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Ohio American Legion does Racism - Charter Suspended

Rhea

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It’s a pretty swift and comprehensive disapproval. The American Legion itself suspended the Charter and will likely close it.

According to the evidence provided, it was premeditated, blatant and completely disrespectful. I imagine that most veterans agree with this reaction, though.

I also imagine some (hopefully small number) would have been cheering the censure of the man’s speech.


YOu have to live in a pretty racism-permissive bubble to think doing such a thing would have no consequences.

https://www.beaconjournal.com/story...-charter-suspended-leader-resigns/7543211002/

The charter of Hudson's American Legion post was suspended as its leader resigned Friday after a veteran's mic got cut while he spoke about Black Americans' role in the history of Memorial Day.

The actions come four days after the leader of the Hudson Legion and head of the Legion's auxiliary were involved with cutting retired Army Lt. Col. Bernard Kemter's microphone during a Memorial Day ceremony in Hudson.

[…]

Suchan told the Beacon Journal earlier this week Kemter's mic was turned down because it “was not relevant to our program for the day," and added the “theme of the day was honoring Hudson veterans.”

The state Legion said its investigation found Suchan received a copy of Kemter's speech in advance and asked him to remove a portion of the speech where he described how newly freed Black slaves gave an honorable burial to deceased Union soldiers shortly after the end of the Civil War.

In its news release, the state Legion said it determined the "censoring" of Kemter's speech was "pre-meditated and planned by … Garrison and … Suchan."

"They knew exactly when to turn the volume down and when to turn it back up," the state Legion office said in its news release.


One can see why the American Legion would not want a reputation to include something like this affecting all of their posts.


Thanks to GoodBlackNews.org for reporting stories like this.
 

ZiprHead

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I heard about this but not the suspension. Not so sure about removing the entire posts status in response to one asshole.
 

Rhea

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My guess is that they are reacting to a feeling of pervasive evidence. I really do think it takes a feeling of clear groupthink to do something so public. To a vet. At a speech. On Memorial day!
 

southernhybrid

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I read about this in the New York Times earlier this morning.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/03/us/american-legion-ohio-mic-cut-speech.html


One of the organizers of the event, James Garrison, resigned as a post officer, the commander of the American Legion Department of Ohio, Roger Friend, said in a statement on Facebook on Friday.

The statement added that the Hudson American Legion post had been suspended, pending its permanent closure.


“The American Legion Department of Ohio does not hold space for members, veterans, or families of veterans who believe that censoring Black history is acceptable behavior,” the statement said.

It said the censoring that took place was “premeditated and planned” by Mr. Garrison and another organizer, Cindy Suchan-Rothgery.

“They knew exactly when to turn the volume down and when to turn it back up” because Ms. Suchan-Rothgery had received a copy of Mr. Kemter’s speech in advance and she had asked him to remove the specific section that was censored.
Editors’ Picks

Gee. I thought that cancel culture was something that only the left did. Who knew?


Mr. Kemter, who grew up in Hudson and had been invited by the local American Legion post to speak at the event, said he had researched his 11-minute speech and practiced it several times.

As a courtesy to the event’s organizers, he said, he sent a copy of his speech to Ms. Suchan-Rothgery three days before the service. On Sunday, he said, she replied.

“She just said she wanted changes made,” said Mr. Kemter, who lives in Pataskala, Ohio, which is more than two hours from Hudson.

Mr. Kemter said that Ms. Suchan-Rothgery had forgotten to save her notations on the word processing document that he had sent to her, so he just went ahead with his speech on Memorial Day.

“I did not have time to rewrite a speech,” he said.

As he took the microphone, Mr. Kemter mentioned his roots in Hudson and said that Memorial Day was a “day of solemn contemplation over the cost of our freedoms.” He said the observance had been born out of necessity when the nation was faced with the task of burying 600,000 to 800,000 Civil War dead.

“Memorial Day was first commemorated by an organized group of Black freed slaves less than a month after the Confederacy surrendered,” he said on Monday, citing research by David W. Blight, a Yale University history professor.

On May 1, 1865, Mr. Kemter said, a large group of formerly enslaved people organized a tribute to Union soldiers who had died at what had been a Confederate prisoner of war camp in Charleston, S.C.

Apparently some people don't want to learn about the historical contributions made by Black people. Sickening.
 

Politesse

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Apparently some people don't want to learn about the historical contributions made by Black people. Sickening.
Funny how racists will go on and on and on about the evils of "erasing history"... until you start trying to teach them some. Then they cut off your mike.
 

TomC

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One can see why the American Legion would not want a reputation to include something like this affecting all of their posts.

It's great.
It reinforces my opinion that U.S. society has progressed to the point that we don't need the government or activist lawyers enforcing basic civility or American values. We weren't 50 years ago. But things have changed hugely since then.
Tom
 

Patooka

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Apparently some people don't want to learn about the historical contributions made by Black people. Sickening.
Funny how racists will go on and on and on about the evils of "erasing history"... until you start trying to teach them some. Then they cut off your mike.

Which is in line with history. Charleston didn't want anyone to know about this parade for a long time either.
 

hurtinbuckaroo

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I heard about this but not the suspension. Not so sure about removing the entire posts status in response to one asshole.

It was two, actually. And one refuses to resign. Also, the Ohio Legion has said they haven’t heard from a single member of the Hudson post about the possible closure.
 

Bronzeage

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If this post is like any other similar organization, fraternal order, lodge, whatever it's called, there is a very small group of active members who control everything. Their real function is to operate the hall as a business. They rent the hall for wedding receptions, corporate functions, antique shows, and such stuff. As long as the bills are paid, no one pays much attention. There maybe a thousand due paying members, but very little input from any of them. It's no surprise to see one person, or two, feel they have the power to pull this kind of stunt, without thinking of the repercussions.
 

laughing dog

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The American Legion and the VFW are relics of a different era. Both are experiencing declining membership. Younger vets are not joining up in the same numbers or rate as in the past. This incident is just another reason for younger vets to refrain from joining.
 
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