by Debra Heine
The U.S. Army sent an email to its military and civilian members after the Fourth of July that included a graphic that claimed innocuous words and phrases like “colorblind,” “all lives matter” and the Trump Campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” are evidence of “white supremacy.”
The graphic also listed “Celebration of Columbus Day,” the “Denial of White Privilege,” “Talking about ‘American Exceptionalism,’” and saying “There’s Only One Human Race” as behaviors that are indicative of white supremacy.
After Army personnel brought the offensive email to the attention of a U.S. Congressman, the Army said the material was “unapproved” and sent out “in error.”
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
According to Breitbart’s Kristina Wong, the email invited “all soldiers and (Department of the Army) Civilian Personnel” to attend the U.S. Army’s “Operation Inclusion” seminars on July 8 and 9 at the Redstone Arsenal Army Base in Alabama.
The email was sent by Chaney P. Pickard from the U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Center using an official government email.
The message named the “U.S. Army Equity & Inclusion Agency” and “Assistant Secretary of the Army — Manpower and Reserve Affairs” as authors.
A U.S. congressman who learned of the problematic email through “numerous Redstone Arsenal employees,” said it is a violation of the Hatch Act.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) — who caught wind of the email — blasted the “deeply offensive and racist U.S. Army ‘Operation Inclusion’” content and demanded the firing and prosecution of Army personnel who used government resources to distribute political propaganda.
Brooks said the email is in “clear violation” of the Hatch Act, which bans government personnel from engaging in political activity while at work.
The seminars are part of a listening tour for Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy’s initiative “Project Inclusion,” led by an “Inclusion Advisory Team.”
Brooks said: “Disturbingly, the Army chose Redstone Arsenal as the first location on a tour that will cover all Army 4 star commands.” He said he has sent a letter to McCarthy, demanding an investigation.
“Numerous Redstone Arsenal employees have expressed outrage to me about the U.S. Army blatantly violating the Hatch Act and, in effect, labeling patriotic Americans ‘White Supremacists’ and racists if they say or do dozens of things outlined in the U.S. Army email,” he said.
Brooks asked the Army Secretary to answer the following questions:
1. Who within the Department of the Army is responsible for the creation of the email and document?
2. Who within the Department of the Army approved the email and document?
3. Pursuant to the creation and approval of the document, was there a violation of either the Hatch Act or DoD Directive 1344.10?
4. If a violation of the Hatch Act or DoD Directive 1344.10 is found to have occurred, will those responsible be held accountable for their actions?
5. If it is found that a violation occurred (which seems pretty obvious), how will those federal employees be held accountable for their illegal conduct?
Copies of Brooks’ letter were also sent to President Donald Trump, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and Attorney General William Barr, among others, Breitbart reported.
The Army claimed that the graphic was sent “in error” and “immediately recalled.”
On July 6, 2020, a Project Inclusion listening tour handout included two unapproved pages that were sent out in error and immediately recalled. 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.
As soon Department of the Army leaders were made aware of these products the Army initiated a 15-6 investigation to determine how this happened. The Army does not condone the use of phrases that indicate political support. The Army is and will continue to remain an apolitical organization.
This incident, however, isn’t the first time the U.S. Army has gotten caught disseminating extreme left-wing propaganda to soldiers.
In 2013, a US Army training instructor lumped Evangelical Christianity, Catholicism, Ultra-Orthodox Jews, and the Church of Latter Day Saints with Al Qaeda, Hamas, the Ku Klux Klan, and Nation of Islam as examples of religious extremism.
The instructor of the Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief on religious extremism said she got her information from the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center.
The incident was made public by a soldier who attended the briefing. He asked for copies of the presentation and sent them to the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.
“He considers himself an evangelical Christian and did not appreciate being classified with terrorists,” said Ron Crews, the executive director of the Chaplain Alliance. “There was a pervasive attitude in the presentation that anything associated with religion is an extremist.”
Then-Army spokesman George Wright told Fox News at the time that the outrageous training brief was an “isolated incident not condoned by the Dept. of the Army.”
“This slide was not produced by the Army and certainly does not reflect our policy or doctrine,” he said. “It was produced by an individual without anyone in the chain of command’s knowledge or permission.”
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Debra Heine is a reporter at American Greatness.