‘Everybody Can Be Racist’: DOD Chief Diversity Educator Defends Tweets Targeted Toward White Educators

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Department of Defense (DOD) Education Activity Diversity Chief of Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) responded to Congressional backlash for tweeting about being “exhausted” by white educators.

In an interview with Military Times Senior Reporter Karen Jowers, the DOD DEI primary education administrator, Kelisa Wing, defended now-deleted tweets from 2020 Fox News re-surfaced in September of 2022 that took aim at “white folx” that have the “CAUdaacity” to claim “black people can be racist too.” Ever since, House Republicans have continued to accuse the Biden-appointee of racism; demanding Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin answer whether or not the DOD knew about the tweets before Wing was hired.

For background, the interview included an excerpt of one of Wing’s tweets subject to the most GOP scrutiny:

“I’m so exhausted at these white folx in these PD [professional development] sessions this lady actually had the CAUdaacity to say that black people can be racist too … I had to stop the session and give Karen the BUSINESS … we are not the majority, we don’t have power.”

The Pentagon official conveyed to the Times that the controversial series of social media posts stemmed from a professional development session that Wing said she attended during a day off, adding that the event had no affiliation with nor connection to the U.S. military whatsoever. (RELATED: The Air Force Will Now Give THC-Positive Applicants A Second Chance To Combat Struggles With Recruitment)

The 2020 professional development session took place not long after the death of George Floyd, and the subject matter for educators in attendance revolved around “people wanting to reconcile what was happening at the present time,” Wing told the outlet. “I was in a space where I was the only person of color,” she contextualized. During the session, the top DEI director for the DOD said someone injected into the conversation, “Well, Black people are racist, too.” This comment sparked a response from Wing, who then proceeded to lecture her colleagues on the difference between individual and systemic racism.

“It didn’t have any context to what we were talking about, and I started to explain to her that yes, everybody can be racist. But we’re talking about systemic racism and how that impacts people and their ability for housing, their ability for a lot of things,” Wing elaborated.

It was this exchange that ended up being the apparent catalyst for the Biden Administration DOD appointee’s tweets that Republicans rebuked for being racist. (RELATED: Biden Admin: Spy Balloon Incident Didn’t Cause ‘Big Hit’ To Relations With China)

Wing went on to accuse certain conservative Congress-members of citing debunked media reports that Wing also took to Twitter to write about being “exhausted by 99% of the white men in education and 95% of the white women,” despite Fox News clarifying in that it was a different person that penned the post, she said. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Indiana Rep. Jim Banks To Prioritize ‘Combatting Wokeness’ As Chair Of Military Personnel Subcommittee)

“The truth is important. I never would say anything like that… It’s in direct contradiction and misalignment to who I am and who I’ve been my entire life,” Wing told the reporter.

The Fox report revealed that Wing replied to the aforementioned tweet written by another user, saying “If another Karen tells me about her feelings … I might lose it.”

House of Representatives Military Personnel Subcommittee Chair Rep. Jim Banks (R-IA) followed up on a previous inquiry in an end of January letter that requested the DOD to turn over “all documents and communications” that might pertain to the Pentagon having knowledge about Wing’s tweets before she got the job, the New York Post reported. Furthermore, the letter asked Pentagon officials to share “all educational materials ‘promoting the exclusion, denigration, discrimination’” in a race-based format of learning.

The Department of Defense Education Activity is a multi-continental, federally-run school system that operates 160 schools (pre-K-12) designated for the children of active U.S. military service-members as well as DOD employees, according to The system serves some 69,688 students spanning 11 foreign countries, 7 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico.