Then-Capt. Matthew Lohmeier, pictured on July 22, 2015, as the 460th Operations Group Block 10 chief of training, stands in the Standardized Space Trainer on Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora. (Darren Scott/U.S. Air Force)
Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier was commander of the 11th Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Space Force Base in Aurora until last month, when he was relieved of command following public criticism of what he called the growing influence of “cultural Marxism” in the U.S. military. Now, his case is being reviewed by the Air Force inspector general, while Republican politicians, including Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs, have rallied to his defense.
“He is an outstanding young man,” Lamborn, who said he’d met with Lohmeier last week, told conservative radio host Tony Perkins in a Thursday interview. “I think he’s the kind of person we want to keep in the military, and not drive out of the military.”
“This decision was based on public comments made by Lt. Col. Lohmeier in a recent podcast,” the spokesperson said. Lohmeier appeared on a May 7 episode of the right-wing “Information Operation” podcast to promote his self-published book, “Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest and the Unmaking of the American Military.”
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In his book, Lohmeier praises the Trump administration’s efforts to crack down on diversity training programs within the Department of Defense, and he denounces what he calls the department’s “current radical narrative about systemic racism in America.” Much of the book consists of unsubstantiated and anonymous anecdotes that Lohmeier says illustrate the “increasingly overt support for the progressive, Marxist worldview” within the armed forces. He criticizes efforts by the Biden administration to root out right-wing extremism in the military’s ranks and falsely claims that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was carried out “by a mixed group of Trump supporters and Antifa agent provocateurs.”
Lohmeier also embraces theories that are widely identified by anti-extremism researchers and advocacy groups as being characteristic of white-supremacist ideology. In the book’s final chapter, titled “The Wrath to Come,” Lohmeier warns of what he says are the inevitable consequences of “the rhetorical demonization of conservatives and whites in the country.”
“I had always intended the final chapter of this book to be a warning — a warning that ideas have consequences,” Lohmeier wrote. “A warning that postmodernist, neo-Marxist ideology employs vile rhetoric that stokes rage and leads people to do terrible things. This chapter is about fratricidal and genocidal warfare, and all of the horror that implies — because you cannot persist in the hate-filled demonization of entire groups of people based on their race or political affiliation without incurring the wrath of genocide. To persist means that it is not a question of whether it will turn into violence — that it will, follows like the night the day. Rather, the only question remaining is when.”
“To be perfectly clear, the path we are on as a country leads to fratricidal and genocidal warfare,” Lohmeier continues. “In disheartening irony, the politically correct, overly sensitive, racially charged, woke culture in which we live prevents peaceful citizens from properly publicly identifying real threats for what they are.”
The words “genocide” or “genocidal” are used in relation to these issues 17 times throughout Lohmeier’s book, which was published on May 10 and is currently ranked as the No. 1 bestseller in the “Military Policy” category on Amazon’s website.
The “white genocide conspiracy theory,” according to Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative, “is the belief that immigration by people of color, falling white birth rates, and the promotion of multiculturalism are all part of a deliberate plot to destroy the ‘white race.'” The Anti-Defamation League says the concept was “coined by white supremacists for propaganda purposes as shorthand for one of the most deeply held modern white supremacist convictions: that the white race is ‘dying’ due to growing non-white populations and ‘forced assimilation.'”
Hosted by Air Force veteran and author L. Todd Wood, the “Information Operation” podcast on which Lohmeier appeared last month is produced by Creative Destruction Media, a far-right website that has pushed the QAnon conspiracy theory and continues to publish a wide range of debunked claims and misinformation alleging that the 2020 election was stolen, that the COVID-19 pandemic was “planned” by “globalists,” and more.
Lohmeier did not respond to a request for comment submitted through his personal website.
GOP uproar over ‘critical race theory’
Lohmeier’s criticism of the U.S. military and his removal from command come amid a growing national uproar from conservatives over “critical race theory,” a once-obscure academic term that experts say is now being widely misapplied to describe everything from diversity training and teaching the history of slavery to analyses of systemic racism and protests against police violence.
Since the beginning of 2021, Republican lawmakers in at least 21 states, many of them invoking the specter of critical race theory, have launched efforts to “restrict education on racism, bias, the contributions of specific racial or ethnic groups to U.S. history, or related topics,” according to Chalkbeat.
Days after Lohmeier’s removal, a group of 24 Republican members of Congress, including Lamborn and fellow Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, sent a letter to Air Force and Space Force officials praising his “level-headed critique” of current military policies, and calling for his immediate reinstatement. Lamborn at the time issued a statement that closely matched many of the attacks on critical race theory made in Lohmeier’s book.
“I am growing increasingly concerned about the proliferation of training and discussions rooted in critical race theory throughout the Department of Defense,” Lamborn said. “This Marxist ideology teaches racial prejudice and collective guilt. The fact that it would be taught and promoted in the U.S. military is deeply disturbing.”
A spokesperson for Lamborn did not respond to multiple requests for comment on whether the congressman had read Lohmeier’s book, or whether he agreed with Lohmeier’s remarks on white “genocide.”
Lohmeier isn’t the only opponent of critical race theory to have recently veered into espousal of white genocide theory. James Lindsay, a well-known right-wing academic whose work Lohmeier cites in his book, faced criticism from many of his fellow conservatives last week after writing on Twitter that “there will be” a genocide of whites “if this ideology isn’t stopped.” Earlier this month, Lindsay was a featured panelist at the annual retreat of the Leadership Program of the Rockies, a conservative networking organization, at The Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs.
“James Lindsay is now peddling White Genocide Theory,” Claire Lehmann, founder of the right-leaning website Quillette, wrote on Twitter on June 9. “Implying that a genocide against whites in the U.S. is imminent has the potential to inspire racist violence. Such comments are extreme, reckless, and irresponsible. They should be denounced.”
Lohmeier served in the Air Force for 14 years prior to his October 2020 transfer to the Space Force, which was established under the Department of the Air Force in 2019. The 11th Space Warning Squadron, which Lohmeier commanded, is a 69-member unit tasked with overseeing satellite-based missile warning systems.
Following the outcry from GOP members of Congress over Lohmeier’s removal, the Air Force inspector general said that it would conduct the investigation into his actions “due to the complexity and sensitivity of the issues under consideration, as well as potential for (Department of the Air Force)-wide impact,” a spokesperson told Military.com.
Lamborn continued to insist in an interview on Thursday that Lohmeier was “relieved of his command for speaking out against critical race theory.”
“If we let critical race theory, the 1619 Project, some of these other poisonous and destructive teachings take hold in our military … who’s going to want to defend it?” Lamborn said. “Who’s going to want to give years and years of their life, or possibly even make the ultimate sacrifice if called upon, for a country that is so flawed? That’s what really concerns me about critical race theory and these other treacherous teachings.”
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