Biden Seeks to Promote an Air Force Colonel Who Views All Whites as Racist
In recent months, Air Force Colonel Ben Jonsson’s leadership has been called into question due to a military assessment and concerns about his views on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), as well as his endorsement of critical race theory (CRT). Jonsson has been awaiting promotion to brigadier general, but his promotion has been held up in the Senate due to a dispute over the Pentagon’s taxpayer-funded abortion policy. A Defense Department “climate” assessment during Jonsson’s tenure as commander of MacDill Air Force Base paints a concerning picture.
The Defense Organizational Climate Survey, conducted anonymously in January 2022, revealed critical feedback from subordinates who worked under Jonsson. Comments in the survey highlight several key concerns, such as potential bias in equal opportunity (EO) and judge advocate (JA) matters, a focus on diversity that seemed to prioritize perception over qualifications, and a perception that DEI was affecting promotion opportunities and decision-making.
One comment stated, “He has bias in EO and JA matters especially if someone is white. He seeks to provide justice to anyone black, and works to create bias to support. The color of someone’s skin is more important than the qualifications/diversity of thought of the individual. He wants anyone white to feel ashamed.”
The assessment concluded with a recommendation to “review the Recognition program/promotions for fairness and equity to ensure it is rooted in merit and achievement (and not other factors like race/gender or personal favorites).”
Jonsson’s problematic views on DEI became evident before he took command at MacDill Air Force Base when he wrote a commentary titled “Dear White Colonels” in which he accused his fellow “white colonels” of being “blind to institutional racism.” He endorsed Robin DiAngelo’s book “White Fragility,” which many felt conveyed a message that Jonsson sees all white people as racist.
William Thibeau, a director at the Claremont Institute’s American Military Project, expressed alarm at the comments made during the assessment. He noted that Jonsson’s embrace of DEI and liberal political ideologies reflects a larger problem of a politicized military.
As the debate over Jonsson’s promotion continues in the Senate, Senator Tommy Tuberville has blocked unanimous consent for the promotions due to his concerns about the Pentagon’s taxpayer-funded abortion policy. The policy could lead to a significant increase in the number of taxpayer-covered abortions in the military. Thibeau argues that this dispute is crucial to maintaining scrutiny over military leaders like Jonsson, who have embraced divisive political ideologies that undermine the military’s professionalism.
The assessment’s revelations about Jonsson’s leadership raise concerns about the influence of DEI and CRT within the military, further fueling the debate over his promotion and the Pentagon’s policies on political ideology. The military’s leadership and their ideological beliefs remain under scrutiny, emphasizing the importance of thorough assessments in ensuring the readiness and professionalism of the armed forces.