The former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus sharply criticized Rep. Eli Crane, R-Ariz., for referring to Black people as "colored people" during a floor debate on his proposed amendment to a measure governing annual military strategy.
"My amendment has nothing to do with whether or not colored people or Black people or anybody can serve," said Crane, who is serving his first term. "None of that stuff has anything to do with it."
The National Defense Authorization Act, which the House hopes to pass by the end of the week, was the subject of a number of GOP-supported changes that were being discussed by lawmakers.
According to Crane, his amendment would forbid the Defense Department from using "any other ideological concepts" or "any other racial, gender, or religious criteria" as the primary basis for making hiring, training, promotion, or retention decisions.
"The military, you know, was never meant to be inclusive. Its diversity is not its strength. Its standards are its strength, according to 43-year-old war veteran Crane.
You guys can continue playing these games with diversity, equity, and inclusion, I'm going to say that right now. However, there are some genuine dangers out there. And it won't be good if we keep playing around and reducing our standards, he warned.
Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, requested that the slur Crane used be removed from the record as soon as he completed speaking.
Beatty, who served as the previous Congress's chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, stated, "I find it offensive and very inappropriate." I'm requesting unanimous approval to have the phrase "referring to me or any of my colleagues as colored people" removed.
Crane intervened, asking him to change his remarks to "people of color." However, Beatty asked that the words be removed from the file. They were ejected with general approval.
When questioned about his word choice, Crane replied that he "misspoke."
Crane issued a statement saying, "I misspoke during a contentious floor debate on my amendment that would outlaw discrimination in the Armed Forces based on skin color. We are all equal beings created in the image of God.
Crane's amendment was challenged by Beatty, 73, who said that it was an attempt to "undermine the freedoms for us to learn about one another, for us to hire one another, for us to understand our cultures."
By a vote of 214 to 210, the House approved Crane's amendment on Thursday evening.
Tommy Tuberville, a Republican from Alabama, refused to admit that white nationalism is inherently racist this week in the Senate.
Tuberville claimed in an interview Monday night on CNN that not all white nationalists are racist when asked to clarify remarks he made in May that seemed to justify white nationalists serving in the military. As opposed to that, he said, they are just "people who have a few, probably different beliefs."