Fox News guest Heather MacDonald brushed off reports from numerous former African-American cadets that they had been subject to racist taunts and N-word slurs while attending West Point, suggesting that more “context” was needed to understand the incidents and that could have been examples of “hazing.”
On the Friday night edition of Fox News at Night, host Shannon Bream discussed with MacDonald the United States Military Academy’s recent decision to review its honor code to better address racism, a move that has been decried by conservatives as another example of “cancel culture.”
But Bream pointed to a recent Washington Post story about a letter signed by nine recent USMA graduates, who said they had the target of racist jokes and stereotypes, including being called the N-word, while they attended the school.
“According to this letter signed by recent graduates, by not rooting out racism that ‘saturates its history,’ the officers said, ‘West Point ultimately fails to produce leaders of character equipped to lead diverse organizations,’” Bream read, quoting from the Post piece. “Heather, this sounds like it has some legitimate concerns.”
“I’m not certain about that, Shannon. I would like to know the context,” MacDonald said of the former cadets’ claims. “These cadets are hazing each other all the time, and there’s just a fact of the matter that there is no institutional racism in the military or at West Point.”
“The military is absolutely determined to bring as many people of color into its higher ranks as possible,” MacDonald said. “You are likely to get promoted at an accelerated rate if you are a person of color.”
That claim is contradicted by a 2019 Congressional Research Service study of diversity in the military that noted the Defense Department’s “strategic plan does not outline targets or quotas for the recruitment, retention, or promotion of historically underrepresented demographic groups.” In addition, there is little data suggesting minorities benefit from faster promotions in practice, although, in a few cases, they appear to be promoted at slower rates than their cohort.
A 2014 study of Air Force promotion rates found no evidence of differential rates of promotion by race/ethnicity for approximately 93% of the cases observed, suggesting overall fairness in the promotion system. However, where disparities existed, whites had more favorable outcomes than African Americans or Hispanics with similar characteristics. The authors of the study found that career success is cumulative and that racial and ethnic minority officers, on average, were less likely to have achieved the early career milestones that are correlated with improved promotion prospects.
“West Point is like every mainstream institution today, which is trying as hard as it possibly can to hire and promote as many underrepresented minorities as possible,” MacDonald said. “We have to start beating back this lie, Shannon, that there is systemic racism in this country because that is simply not the case. But as long as that remains the dominant narrative, the left wins. And it is undoing meritocratic standard in every institution that we’ve got.”
Last night on Fox News, President Donald Trump, after a not-so-subtle prompt from Sean Hannity, took credit for the shut down of the Capital Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) in Seattle on July 1, claiming that it was his behind-the-scenes threats to local officials that he would soon deploy the National Guard that prompted the action.
Today, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan called BS on Trump’s baseless boast.
In interview with the Washington Post, the Seattle mayor denied that the president or anyone in the White House applied any private pressure on her before her decision to have the city’s police department roll up the protestors and clear the area. “It just never happened,” Durkan told the Post. “I don’t know what world he’s living in.”
Durkan’s statements directly contradicted Trump’s braggadocio on Thursday night — that got an able assist from perhaps his biggest cheerleader on cable news.
“I had a source that told me, I was not able to confirm it, that one of the reasons that the Seattle mayor finally acted, is that they were given notice that if they didn’t act, that you were going to,” Hannity said, pitching Trump a softball so big it could be seen from space. “Is there any truth to that?”
“A hundred percent. We were going in, we were going in very soon. We let them know that,” Trump had claimed. “And they, all of a sudden, they didn’t want that, so they went in before we got there. But we were going in very shortly, very soon, and we would have taken the CHOP I call it, CHOP, we would have taken it back very easily. But they went in, and frankly the people just gave up. They were tired. They had it for a long period of time. But because of the fact that we were going to go in.”
Everything Trump claimed to Hannity was contradicted by the facts, Durkan said during her rebuttal in the Post.
“He never contacted me or my office to warn us,” Durkan said. “We had no conversations whatsoever with the White House about anything related to the protests, Capitol Hill, or anything along these lines.”