Congressman Slams NYT for Piece Linking Veterans and White Supremacy
A congressional Marine vet slammed a New York Times op-ed for linking veterans and white supremacy, saying "if we target specific groups like Muslims as opposed to veterans, the outcry across this country would be outrageous."
Kathleen Belew, a postdoctoral fellow in history at Northwestern University who is working on a book on Vietnam veterans and the radical right, wrote that Overland Park Jewish center shooter Frazier Glenn Miller killed three people as "a soldier of the white power movement: a groundswell that united Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other fringe elements after the Vietnam War, crested with the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, and remains a diminished but potent threat today."
"Vietnam veterans forged the first links between Klansmen and Nazis since World War II. They were central in leading Klan and neo-Nazi groups past the anti-civil rights backlash of the 1960s and toward paramilitary violence. The white power movement they forged had strongholds not only in the South, but also in the Pacific Northwest, Colorado, California and Pennsylvania," Belew continued. "Its members carried weapons like those they had used in Vietnam, and used boot-camp rhetoric to frame their pursuit of domestic enemies. They condoned violence against innocent people and, eventually, the state itself."
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) asked on Fox "how can someone that is apparently so well-educated be so darn ignorant?"
"This is one of the most outrageous, and ignorant things I've ever seen written. Even for the New York Times, which nothing, you know, surprises me with what they write, but this -- you shouldn't even be able allowed to use this under your bird cage. It is disgraceful. It is shameful. And I'll tell you what, if Ms. Belew has such a problem with our veterans, maybe she should live in a country that doesn't provide the security and the liberty and the freedom that each and every one of our veterans provide, each and everyday. And maybe that's what she should do," said Grimm, a veteran of operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Belew's piece argued "it would be irresponsible to overlook the high rates of combat trauma among the 2.4 million Americans who have served in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the full impact of which has not yet materialized. Veterans of those conflicts represent just 10 percent of those getting mental health services through the Department of Veterans Affairs, where the overwhelming majority of those in treatment are still Vietnam veterans."
Grimm said that considering there was a draft in the Vietnam war, it's possible "that we drafted one or two that were hate martyrs."
In the Marine Corps he knew, the congressman added, "the last thing we wanna be is hate martyrs because the -- when I was trained with blacks, Latins, everything you can ever imagine, and we put our faith and our lives in each other's hands. We developed such a respect for each other, there is no hatred at least in the Marine Corps I served in."
Grimm said if Belew had written an article saying Muslims needed greater scrutiny, "the left, you know, the far left would be putting together marches and they would be out protesting everywhere you can imagine but because it's our men and women in uniform, the New York Times can get away with it. And it's again -- it's shameful."
He added that such attitudes would serve to "dissuade" veterans suffering from PTSD and other conditions "from seeking the treatment that they need."