EXCLUSIVE: The US Navy’s “extremism” training says it’s okay to advocate for Black Lives Matter (BLM) while at work but sailors are not allowed to discuss “politically partisan” issues, according to training slides obtained by Fox News.
A question posed in a “scenarios for discussion” slide asked if BLM was “political stuff” that superiors in the Navy are “not supposed to be talking about at work,” according to the slides, which Fox obtained from a U.S. military official who took part in the training at the Pentagon.
The answer given by the Navy called BLM a “public policy issue” and gave the green light for advocating for the organization “as long as the behavior is otherwise lawful and the advocacy is not politically partisan in nature.”
“Advocating for or against a public policy issue (as here) is authorized as long as the behavior is otherwise lawful and the advocacy is not politically partisan in nature (e.g. it doesn’t specifically address a political party),” the slide reads. “If the discussions make you uncomfortable, discuss the matter with your boss or another supervisor.”
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby was asked at Monday’s press briefing whether talking about BLM in the workplace is “considered partisan.”
Kirby responded that he was “not able to answer that question” and that the discussion as to why could “go down a rabbit hole on a million different things.”
“What we’re trying to get after here is the kind of ideology that inspires conduct and behavior. … And it’s not about one side or the other on the aisle,” said Kirby. “It’s not about what God you worship or choose not to worship. It’s about ideology that inspires you or can inspire others to bring harm inside the force.”
“And that’s what we’re trying to get after,” Kirby added.
Kirby said the Pentagon was taking their push to combat extremism in their ranks “seriously” and recognized that the issue was “a hard problem to get our arms around.”
“But we can’t just put our head in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist. We can’t just say, ‘well, it’s not a problem.’ It is a problem,” continued Kirby. “The other problem is, we don’t know how big it is. And so that’s what we’re trying to learn. And I think you’re gonna see this unfold over time.”
“I’m not going to be able to come to the podium this week, next week or the week after with a plan and say, ‘This is it. This is how this is how it’s defined,’” the press secretary continued.
“And this is exactly how deep the problem is. This is going to be something and Secretary Austin has made very clear he’s going to work on every day that he’s the Secretary of Defense.”
“It’s not something that you can take your foot off the pedal on,” he added.
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