An Air Force colonel nominated by President Joe Biden once claimed that “white colonels” are the “biggest barriers” to addressing so-called “racial injustice” in the U.S. military, according to a new report.
On Thursday, The Daily Signal’s Rob Bluey reported that Col. Benjamin Jonsson, who is “currently awaiting promotion to brigadier general,” penned an article in the Air Force Times weeks after George Floyd’s death lamenting his fellow white airmen don’t go along with leftist talking points about so-called “racial injustice” in the U.S. armed forces.
“As white colonels, you and I are the biggest barriers to change if we do not personally address racial injustice in our Air Force. Defensiveness is a predictable response by white people to any discussion of racial injustice. White colonels are no exception,” Jonsson wrote. “We are largely blind to institutional racism, and we take offense to any suggestion that our system advantaged us at the expense of others.”
Jonsson went on claim he “drew attention” to the notion that “racial tension remains an important issue to address” while speaking with two white colonels. According to Jonsson, his “introduction of race into the conversation created social discomfort,” allegedly causing both service members to “ameliorate” the situation “with humor.” He furthermore admonished a fellow white colonel who purportedly expressed the meritocratic sentiment that “when anyone joins the Air Force, they need to adopt the culture of the Air Force [and] that [the branch] should not make cultural accommodations.”
“By obscuring any cultural differences in the Air Force, he excused himself from the need to dig into the underlying issue of racial disparity,” Jonsson regurgitated the leftist talking points.
But Jonsson wasn’t quite finished demanding his fellow service members view the world through a racial lens. At the end of his article, the Air Force colonel recommended airmen develop a “game plan” to break so-called “invisible barriers” in the military by reading Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, a book that promotes divisive ideologies such as critical race theory (CRT).
“Dear white colonel, it is time to give a damn. Aim High,” he added.
The Air Force Times article is hardly the only incident in which Jonsson has pushed the military to adopt ideas saturated in so-called “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI), a poisonous left-wing framework that dismisses merit and instead discriminates based on characteristics such as skin color and sex.
In a December 2020 video commemorating the service of a Tuskegee Airman, Jonsson said the celebration gives the Air Force a chance to “acknowledge that there’s still progress that we need to make as a service.”
“There’s still barriers, more invisible barriers, that some of our airmen from underrepresented groups … still feel in their service,” Jonsson claimed. “We’re aggressively knocking down those barriers.”
According to a September 2022 Fox News report, the Air Force Academy — where Jonsson had apparently begun serving as vice superintendent in August 2022 — has regularly forced cadets to undergo DEI instruction. In one slideshow titled, “Diversity & Inclusion: What it is, why we care, & what we can do,” cadets are told to utilize words that “include all genders” and avoid using terms such as “mom,” “dad,” and “colorblind.”
An Air Force cadet writing under a pseudonym detailed in the Washington Examiner earlier this summer his experiences with the academy’s embrace of “leftist ideologies.” The cadet specifically noted how “critical race theory and diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings [are] being forced upon us by academy leadership” and that in doing so, the school has “divided the cadet wing from within, in a profession where unity is essential.”
Jonsson’s apparent infatuation with CRT and DEI ideologies further highlights the importance of Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s ongoing bid to force individual votes on Biden’s military appointees. Using his role on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Tuberville has been slowing down military personnel moves that require Senate confirmation to protest the Pentagon’s use of taxpayer money to cover service members’ travel expenses to get abortions.
To be clear, Tuberville is not blocking votes, but is forcing the Armed Services Committee to vote on each nomination individually rather than voting “en masse on large numbers of nominations.” The Alabama senator has since faced numerous attacks from Democrats and establishment Republicans, many of whom have baselessly claimed his protest is harming “military readiness.”