Conservative Newsmax guest says Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was chosen 'probably for his skin colour'

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Según los informes, el general de cuatro estrellas Lloyd Austin está en la lista corta para ser el secretario de defensa de Joe Biden (AFP via Getty Images)
Según los informes, el general de cuatro estrellas Lloyd Austin está en la lista corta para ser el secretario de defensa de Joe Biden (AFP via Getty Images)

Christian Whiton, a senior adviser in both the Trump and Bush administrations, told Newsmax that Joe Biden's Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was likely hired because he was Black.

Mr Whiton appeared on Newsmax to discuss an announcement from the Pentagon that it would enact military-wide stand downs for the next 60 days to tackle extremism and white supremacy within its ranks.

The former Trump and Bush adviser said the decision to root out extremism in the military was "cancel culture" and then disparaged Mr Biden's pick for Secretary of Defense by claiming he was likely hired solely because he is Black.

Mr Whiton said that Mr Austin "frankly, was chosen probably for his skin colour rather than his qualifications" after complaining that there was "no evidence of extremism in the military."

He also complained that the effort to root out extremism in the world's largest military would unfairly focus on conservatives.

Mr Austin is a four-star general and served as the commander of the US Central Command and of US forces during the invasion of Iraq. He also was the vice chief of staff of the US Army.

Mr Whiton is the senior vice president of a marketing company, Banner Public Affairs, and his role in the Trump and Bush administrations appears to have been in a communications context.

Beyond his racist assumption that Mr Austin was likely hired for being Black, Mr Whiton's claim that there is no evidence of extremism in the military is also incorrect.

A 2019 Military Times poll found that at least one-third of all active-duty respondents said they saw signs of white supremacists or racist ideology in their ranks.

Further, that poll suggests that US military members are in agreement with the Pentagon; extremism should be rooted out.

Troops responding to the poll said they viewed domestic white nationalism as being as dangerous to the US as al-Qaida and ISIS, and more dangerous than North Korea, Afghanistan or Iraq.

Domestic extremist groups target military members and police officers in their recruiting efforts.

In one instance, an active-duty airman sympathetic to the "Boogaloo" movement shot and killed a federal security officer in Oakland, California.

In 2019, the Army launched an investigation into a solider at Fort Benning, Georgia, over claims that a mid-level officer had been repeating racist, anti-government rants through their Reddit account.

Another soldier, Private Ethan Melzer, was indicted for plotting to attack his own unit and was found to have connection to the "Order of the Nine Angles," a group with neo-Nazi and Satanic beliefs.

In 2018, a Marine was found to have joined the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division.

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