I am a huge fan of AmeriCorps. It does a lot of good for all the right reasons. I have often included it as a major tool for social and economic reform, whenever I fantasize about my own Presidential mandate.
The only reason I am sharing this is that everything he has been accused of saying can be heard in his own words, in his own voice. The vulgarity of these words are enough to give its own context.
Don’t act appalled. These are phrases used by many Americans (not all White either), to describe what they see wrong about America. He is absolutely right about the term “African American,” as I have shared the same sentiments, which is why I almost never use it in conversation. What’s offensive to me is that he makes it seem like we get to choose what other Americans call us. As I’ve stated before, in my own circles, very rarely do Black people refer to themselves as African Americans. We use it with everyone else because that’s what everyone else seems comfortable with.
His rant about Muslims being child molesters completely overlooks how rampant child molestation (and I do mean rampant) exists in American Christian and Catholic church leadership, for generations, and as we have seen, traced all the way up to the Vatican. Politically-speaking, the most powerful Republican lawmaker turned out to be a serial child molester, and even laundered public funds to appease the blackmailing of one of his victims, for over a million dollars.
What really caught me off guard is how this former Navy SEAL so flippantly throws his fellow servicemen under the bus, by claiming 75% of the PTSD cases are fraudulent. Many in government believe that too, which is why veteran services budgets are always so quick to get sacked, year after year. Nobody believed it after Vietnam, and they didn’t believe it after Iraq. It took a campaign of “22 A Day” to bring light to just how severe PTSD has been (not has become) for our troops and vets. These folks who signed up to serve and sacrificed their own sanity, only to be stonewalled when they need help the most. I don’t think the people that Chris Kyle was trying to help were faking it, and I don’t think Kyle himself was faking it either. The consequences of such accusations are very real. I just have a hard time wrapping my head around how anyone who has worn a uniform in combat can be so unsympathetic to his brethren. To think how many veteran lives we could have saved if we took such an epidemic more seriously. I will cocede his view that when he says “weak mind”, he means that many of the people we sent to war were not properly prepared for it. We were too busy sending bodies over to fight, we didn’t really care about their well-being when we signed them up. That happens every war. What’s worse is that we care even less when they come home. That has to change.
Everything else, I can see coming from a man like this. Because I have heard everything else like that from men and women like him. Very monochromatic social perspectives.
His harsh-but-honest words make him a hero to many. An enemy to many more. One more thing to voice outrage over. Once again.
We can’t keep losing our minds over reality become more apparent. We live in a very sublimely racist society, a very sublimely sexist society. Bigotry isn’t being “normalized.” It’s already normal. That’s what this guy reminds us with bold words. These are secret recordings. These were deliberate words shared over commercial broadcast, to the cheers of fans who eat it up.
There will be plenty of backlash and outcries against hate and racism. It needs to be known that we find such animosity unacceptable. However, there should still be voices of reason, pushing for unity and solidarity. We can’t fight hate with more hate. It sounds weak to talk about love when there is so much hate, but there will always be need for balance. Why should anyone be interested in love right now? Let’s talk about that.