Military Academies to Continue Racist Affirmative Action Admissions Policies Despite Supreme Court Ruling

military academies affirmative action
USMA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Last week the Supreme Court dropped a decision that effectively bans race-based admissions policies for colleges and universities. This decision to elevate merit over race led to the typical outrage from the left and celebration on the right.

While I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to finally stand up to racist policies that aim only to hinder those they claim to help while harming innocent white and Asian students, two lines in the Chief Justice’s opinion pull back the reins on this landmark case. The Supreme Court has allowed for an exception to the rule for our nation’s military academies.

West Point, The Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy are still allowed to use race-based admissions thanks to pressure from former officers and the military-industrial complex. The Court’s bending of the knee will continue to serve the special interests of the K Street defense lobbyists and military elite and weaken national security.

Two little lines

While colleges and universities in this country can no longer use race in their admissions process, the Supreme Court provided a narrow exception for the military academies.

In his opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote:

“No military academy is a party to these cases, however, and none of the courts below addressed the propriety of race-based admissions systems in that context.”

Had that been the only line in his write-up addressing the exception, I wouldn’t have been disappointed; after all, the Chief Justice isn’t incorrect in his statement that the military academies were not a party to the cases. However, it’s this following line that grinds my gears:

“This opinion also does not address the issue, in light of the potentially distinct interests that military academies may present.”

This line is carefully worded to not blatantly state what is meant by tap dancing around what the military and the machine that powers it like to claim is the requirement for affirmative action to maintain national security. These “distinct interests” is the crux of the loophole, and the Court claims that race-based admissions into military academies keep our nation safe, making it an acceptable racist policy. 

So, is there any truth to that argument? The answer is an obvious no.

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Baseless claims

In a letter signed by former officers, including four former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairmen to the Court, the argument was made:

“The importance of maintaining a diverse, highly qualified officer corps has been beyond legitimate dispute for decades.”

Besides being inaccurate, the letter continues:

“History has shown that placing a diverse Armed Forces under the command of homogenous leadership is a recipe for internal resentment, discord, and violence.”

Finally, the letter adds this equally baseless statement:

“By contrast, units that are diverse across all levels are more cohesive, collaborative, and effective.”

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Like any of these arguments made in real time, the letter neglected to provide data-backed proof of any of these statements. In fact, when the military leadership was considerably less racially diverse than it is now, our country saw arguably more military success and trust than today.

One merely has to reach back into the same history the letter hits on to see that in the days of General Eisenhower, the military had more victories and credibility than it does today. 

Manufactured greatness

I grew up in the Midwest in a state not known for its strong military connections. When I decided to enlist in the United States Air Force, I had teachers who pulled me aside to ask if my parents were forcing me to join the military.

Worse still, teachers used me as an example in class of everything they believed was wrong with our country. However, when a classmate of mine got accepted into the United States Naval Academy, the school made a huge announcement applauding his achievement.

Before graduating high school, you’d have sworn he was already a decorated war hero. I tell this story to illustrate that most Americans assume getting into a military academy is difficult and the graduates of said academies are the best of the best. 

The truth is the military academies inflate their admissions numbers, hide corruption, dumb down military strategy, and elevate false hubris.

As civilian English Naval Academy professor Bruce Fleming wrote:

“Our military academies aren’t filled with the best and the brightest. They are a boondoggle, on your dime, and serve no one.”

While the academies like to claim admissions numbers in the single digits, the truth unveiled by a group of investigators in 2018 showed the admissions number is closer to 50%. That’s right, half of the actual full applicants to the military academies are accepted.

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How could that be? The military academies are allowed to include any possible interested inquiry as an applicant.

That means your 14-year-old son who asks for more information on the West Point website is considered an applicant without having to fill out an actual application, let alone meet any of the application requirements. So a fair amount of “Ring Knockers,” as we lowly enlisted liked to refer to academy graduates, are in reality, at best average, and in many cases below average in relation to their peers in regular colleges.

The hard truth

Proving her ignorance of how war is executed and military life in general, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote in her dissent:

“The Court has come to rest on the bottom-line conclusion that racial diversity in higher education is only worth potentially preserving insofar as it might be needed to prepare Black Americans and other underrepresented minorities for success in the bunker, not the boardroom.”

I hate to break it to you, Justice Jackson, but most academy grads won’t ever see the inside of a bunker and will be inside a boardroom of some defense firm or DC think tank by the time they hit their 30s. Affirmative action is just racism dressed up in a term meant to make everyone feel good about a policy meant to harm everyone involved.

It doesn’t belong in college and university admissions, and it doesn’t belong in the United States military. Our military academies have declined in quality steadily for decades and have become a petri dish of wokeness.

This week, a FOIA request uncovered over 400 pages of presentations and instructional material from the United States Air Force Academy, ranging from Critical Race Theory, White Privilege, and Black Lives Matter. In one particular presentation titled ‘Political Psychology,’ there were two tables titled respectively:

  • White Americans’ Support for Democratic Candidates for President as a Function of Old-Fashioned Racism
  • Correlations between Republican Party Identification and Old-Fashioned Racism among White Americans

Our military academies that mold our future Generals and Admirals are failing, and the proof is in the constant reminder of the failed war in Afghanistan and the moral stain from our botched withdrawal. But I have a solution – close the military academies.

College ROTC programs provide plenty of officers. Now that those same colleges can’t use race-based admissions anymore, there is a chance the military will get the best of the best for leadership.

Goodbye, Ring Knockers; hello, military leaders focused on strategy and leadership versus prestige and legacy.

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USAF Retired, Bronze Star recipient, outspoken veteran advocate. Hot mess mom to two monsters and wife to equal parts... More about Kathleen J. Anderson

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