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Pentagon rips NYT's Memorial Day editorial accusing military of celebrating white supremacism

Newspaper picks fight over names of bases on holiday designed to celebrate heroism.

Updated: May 26, 2020 - 10:44am

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The Pentagon is blasting The New York Times for a Memorial Day weekend editorial suggesting the military celebrates white supremacism by failing to rename bases honoring Confederate figures and others officers with racism in their past.

The newspaper's lengthy Sunday editorial called the names of many installations, including Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Pickett in Virginia, an "embarrassing artifact of the time when the military itself embraced anti-American values."

"Military installations that celebrate white supremacist traitors have loomed steadily larger in the civic landscape since the country began closing smaller bases and consolidating its forces on larger ones. ... It is long past time for those bases to be renamed," the newspaper wrote.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman unleashed a volley of tweets criticizing the Times on Sunday for both the timing and tenor of the editorial. 

“On a solemn day for remembering those that have given their lives for our country fighting against tyranny and subjugation, the NYT has more than a million possible stories of the ultimate sacrifice by American patriots that they could tell. But they don’t,” Hoffman tweeted.

He added: “The Department of Defense is the most diverse meritocracy in the country and the most powerful force for good in world history. We have many stories of valor still waiting to be told this Memorial Day weekend.”

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