In the latest example of leftist identity politics infecting the U.S. military, The Federalist has discovered that a high-ranking Air Force official recently promoted by President Joe Biden participated in a 2022 California “pride” parade.
Nominated by Biden to serve as major general earlier this month, Air Force Brig. Gen. Steven J. Butow was among several U.S. service members to participate in the 2022 Silicon Valley Pride Parade. Butow currently serves as commander of the California Air National Guard.
A picture taken by Tech. Sgt. Stefany Leyva and posted to DVIDS, a military media database, shows Butow posing for a photograph alongside his fellow service members during the San Jose-based event on Aug. 28, 2022. All of the individuals photographed — including Butow — are depicted wearing what appear to be lanyards attached to rainbow-colored event passes.
A separate photograph also reveals that Butow actively participated in the parade, which, according to the photo caption, marked the “fourth [p]ride parade” the California Military Department participated in last year and gave enlistees “an opportunity to march in the communities they serve while also promoting diversity and inclusion.”
“We’re a community-based organization. … The best part about the Guard is the Guard should reflect the communities that we represent,” Butow said, echoing leftist rhetoric. The comments were recorded by Grizzly Magazine, a publication associated with the California Military Department.
Hosted by Silicon Valley Pride, the annual parade was among several LGBT-themed festivities held by the group that week. According to local media outlets, the days-long festival included “drag bingo, a cook-off and the annual Pride flag raising at San Jose City Hall.” There were also reportedly two stages specifically designated for performances from “drag queens and dancers.”
Butow’s apparent endorsement of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)-type ideology hardly makes him an enigma among Biden’s military nominees. In fact, several of the president’s military promotions are of individuals who openly promote neo-Marxist philosophy.
One such figure is Benjamin Jonsson. In the weeks following George Floyd’s death, Johnson, an Air Force colonel Biden promoted to brigadier general, wrote an article lamenting his fellow white airmen who don’t agree that the military is plagued by systemic racism. Specifically, Jonsson claimed that “white colonels” are the “biggest barriers” to addressing so-called “racial injustice” in the Air Force and that the aforementioned group is “largely blind to institutional racism.”
Charles Q. Brown — who was recently confirmed as the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — also espoused racialist nonsense in recent years. While participating in a 2020 virtual discussion hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Brown indicated that “[a]t the higher level of the Air Force, diversity ha[d] moved to the forefront of personnel decisions such as promotions and hiring.” During the same event, Brown also admitted to using his post to increase opportunities for so-called “diverse candidates” in the Air Force, saying he “hire[d] for diversity” when building his staff.
The military’s embrace of leftist politics under Biden further highlights the importance of Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s ongoing protest of the Defense Department’s radical abortion policy. Not long after the Pentagon announced it would bankroll service members’ abortion-related travel expenses, Tuberville initiated a hold on nominations and essentially forced the Senate Armed Services Committee to vote on military promotions one at a time rather than “en masse.”
Despite possessing the power to bring these nominations to the Senate floor for a vote, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats have regularly attacked Tuberville, baselessly accusing him of jeopardizing “national security” and “military readiness.” In recent weeks, Tuberville’s GOP colleagues, led by Alaska’s Dan Sullivan, sided with Democrats in attacking the Alabama senator. Among the Republicans to join Sullivan’s crusade are Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Mitt Romney of Utah, and Todd Young of Indiana.
Earlier this month, Democrats on the Senate Rules Committee advanced a resolution to the full floor that — if passed by 60 senators — would effectively allow their party to circumvent Tuberville’s protest and the Pentagon’s unlawful policy to go unchallenged. Given their slim 51-49 majority, Democrats would need Republican support to get the measure approved.