Navy To Keep ‘Anti-Racism’ Books On Reading List Over Republican Objections

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Dylan Housman Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent
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Adm. Michael Gilday will not remove “How to Be an Antiracist” from the 2021 U.S. Navy reading list despite calls to do so from some Republican lawmakers, Fox News reported Tuesday.

Republican Indiana Rep. Jim Banks led the charge by sending a letter to Gilday in February, arguing that the book by Ibram X. Kendi is “anti-American” and demanding an explanation for the recommendation. Gilday responded on Mar. 12 in a letter stating he would not be altering the Chief of Naval Operations Professional Reading Program, according to Fox News.

Gilday reportedly said the book can help sailors achieve a level of “self-reflection.” Banks told Fox the response indicates Gilday “is not serious.” (RELATED: ANALYSIS: What China Is Doing While The US Military Argues With Tucker)

The Chief of Naval Operations also wrote he does not endorse every idea expressed in the books on the reading list, but “exposure to varied ideas improves the critical thinking skills of our sailors,” according to Fox. Other works on the list include Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow” and Jason Pierceson’s “Sexual Minorities and Politics.”

Rep. Banks isn’t the only Republican congressman to speak out against the selections. Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn and Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler sent a letter on Mar. 11 about their concerns to Adm. Gilday. “All three books reinforce the view that America is a confederation of identity categories of the oppressed and their oppressors rather than a common homeland of individual citizens,” they wrote.

Reps. Lamborn, Hartzler and Banks all serve on the House Armed Services Committee. Republican Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw tweeted about the story Sunday. He accused Gilday of “pushing overtly leftist propaganda.” (RELATED: Charles Barkley Praises Julian Edelman’s Offer To Meyers Leonard, Rips Cancel Culture)

“How to Be an Antiracist” and “The New Jim Crow” were both New York Times bestsellers in 2020. Sales of books on the topic of racism skyrocketed over the summer following the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests.