May 20, 2024
Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a veterans organization against the Department of Defense for not responding to Freedom of Information Act requests regarding the U.S. Air Force Academy's diversity training and teachings.

Judicial Watch has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a veterans organization against the Department of Defense for not responding to Freedom of Information Act requests regarding the U.S. Air Force Academy’s diversity training and teachings.

The legal group filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of Stand Together Against Racism and Radicalism in the Services on Friday. STARRS is an organization of retired service members who have grown alarmed over the military’s increased focus on diversity, which they argue is at the expense of the military’s war-fighting capabilities — a common concern among conservatives.

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STARRS’s first FOIA request, which was filed in October 2020, was about a July 8, 2020, memo from Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, the superintendent of the Air Force Academy, that announced an “institutional assessment and review for biases within our policies, processes, practices, curriculum, and artifacts. The objective is to assess and capture racial disparities specific to African Americans and other identity groups.”

The group filed the FOIA request looking to get public records on, among other things, “the existence, prevalence and nature of, and remedial actions taken regarding, ‘systemic racism,’ ‘discrimination,’ and ‘racial bias,’ respectively.”

Nearly a year later, on Sept. 29, 2021, the academy informed STARRS that its request hadn’t been processed yet, assigning them a case number. The academy has not responded since about this request, the lawsuit says, though last month, it did reach out to STARRS with a progress report on a request with a different case number that is off by only one digit. It, too, had not been processed.

The group submitted a second FOIA on June 9, 2021, regarding the minutes of a meeting of the Association of Graduates Class Advisory Senate in which they mention a diversity inclusion study conducted last summer. The academy responded on Sept. 29, 2021, and said the request hadn’t been processed.

A spokesperson for the Air Force told the Washington Examiner they cannot comment on ongoing litigation, while the Office of the Secretary of Defense did not respond to a request for comment.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Last week, Fox News reported that the academy had begun instructing its cadets to avoid using gendered terms such as “mom and dad” or “boyfriend [and] girlfriend” in its diversity and inclusion trainings. “Some families are headed by single parents, grandparents, foster parents, two moms, two dads, etc.: consider ‘parent or caregiver’ instead of ‘mom and dad,'” the presentation reportedly states. “Use words that include all genders: ‘Folks’ or ‘Y’all’ instead of ‘guys’; ‘partner’ vs. ‘boyfriend or girlfriend.’”

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