BEIJING, Aug. 17, 2017 —
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stressed today that there is no room in the U.S. military for racism and bigotry.
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks with media in Beijing, Aug. 17, 2017. Dunford is on a multiday trip to the Asia-Pacific region. DoD photo by Christianne Witten
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford is traveling in Asia and involved in high-level discussions centered on the nuclear threat posed by North Korea, but he took time to address the recent tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The chairman said he has read the tweets posted by his fellow members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "I have been traveling, so I've been following in bits and pieces what's been happening in Charlottesville and very saddened by the events there and the loss of life of the young lady who was hit by a vehicle," he said. "I can absolutely and unambiguously tell you there is no place -- no place -- for racism and bigotry in the U.S. military or in the United States as a whole."
The chairman said the Joint Chiefs' statements were important. "They were speaking directly to the force and to the American people: to the force to make clear that that kind of racism and bigotry is not going to stand inside the force. And to the American people, to remind them of the values for which we stand in the U.S. military, which are reflective of the values of the United States," he said.
The chairman said he was late in responding to the tragedy, "but only because I've been in Beijing and not really decisively following the developments over the weekend," he said.