Campus Reform | 'Woke' books authored by 'anti-racist' profs infiltrate US Navy reading list

'Woke' books authored by 'anti-racist' profs infiltrate US Navy reading list

The United States Navy’s professional reading program included recommendations to read books by leading critical race theorists.

The program suggested "How to Be an Antiracist" by Boston University professor Ibram X. Kendi.

The United States Navy’s professional reading program included recommendations to read books by leading critical race theorists.

The program exists to “help train and educate Sailors” and “apply lessons we’ve learned from our past” to outcompete global rivals.

The United States Naval Academy library website directs students to the reading list.

In a Navy press release, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith said that “the titles included were methodically chosen in order to provide a specific focus on targeted areas for reinforcement, a focus that will provide enlisted Sailors the greatest benefit given our role in the organization.” 

It noted that most of the books are available in a digital format at no cost to sailors.

Among the program's recommendations is How to Be an Antiracist by Boston University professor Ibram Kendi.

The book operates under the academic framework of critical race theory — the notion that American society is fundamentally structured to promote the success of White people at the expense of Black people.

[RELATED: Ibram Kendi launches ANOTHER anti-racism center at BU]

In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi argues that “the only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

Since the death of George Floyd in the spring of 2020, Kendi’s works have grown substantially in prominence — both in academic circles and in the public square. Most recently, streaming service Netflix announced that it would adapt several of Kendi’s books in to film.

[RELATED: Critical Race Theory moves from campus to Netflix]

The Navy's reading list also includes Union Theological Seminary visiting professor Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

With an introduction written by racial equity activist Cornel West, the bookwe that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it." The work also argues that Black people and communities of color are relegated to a “permanent second-class status” in the United States.

Another recommendation — Sexual Minorities and Politics: An Introduction by University of Illinois-Springfield professor Jason Piercesondetails the history of the LGBT movement and “assesses the current state of the politics and policies concerning sexual minorities.” Within the first days of his administration, President  Joe Biden reversed the Trump-era ban on transgenders joining the military.

Commander and Public Affairs Officer Gary Ross told Campus Reform that in addition to fostering an appreciation for naval and military heritage, the list is meant to help sailors “develop a greater appreciation of the views of others and a better understanding of our changing world.” Participation is encouraged but not mandatory. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft