Upon retirement, Air Force Col. Ron Scott watched a video of Air Force Academy coaches and players affirming their commitment to anti-racism in July 2019, he and others were “a little worried,” Scott said.
âOur concern was that they unwittingly endorsed a group that coined the term Black Lives Matter and was publicly recognized as a Marxist,â he said in an interview, citing a book, BLM: The making of a new Marxist revolution, by Mike Gonzalez, Senior Research Fellow at the Curatorial Heritage Foundation.
Gonzalez points to statements made by a founder of the BLM as including the goal of “dismantling the organizing principle of this society” to support his claim that the BLM is advancing a Marxist revolution. (The full quote, from BLM co-founder Alicia Garza: âI think we all have work to do to continue to dismantle the organizing principle of this society, which creates inequalities for everyone, even whites. “)
Without evidence, Gonzalez also blames the BLM movement for what he calls an increase in homicides across the country this year.
So Scott and other retired military officers who agree with Gonzalez have decided to back down.
âWe actually reached out to the superintendent at the time and told him the video was dangerous,â Scott said, as it amplifies the principles of the BLM movement that he doesn’t agree with, like the idea. that racism is inherent in American society.
Now Scott and his friends have formed Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services (STARRS), which is based in Colorado Springs and for which Scott is a board member.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) calls the core aspects of STARRS “pervasive prejudice, bigotry, evil, grassroots, vile conspiracy, and pervasive ‘hatred for the other.’ “
But Scott says his organization wants to educate the public about his claim that BLM is trying to overturn the US Constitution.
âWe do not agree with certain ideologies that permeate our educational institutions, our media, all aspects of [the] The American way of life, [and] we just want to make sure that people are exposed to a wide range of information, âhe says.
STARRS was formed in April by “a small group of interested people” who saw the Academy’s 3-minute video, Scott says. In it, coaches and players pledge to end racism, saying: “Our mission is beyond victory” and that they “stand united to end racism”. Football coach Troy Calhoun says, “We aim to tell our country and the world that black lives matter.”
Retired Lieutenant General Rod Bishop, who chairs the STARRS board of directors, said in a Nov. 1 statement announcing the group’s formation: âThe video was naive and an unwitting endorsement of a Marxist political organization, Black Lives Matter, and we discovered the invasion of this poisoned neo-Marxist ideology was occurring in the Services.
Scott, of Monument, is the registered agent for STARRS and also holds a leadership position with the American Constitution Foundation (ACF), whose website praises former President Donald Trump as “a champion. Western values ââ”while warning that” the big banks, the big media, Big Tech and the Marxists have taken full control of the national government [in the 2020 election] and began to implement a totalitarian socialist program.
The STARRS website features Matthew Lohmeier, a deposed Space Force commander who proclaims that the demonization of whites will lead to genocide of whites. Lohmeier has secured support from Congressman Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs.
After viewing the video, Scott and others filed a Freedom of Information Act application with the Academy, soliciting racial discrimination complaints to support claims that the Academy suffers from systemic racism.
They were given a spreadsheet showing 55 complaints of discrimination, which also included gender and other types of prejudice, spanning 14 years.
âDoes just under four a year suggest systemic racism? Scott said, calling the request questionable.
As for the idea that staff who are discriminated against will not file complaints for fear of reprisal, which keeps the number artificially low, Scott says, âIt’s speculative and speculative. We can only talk about what we know. The AFA claims that there is “systemic racism” and we want to know if this is based on evidence and, if so, what is that evidence? “
The STARRS group requested similar information from other service academies. Scott says the group has raised $ 16,000 so far.
As to the gender and race of Starrs composition, Scott reports that the 10-member board contains a black man and a white woman; the rest are white males, although Scott says the group will âevolveâ to represent the general population.
He also says that a member of the STARRS advisory board is a Muslim who has been involved in “an effort to invite Muslims to be part of our constitutional republic.” He says it’s good to be true to the Muslim faith and to be integrated into America.
Scott says STARRS believes Critical Race Theory is a threat to the Constitution. Critical Race Theory is the proposition that racism is ingrained in society and has disadvantaged people of color in subtle ways for hundreds of years. Scott, however, maintains that the critical race theory derives from the Communist Manifesto, published in 1848, and “is a form of racism”.
He claims that people who say Jim Crow’s discrimination and redlining continues are false, claiming that the practices were banned decades ago.
STARRS’s November 1 press release says the group has 3,000 members and works with several other groups. Among them: the Center for Military Readiness, which opposes the service of homosexuals and transgender people and favors the limitation of military posts open to women; Flag Officers for America, which opposes critical race theory and promotes Trump’s âbig lieâ that the 2020 election was stolen; Take Charge MN, a conservative group that says it will encourage minorities to “take charge of their own lives” and “not … rely on the government”; and The Calvert Group, which also opposes critical theory of race, diversity and equity which it says “negatively impact the readiness of our military, as well as the fabric and very culture of equality and fairness in our nation “.
The group and some members have been criticized by the MRFF, which in 2008 challenged Bishop’s use of “The Purpose Driven Life,” an evangelical Christian fundamentalist belief system, for the military while serving as a commander. of the Third Air Force.
The founder of the MRFF, Mikey Weinstein, a graduate of the Air Force Academy, issued a statement which called STARRS “a veritable gallery of thugs of wicked fundamentalist Christian nationalists with whom we have crossed swords in the last few years of our advocacy and of our civil rights activism â.
In an interview, Weinstein said, “This organization has all the hallmarks of being a pernicious hate group spewing out racist and religious superiority to perpetuate the privileged position of straight white Christian males.”
Peter Nickitas, National Staff Judge Advocate for Jewish Veterans in the United States of America, said his organization “fully supports the MRFF” on the STARRS issue.
MRFF posted later a column on Cos of the day who compared STARRS to “the same combination of Trump worship, white supremacy, and Christian nationalism that we saw on January 6”.