Rep. Eli Crane (R-Arizona) called non-white Americans serving in the U.S. military “people of color” in a shocking moment on the House floor Thursday, prompting a sharp rebuke from the former Congressional speaker. Black Caucus.
Crane, a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, propose an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act on Thursday which would prohibit the consideration of “race, sex, religion or political affiliation, or any other ideological concept” in recruitment or promotion decisions as well as d Other Aspects of Military Retention.
Representative Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), who chaired the Congressional Black Caucus from 2021 to 2023, spoke out to argue that the proposal would roll back vested rights for people of color and women. Crane then dismissed his arguments:
“While that was incredibly inspiring, my amendment has nothing to do with people of color or black people or anyone being able to serve, okay?” he said. “What we want to preserve and maintain is the fact that our army does not become a social experiment. We want the best of the best; we want to have standards that guide who is in what unit, what they do.
“I hope that my colleagues opposite will be able to understand what we are doing,” he said in conclusion.
Another person in the room can be heard questioning the term “people of color” before Beatty intervenes.
“I wish I was recognized to have the words ‘people of color’ struck from the record,” she said. “I find this offensive and very inappropriate. … I seek unanimous consent to delete words referring to me or any of my colleagues as “people of color.”
Crane later requested that his comments be changed to “people of color.” This request was denied but the words “people of color” were removed from the record without objection.
The Democrats were furious. The Congressional Black Caucus said Crane’s remarks were “unconscionable,” adding it was a “shameful moment on the floor of the House.”
“The GOP stands up against diversity, equity and inclusion training and proves every day why it’s necessary,” the group said. writing on Twitter.