Three former cadets, who recently resigned from USMA, discuss their experiences with CRT, racist attitudes and policies, academic class content, the new Diversity minor, the partisan political environment, and tyrannical and irrational vaccination policies that led to their decisions to leave.
It’s about the truth and about getting the truth out to as many people as possible. That’s what STARRS is. Our mission is to educate people in the military and turn this trend around. You have to have the courage to speak up and speak out and get others to speak up and speak out.
West Point Cadet 1
So the way I got into West Point was a slightly different application process than everyone else. And that was pretty demeaning at first because I had what’s called a diversity admissions counselor. My initial thought was that everyone had a counselor. But when I got to West Point, actually, and I asked my other friends, so who was your counselor? And they were like, counselor? What counselor? And then I would ask my white guy friends, or even Hannah. Hannah said she never had a diversity counselor or anything.
I was shocked. I thought everyone went through the exact same thing I went through when it came to coming in to West Point. So, October of 2019, I was invited to West Point on a visit. My counselor told me that it was a visit for, just a visit. Then they paid for me to go up there. I didn’t know it was only for black people. I was shocked when I got there.
So I got to the hotel and we went into this room. It was like an interview conference room at the DoubleTree Hotel. Really nice and everything. I walked in, I realized everyone was black.
And then one of the diversity admissions counselors said, I’d like to introduce the most competitive black cadet candidates in the United States. I was shocked. I just stood there. I was like, what? No one had ever told me that this was for black people.
It was called the Inspire Program. I didn’t know this was an Inspired Program thing. I thought it was just a regular college visit. I thought I was flown up to West Point because of my merit, because I tried hard in high school, because I was trying to get into West Point on my own.
So many things that happened that I thought were normal or not normal was that by the time I got into West Point, and I finally realized I’m here because I’m black, not because I tried. And that made me extremely. . . . I was honestly devastated. I felt demeaned. I felt belittled. I felt like I felt babied. I felt like someone held my hand the entire way through the application process. But when I got to West Point and realized that none of the white boys had counselors, none of the white girls had counselors, just us black people. And it was not okay.
I have a second story about race. So I signed up for a sponsor. Didn’t know who it was going to be, didn’t know what they looked like. I was texted by my sponsor to meet him at a certain place I went to that location. I noticed three other black boys sitting to the left of me. I said, hey, are you guys here for Lieutenant Colonel So and So? And they said, yeah. I was like, oh, what a coincidence that we’re all black. That’s just a normal thing to say. We were there, and then we said, yeah, what a coincidence.
And then he came up with his van. And I noticed our sponsor was black, too. I said, sir, nice to meet you. We were just talking about how it was crazy coincidence that were all black. He turned around in the front seat and said, oh, no. Yeah, that’s not a coincidence. I only chose black cadets. I paused in my head. I said, okay, big red flag. That’s really racist. So we went to his house. I met his wife, a really nice, short Filipino woman. We introduced ourselves. I sat in the living room.
After introducing ourselves, the wife, she paused and said, so we are also pro-Black Lives Matter, right? I paused again. Everyone in the room laughed and said, yes. Ha ha. I sat up like this. I looked left. I looked right. I was incredibly… I felt cornered.
And I said, because I’m not afraid to say this. I said no, I don’t. And then the wife, she started interrogating me with everyone looking at me. She said, what do you mean you don’t support Black Lives Matter? What do you mean? And then our sponsor, her husband, was like, Honey, don’t do this. Don’t ask her these questions.
We have sponsors at West Point so that we can get away from the cadet life, get away from all the stress and the anxiety. So to be put in a stressful and an anxious situation, uncomfortable in this place where I’m supposed to be comfortable was….I hated it. I hated it a lot. And to talk about the one thing that I knew, like people were going to get fired up about it’s so controversial. And the fact that they assumed I would agree with them just because of the color of my skin was extremely troubling, and I struggled with that.
And the rest of the afternoon just became a debate. Me against three black boys, telling them why I had to explain to them why police aren’t bad, why critical race theory was bad. It was terrible. I was like Candace Owens versus three antagonizers. They were aggressing me. I was really uncomfortable, and I never went to his house again. I got a new sponsor after that. I got multiple sponsors after that who are all nice, all Christian, and I don’t care what color they are.
One more story. There is a club at West Point called Sass, and there’s actually multiple groups just for black people, which is, in essence, is racist. There’s no other way to slice it. So they kept confronting me. I said, no, leave me alone. No, leave me alone. And they just keep confronting.
The way people spoke to me at West Point, the way they interacted with me, especially if they were black, they would automatically assume I agree with them or automatically assume I’m on their side or want to do something with them. Or if they would talk about white people in a poor manner, I would just have to sit there and chuckle nervously because I didn’t know what else to say or do. So, yeah, that was my race experience at west.
West Point Cadet 2
The three of us also can all agree that we didn’t show up to West Point expecting to learn any of this critical race theory. So my main story about it was in an advanced composition class I had. And basically how the class was set up was that we had assigned readings, and then you were supposed to read a certain number of pages, pretty basic. And then the class time, which was all online because of COVID would basically be spent just with a discussion between the whole class about the reading.
So with any college student group, I mean, I don’t even know how many of the students actually read the books that we were assigned, but when I did, I found some pretty remarkable quotes that I remember even back then, sending back to my parents. I was just like, can you believe that we’re learning this here of all places? And so I wrote down some quotes just to make sure that I had them with me. It was from a book by Tanahese Coates called Between the World and Me. And I know Hannah said she read it before West Point, but this was given to us as an assigned reading, again by a lieutenant colonel who was my instructor.
So just within the book, it called police Fascist pigs. It said that the power of domination and exclusion is central to the belief in being white, and without it, white people would cease to exist for want of reason. And then it said that the author is African American, and he wrote that our offenses were imposed on us by Virginia planters obsessed with enslaving as many Americans as possible, and all these things.
We read these passages and we had discussions about them in class. But what really surprised me, not only was those passages, but that when we had the discussion, the instructor opened it up. He said, I know these are some really hard things to read, but in this new age of the military, you guys need to recognize these things, take them to heart and just they’re important to understand, basically.
Throughout the discussion, it seemed to me like none of the other students were as appalled by it as I was. And that kind of scared me just thinking that. Again, I don’t know how many of them actually read it, but just that my peers and people that were going to be officers in the Army weren’t going to talk about this at all and think that it was wrong. So that really surprised me and made me think again about was this an organization I wanted to serve for the next ten years?
And then there was more things just about LGBTQ rights that were coming out from Biden executive orders in one of my classes, talking about it when it wasn’t even related at all.
My best instructor there that I still keep in contact with because I just respected him so much, and he just told me, in my mind, I’m just serving the Constitution. And at the time, that really helped my mindset, and I was like, okay, I still have that. That’s what we rely on as officers. We swear to the Constitution. So I went by that, and I was able to push through all these lies we were being taught.
But just as Hannah said, and I know STARRS isn’t focused on it, but when the vaccine mandates started coming out, and when there was talk of a vaccine, I was like, I’ve been serving based on the Constitution, and now this is starting to not be based on the Constitution. And that’s when I just decided to leave. So my main things with critical race theory were in my English classes, a little bit in history classes as well.
And then we started having those extremism stand down days that Hannah mentioned, and it all just compounded, and I knew it wasn’t an organization I wanted to serve.
West Point Cadet 3
I was in that same class as Willow, but I had that instructor for both my first and second semester. And what she was saying about that book, that was like our entire curriculum in terms of gender and race. And sorry, I don’t remember what her name was, but we had a woman come speak to us, and the topic was that her body was a monument to . . . . .
West Point Cadet 1
I remember that! In English class, we were forced to watch a brief, or she spoke to us about why she’s a half black, half white woman. She came in to talk to us about why statues or why black people are monuments, they represent white rape or something like that. And she just kept talking about how she’s a product of slavery and that her skin color is a product of slavery and just stuff like that, and it was actually really disgusting. I hated that she came to talk to us like that, and it had nothing to do with English. It had nothing to do with what we were learning. I wasn’t the only one who was angry. It was people who even support the whole BLM thing were also angry that she came to talk to us about basically something that was totally nonsensical.
West Point Cadet 3
Yes, sir. I just wanted to throw that out there before I forgot because we were having a whole unit on the monuments and some different names we have at West Point, which are now considered racist. Which is why we brought this woman in to talk about how her body is now a monument to racism and slavery and all these different things, which, as Nikayla was saying, was so extreme that even people who supported this agenda thought it was extreme. But it was a very brief moment last year. So I just wanted to throw that out there before and slipped my mind.
West Point Cadet 1
Psychology and the stand down day. Almost all our PL 100 or not PL 100 psychology classes now have some sort of lesson of curriculum on racism. I remember our freshman year, we also took a class called PL 100. There was a day, I think it was less than 32, titled the title is just Racism. Nothing else just Racism because it has everything to do with psychology, apparently.
So we watched a video in my psychology class, and the video was formatted where it was a question to white people at first, and the question was, what do you think about race? And then the white people, almost all of them, answer something like, oh, it makes me uncomfortable. I know I’m racist because I’m white. A girl said that something like, I’m born with white guilt and I and it’s my duty to fix it, or something like that.
And then the other half was with black people speaking. And the question was, how do you feel about race? And then young black boys were like, oh, I know every white person is probably out there to get me, so I have to conduct myself accordingly. I stay away from the police because they scare me. I stay away, stuff like that.
They were kind of just saying it’s white people’s obligation to cater to me because they’re a racist, something like that. There is a diversity minor at West Point now that’s brand new.
And then we have something called a stand down day. Everyone had to go to the stadium, and there was a panel of all black cadets, and they told their stories about why cops are bad and why. There was this one boy, I remember he gave a powerful story of his father who was killed by police. And of course, everyone’s going to feel bad for this young man because his father died and was killed by police.
But you fail to realize that his father was a criminal. His father had criminal records and stuff like that. They didn’t tell that side of the story. They just saw a young man who was victimized because his father died, was killed by police.
In my company, there was a girl who was extreme about these things. She’s half white, half black, but she only embraces her black side, if that makes sense. It’s mind blowing how she can speak for us. She’s actually really racist, now that I think about it. She told one of the girl plebe this year before I left West Point, that she was making all the black girls in the company look bad because she got bad grades or something. Like, what kind of person does that? Just as a person in general? It was really shocking.
There’s a lot of irony with a lot of this, because when you think racism, you think people being treated poorly based on their race, right? Which that’s basically what racism is. In my case, the racism I experienced was kind of the opposite. People treated me better because I’m black. And I mean, no matter which way it’s being treated differently, it’s racist. That’s basically what happened. I was talked to differently.
I was just treated sometimes people were nice to me, or it almost seemed like they were trying to please me, if that makes sense. Like, trying their hardest not to offend me in their conversations. And I didn’t ask for that. I’m not a sensitive person. I’m not a snowflake. Don’t treat me like one.
It’s just very strange, because Hannah and I were walking in a store one day, and we saw a book that said Black Sisterhood or something like that. And then Hannah said, so I can’t be a part of this sisterhood. And we were laughing, and I thought that was funny because, of course I can be a part of that sisterhood. Look, just look at me. I’m definitely a sister. But Hannah, no, she’s racist. That’s basically what this book was saying.
We were at Harvard. Yeah, we were in the Harvard bookstore, just searching, looking around, and this was top to bottom floor, all these books, talking about about feminism and LGBTQ, just LGBTQ awareness and all that stuff. Rainbows on the book, there was a children’s book with Dr. Fauci as a cartoon on the front and said how a man from Brooklyn became one of the Greatest Doctors in the world. And we just laughed so hard.
It may be funny to look at these things and just think of how ridiculous they are, but we also realized that these are very serious things, that they’re feeding our children, they’re feeding our college students. And I saw it firsthand in a school that I was told is non biased and nonpartisan, but it was quite the opposite. It was very partisan. And they just told me they treated me different, they treated Hannah different.
They just indoctrinated us based on things that they told us were true, that they told us were facts. And that we know for certain is not.
West Point Cadet 3
The curriculum question. I would say it’s definitely in all of the humanities, simply because those are conversational classes, and it’s where you can force your ideas and agendas. Anyway, you don’t see this much in math and science because that’s simply just like now what we’re talking about. English department is huge. That’s where we had all of these briefs, these sponsors meetings, the books, the readings all that.
As Nikayla said, psychology is huge. And then I also found it a lot in my philosophy classes this year. And so essentially philosophy. There’s certain core curriculum pushed down by Congress that says we have to be taught these types of things in our philosophy classes in terms of our honor code. And so I don’t know how that’s established, but our teachers, these are topics they teach us about.
I don’t know if it’s because of what they’re given or because it’s just my teacher, but all of our topics were around abortion and women in combat arms and absolute truth and reparations. And it’s like he wanted conversation, but he always had his own answer. And so if two students were kind of going at it on the topic of abortion, for example, by the end of that conversation, he would have to insert himself and be like, well you know, if you look at it like this way– it’s definitely was always a very liberal side and argument.
As a Christian conservative in the class, I was the only one speaking up in opposition to my teacher. And so, I mean, I’m not someone who’s not going to speak just because it’s uncomfortable. And so I was not particularly liked by the teacher. And same thing with my English class, with Willow, with the Lieutenant Colonel. The only bad grade I ever got on a paper was one in which I talked about sin.
West Point Cadet 2
And a lot of times when we’re having these discussions, it feels like you’re getting led to an answer. And then even if you have a question or want to ask your peers questions in these discussions, the instructor will jump in and kind of guide you guys. And so that’s also, I think, a piece of why more cadets don’t speak out, just because the feeling is I’m being molded into a soldier, they’re trying to change me. And so maybe this is just what I should be thinking or the way I should be thinking, if that’s what they’re telling me, because they’re my superior officers.
West Point Cadet 3
Just to bounce off too about General Williams, when we had a massive cheating scandal at our school, he waited to reprimand the students because he didn’t want to infringe upon our football team success. And that created a lot of cynicism within cadets because we had students who were going through honor boards and just kind of getting wrecked. But he did not touch the football team and the majority of the students who cheated were on the football team and he waited until their season was over so that they wouldn’t be suspended from the team. So that is the kind of character that we are working with right now.
West Point Cadet 1
As for the microaggressions thing, we were taught what the definition of microaggression was. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything similar in any fashion. I don’t really know. I don’t really go out and search for that, and if someone says something to me with an unintended racist, underlying read between the lines type thing, I probably wouldn’t recognize it, I guess. Yeah, we were taught what it was. We were just taught the definition. Actually, no, during the stand down day, they said it’s important to recognize microaggressions so that you can call people out whenever they happen. But I’ve never really seen people call another person out for saying it.
West Point Cadet 3
I was taught pretty heavily in my psychology class, the P O 100 class we did a week. It was like an intensive week on gender and racism and things like that. At least my class, specifically, we spend at least a few days talking about how microaggressions lead to full on racism and discrimination and sexism and things like that. And so he gives examples for such as women in the workforce, and he’s saying, perhaps during an ACFT, a woman gets like a 495 and her male counterparts says, wow, that’s really good for a girl. That’s a microaggression. Assuming that girls aren’t typically that strong and it’s not a microaggression. That’s a fact. Like women are not as strong as men. And that is very impressive for a woman. And he was essentially just saying he gives a lot of comments like that, whether it had to do with gender or race. But that was at least a big topic.
West Point Cadet 2
Yes, we did learn about microaggressions, but my kind of view on it is anyone can take offense to anything if they choose to. So it’s like microaggressions. Anything that you think is offensive could be labeled as a microaggression, which I guess is why Nikola was saying nobody really called each other out on it necessarily, unless it was an instructor, I guess.
West Point Cadet 3
I came to West Point. I got COVID in November at the same time that I also got concussed and mandatory plea boxing, and I had strep throat, so it was fun. We were sent to quarantine. It’s complete isolation for 14 days. You can’t go outside for more than an hour, which is crazy, because also when you’re sick, you need to be outside and moving around and not acting like you’re sick. We had meals brought to us, couldn’t interact with anyone. There was a boy next to me, too, fun fact, who had strep throat, and they didn’t give him medicine until a week into his quarantine.
So the whole situation of throwing us into what we call the gulag was just absolutely horrible. And so I had COVID really well, the virus itself wasn’t horrible, but I became a long hauler. And so upon leaving quarantine, I started having a lot of heart attack like symptoms. I was with Nikayla when I just started having some issues breathing, and I went to the emergency room a few times, and I ended up just leaving West Point early. And when I came back in January, I was still having these issues.
They were doing all these tests on me. I was sent to Walter Reed. I did a Cardiac MRI. And throughout all of this, once the vaccine started to roll out, they were far more concerned with my vaccination status than they were with my actual recovery from COVID. And I always emphasize what I went through with COVID because I’m someone who understands that it can be a threat. Now, I don’t think it’s a threat at all to our military, especially with my age group. COVID is a 99.98% survival rate. I am just someone who gets sick a lot, and so I got sick from it bad.
So I’m dealing with all these issues. Now they’re bringing us to this re-education brief about, why are you not getting this optional COVID vaccine? And I challenged them on this because then they started saying, too, like, mass work, no one got the flu. I was like, I had the flu while I had COVID. It was a mess. And on this panel, too, they only allowed vaccinated people on it. They had a chaplain who was going to speak on it who was unvaccinated. They told him he could no longer speak since he was unvaccinated, and then brought a vaccinated chaplain to tell us why it was okay to get vaccinated.
So we continued to say no. This was around Willow’s departure. Nikayla and I went through summer in our ostracized platoon. And when we got back to the school year, it was twice a week COVID testing at 06:00 a.m. We were up an hour before the rest of the core to get tested for a virus we didn’t have with no symptoms, even though we couldn’t even take pass.
The kids who were vaccinated who were legitimately starting to get sick weren’t allowed to get COVID tests, even though they can still contract it and transmit it. But no one cared about that.
So when the actual mandate came down, they said that you could not have a medical exemption if you had had myocarditis, if you had heart issues, literally like anything, the only reason you could have a medical exemption was if you had gotten a shot and had an anaphylactic reaction to the first dose. And this is including no natural immunity, no test for anybody, nothing. And so that’s where I kind of got into it with a lot of our higher leadership there. One, explaining why this order innate was illegal, but then two, my situation. I said, I’m not someone who should be injecting this into my body. It’s not safe. And they kept saying, you don’t have a right for an exemption, like choose.
And so that’s kind of when I left, I saw a lot of this vaccine stuff is just a microcosm of a much larger issue that was happening within West Point and within the Army, which is that they don’t care about individual soldiers, they don’t care about Americans when it comes to a much larger agenda. And right now, that agenda is power, and it is crushing America and our values. And we see that through the vaccine. We don’t want you to have personal choice. We don’t want you to have bodily autonomy when it comes to your medical choice.
We want to teach you that transgenderism is not a mental illness, but it’s okay. And it’s encouraged to put people who are transgender paid by the taxpayers in our military on front lines with weapons. We want to tell you that women are just as strong, if not stronger than men and should be the one leading our combat arms teams. We’re telling you that critical race theory is real and that white people are bad and that black people are constantly under oppression.
And I saw this throughout the curriculum with our plebes. I saw this in my own curriculum. Willow and I talked about it throughout the call, just in our different levels of where this was. In terms of what was happening in our curriculum. I would say we had about 20 unvaccinated when Nikayla and I left. And I personally know a few kids who have–actually I know a handful who have also started out-processing since Nikayla and I did, and then a few more who actually got vaccinated because their medical exemptions and their appeal was denied. And so I would say there’s maybe 13 or 14, but I can ask my friends over there for an exact number because they all test every week.
West Point Cadet 2
When the vaccine mandates started coming out and when there was talk of a vaccine, I was like, I’ve been serving based on the Constitution, and now this is starting to not be based on the Constitution. And that’s when I just decided to leave. So my main things with critical race theory were in my English classes, a little bit in history classes as well. And then we started having those extremism stand down days that Hannah mentioned, and it all just compounded, and I knew it wasn’t an organization I wanted to serve.
West Point Cadet 1
All right, I was just going to emphasize I’m not the only black person at West Point who thinks the way I do. We have a friend who’s also still an unvaccinated cadet right now. He’s like me. He’s black. I’m not the only one. We’re just, a lot of the times, too afraid to talk about it because we are lumped into this group, as in they expect us to think as they do. So they will shun us from the black community if we speak out. I’ve been called an Uncle Tom. I’ve been called a white man pleaser. I’ve been like multiple people, friends, high school, college have told me, you’re just trying to kiss up to white people. You want to be white or something like. That just crazy things. But I just want to emphasize that I’m not alone, we’re just quiet.
Jane Hampton Cook
Thank you for sharing your story and revealing your personal experience. And the perspective I think that you have is just very important for all of us to keep in mind the reality of what’s on the ground, and you’ve just been through that, so thank you for sharing.
Any closing comments from any of our guests or any of the STARRS supporters?
West Point Cadet 1
I want to thank you, ma’am, Ms Jane Hampton Cook, for helping me, Willow and Hannah get on basically everything, all the media stuff and everything that you put on Telegram. Also, I really appreciate that. West Point Allies was a really big thing for me, especially at West Point, because I felt so alone, except for the rest of my fellow unvaccinated cadets, and I felt like ostracized from the world. And then we had someone like Jane Hampton Cook on our side, working in the shadows. Never seen or never met her, but she was always on our side. And that was really nice.
Jane Hampton Cook
Well, thank you, Jane. You can see such the powerful team that we’re forming here. And hopefully the more tentacles that we can put out to our society, the more people that we can bring to this fight, the easier the victory will be, because we are going to win this.