Response to the Kentucky State Police Presentation "The Warrior Mindset"

As educators at the state’s land-grant university, we applaud the high school journalists Satchel and Cooper Walton for bringing to light the very troubling and disturbing training presentation “The Warrior Mindset” used by the Kentucky State Police until 2013. Without their brave journalism published in the du Pont High School Manual Redeye, we would not have been aware that our Kentucky police, whom we rely on to protect and serve us, were being taught to regard Kentuckians as “enemies” rather than fellow citizens and community members. The training presentation quoted Adolf Hitler three times, along with Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and wove their words together with images that linked “relentless violence” and racist attitudes with American patriotism. Governor Andy Beshear has promised a full investigation to determine who drafted this training presentation and who authorized its use.
It is heartening that the story was broken by high school journalists, and only drives home to us the fact that educating our youth about the Holocaust is our best hope for preventing such gross infractions from happening in the future. This ugly incident underlines the vital importance of implementing the Ann Klein and Fred Gross Holocaust Education Act law passed by the Kentucky Legislature in 2018 mandating that lessons about the Holocaust and the evils of racial hatred be included in school curricula. Fulfillment of this mandate will make it clear that racial hatred of any kind has no place in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We urge the leaders of the University of Kentucky’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative to take this opportunity to mobilize campus resources, such as faculty with experience in Holocaust and genocide studies education, to contribute to making Kentucky a better community. Our faculty with expertise in Holocaust studies are eager to work with schoolteachers and others to fulfill the intentions of the Holocaust Education Act. We look forward to working with colleagues at other campuses and at all levels of education throughout the state to help combat the dangerous ideas that were incorporated in “The Warrior Mindset.”