‘I Would Like to Know the Context’: Fox News Guest Brushes Off Reports Black Cadets Were Taunted With N-Word Slur at West Point

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.

In addition, 75 years after integration of the Armed Forces, the New York Times noted that white men still dominate the highest ranks of U.S. military leadership.

“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.”

Watch the video above, via Fox News.

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