US Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) took to Twitter on Wednesday to condemn what his office described as “deeply offensive and racist” propaganda “distributed to Redstone Arsenal civilian and uniformed personnel in clear violation of the Hatch Act.”
The Hatch Act prohibits federal government employees from participating in certain partisan, political activities. Brooks argued that the inclusion of “Make American Great Again” in the handout was a decision that should result in the authors being fired.
The handout in question was recently distributed during the US Army’s Operation Inclusion, which took place at the Redstone Arsenal Army post in Alabama. Brooks reposted the handout’s accompanying graphic, which was reportedly included in a Monday email invite to the event.
2 of 2:— Mo Brooks (@RepMoBrooks) July 8, 2020
Army says below are “White Supremacy”, i.e. - racism (cont.)
“Denial of White Privilege”
“Celebration of Columbus Day”
Talking about American “Exceptionalism”
Mo: AUTHORS MUST BE FIRED! pic.twitter.com/qbjYfguWuo
The graphic, entitled “Things to Think About,” distinguished between overt and covert signs of white supremacy. Acts such as blackface, hate crimes and lynching were described as overt, socially unacceptable acts of white supremacy, while acts such as tone policing, the reinforcement of respectability politics and “hiring discrimination” were listed as more socially acceptable, or “covert,” forms of white supremacy in the US.
Army spokeswoman Cynthia O. Smith told the Army Times that “as soon as Department of the Army leaders were made aware of these products the Army initiated a 15-6 investigation to determine how this happened. The Army does not condone the use of phrases that indicate political support. The Army is and will continue to remain an apolitical organization.”
She also noted that “slides - copied from a non-government website - included a word cloud with phrases that were intended to spark conversation; however, the document was predecisional and inappropriate for the discussion.”
According to an event flier reposted by Team Redstone, the arsenal’s official Facebook fan page, Operation Inclusion - a two day, voluntary event - was held “in response to the global unrest surrounding incidents of racism, discrimination and loss of life.”
The launch of an Army Regulation 15-6 investigation means an officer has been appointed to investigate possible misconduct. However, any wrongdoing will not be announced by the service until after a commander has reviewed the officer’s report and recommendations and made their own decision.