(First posted 28 November 2017)
Yet another open letter, GEN Kelly. Are you as sick of these as I am? You can redeem yourself in my eyes by saying we are angry for the same reason.
“And I have to say, I said to General Kelly, I said, general, how good – here he is, right there, the chief; he’s the general and the chief – I said, how good were these code talkers?”
The Code Talkers were recruited from a population that was removed from their parents and forced into boarding schools, forced to trade the language they grew up speaking for English, forced to try to assimilate while not being allowed to vote, marry white girls, get jobs for which they were qualified. And they went to war for _us_, performed heroically, decisively …. and came back to a nation that had not changed in their absence. A good many drank themselves to death in the years after.
I wore the same uniform as the Code Talkers. Every November, people reflexively thank me for my “service” – like I’m some sort of fat, fallen superhero. These guys – they’re the Real Deal., the real superheroes. I’d throw all my medals away if I could go back to 1945 and meet them at the boat returning home and thank them the way the should have been thanked (ya know – peer-to-peer recognition, here’s where you apply for benefits, here’s a lawyer who will get those for you when the racists say no – that sort of thing).
I’ll be honest: the way these Marines were treated after their return was a crime. I can acknowledge that, and it pisses me off – but I can’t fix it.
The way president* bonespurs-five-deferments treated them – as props for his reality show where Senator Warren is next in the ring – that’s just insult to injury. It infuriates me.
This shit has to stop. You need to do some counselling GEN Kelly– or you need to admit flat out you’re as much of the problem we have with racists in positions of power as is your boss.