Politics

Highest Officer In Military Attacks Bigotry After Service Chiefs Denounce Racism

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst.

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Jonah Bennett Contributor

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford blasted racism and bigotry Thursday in an address on the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford followed in the footsteps of all four service chiefs by decrying the violence that took place at the Unite the Right rally.

“I have been traveling, so I’ve been following in bits and pieces what’s been happening in Charlottesville and very saddened by the events there and the loss of life of the young lady who was hit by a vehicle,” Dunford said, according to a Pentagon release. “I can absolutely and unambiguously tell you there is no place — no place — for racism and bigotry in the U.S. military or in the United States as a whole.”

For Dunford, the public statements from service heads are incredibly important.

“They were speaking directly to the force and to the American people: to the force to make clear that that kind of racism and bigotry is not going to stand inside the force,” Dunford added. “And to the American people, to remind them of the values for which we stand in the U.S. military, which are reflective of the values of the United States.”

Dunford added that his statement on the events has come in late because he’s been traveling in Asia.

Over the past several days, service heads have issued strong condemnations of racism and bigotry. 

They were also joined by VA Secretary David Shulkin at a press briefing Wednesday evening, where Shulkin stated that it would be a dishonor to veterans of the United States for Nazis and white supremacists to remain unchallenged. While Shulkin explicitly condemned white supremacists numerous times in the briefing, he refused to explicitly condemn antifa, as President Donald Trump did on Tuesday.

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