A veteran's microphone was muted while trying to credit Black Americans during his speech at a Memorial Day service...
It is reported that he was intentionally silenced...
And the internet is horrified...
Retired Army Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter, who served in the Persian Gulf war, had been speaking at a Memorial Day service organized by the American Legion post in Hudson, Ohio when his microphone was silenced.
His microphone is believed to have cut out for nearly 2 minutes during his 11-minute speech.
At the time that the audio cut, Kemter had been crediting formerly enslaved Black Americans with being among the first to honor the fallen soldiers after the Civil War.
Video footage of the event shared by public access channel, Hudson Community Television, shows the microphone cutting out and Kemter tapping the microphone before asking someone to look at the problem.
He then continued his speech without the microphone.
"I assumed it was a technical glitch," Kemter told The Washington Post.
But he soon learnt that wasn't the case...
During an interview with the Akron Beacon Journal earlier this week, one of the event's organizers, Cindy Suchan-Rothgery, admitted the audio had been deliberately turned down though she did not specify by who.
She told the Akron Beacon Journal that Kemter's discussion "was not relevant to our program for the day" and that the "theme of the day was honoring Hudson veterans."
"We asked him to modify his speech, and he chose not to do that," she also added.
About 3 days before his speech, Kemter emailed his speech to event organizers who responded by asking Kemter to revise his speech and "leave out the part of history of it," The Post reports.
"I was very disappointed that someone would choose to censor my speech," Kemter told The Washington Post.
"Throughout history, there has been a lot of claims about who actually performed the first Memorial Day service. With this speech, I chose to educate people as to the origin of Memorial Day and why we were celebrating it."
James W. Oxford, the national commander of the American Legion issued a statement to Twitter:
"Regardless of the investigation’s outcome, the national headquarters is very clear that The American Legion deplores racism and reveres the Constitution.— The American Legion (@AmericanLegion) June 3, 2021
"Regardless of the investigation's outcome, the national headquarters is very clear that The American Legion deplores racism and reveres the Constitution."
"We salute LTC Kemter's service & his moving remarks about the history of Memorial Day & the important role played by Black Americans in honoring our fallen heroes. We regret any actions taken that detracts from this important message."
(THREAD) Nat'l Cdr Oxford on the Memorial Day event at American Legion Post 464 in Hudson, OH: “The Ohio American Legion assures us that they are fully investigating this incident.— The American Legion (@AmericanLegion) June 3, 2021
The American Legion of Ohio has opened an investigation into the incident.
You can watch Kemter's speech here.
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