presented as happenstance are inextricably linked to centuries of overt racist violence and subjugation in America's past.
For months, Republican elected officials at the state and federal level have worked to ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory in public schools, despite little evidence that it's explicitly taught below the college level.
In his comments to Republicans at a recent House committee hearing, Milley said:
I do think it's important actually for those of us in uniform to be open minded and be widely read. And the United States Military academy is a university. And it is important that we train and we understand and I want to understand white rage, and I'm white. And I want to understand it. So what is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that?"
He concluded with:
"I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commission, non-commission officers of being 'woke' or something else because we're studying some theories that are out there."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, former President Donald Trump, in a lengthy statement from his Save America superPAC, called Milley's answer "yet another desperate ploy to impress the Radical Left and keep his job."
Trump then told Milley to resign:
"Gen. Milley ought to resign, and be replaced with someone who is actually willing to defend our Military from the Leftist Radicals who hate our Country and our Flag."
Ironically enough, Trump was the one who appointed Milley to his position as one of the top Defense Department officials.
Though Trump now says Milley's "greatest fear is upsetting the woke mob," he said in 2018:
"I am pleased to announce my nomination of four-star Gen. Mark Milley, Chief of Staff of the United States Army — as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, replacing General Joe Dunford, who will be retiring. I am thankful to both of these incredible men for their service to our Country! Date of transition to be determined."
People pointed out that Trump, who once bragged about hiring "only the best and most serious people," was the one who hired Milley in the first place.
Trump's is the latest and most notable voice in a sea of Republican media personalities who've chastised Milley for his answer. Far-right Fox News host Tucker Carlson called Milley "stupid" and "a pig." Fox News contributor Ben Domenech called Milley's service "a dismal roll call of failures."
Trump's statement was praised only by his most devout followers.
Milley is not expected to resign.