Official resigns amid criticism over mic cut during speech on Black people's role in Memorial Day

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  sandy-2021492  •  2 weeks ago  •  22 comments

By:   NBC News

Official resigns amid criticism over mic cut during speech on Black people's role in Memorial Day
An American Legion official resigned after organizers turned off a retired Army officer's mic while he was speaking about Black people's role in Memorial Day.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



June 5, 2021, 1:48 PM UTC / Source: Associated Press By The Associated Press

The head of an American Legion post in Ohio stepped down Friday amid criticism following the decision of Memorial Day ceremony organizers to turn off a retired U.S. Army officer's microphone while he was speaking about how freed Black slaves honored fallen soldiers just after the Civil War.

American Legion leaders in Ohio also suspended the post's charter and are taking steps to close it.

The moves come in the wake of intense backlash to the decision to censor retired Army Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter, who said he included the story in his speech because he wanted to share the history of how Memorial Day originated.

But organizers of the ceremony in Hudson, Ohio, said that section of the speech was not relevant to the program's theme of honoring the city's veterans.

Cindy Suchan, chair of the Memorial Day parade committee and president of the Hudson American Legion Auxiliary, said this week that either she or Jim Garrison, adjutant of the American Legion Post 464, turned down the audio, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

Garrison resigned his leadership position a day after the state organization demanded he step down, said Roger Friend, department commander for the Ohio American Legion. Garrison has since been asked to drop his membership altogether, Friend said.

"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," Friend said in a statement.

He said the censoring was premeditated and planned by Garrison and Suchan.

"They knew exactly when to turn the volume down and when to turn it back up," Friend said.

Army Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter taps the microphone after organizers turned off the audio during his speech at a Memorial Day ceremony, on May 31, 2021, in Hudson, Ohio.Hudson Community Television / via AP

In the days before the ceremony, Suchan said she reviewed the speech and asked Kemter to remove certain portions. Kemter said he didn't see the suggested changes in time to rewrite the speech.

Kemter, who spent 30 years in the Army and served in the Persian Gulf War, told The Beacon Journal he was disappointed that the organizers silenced two minutes of his 11-minute speech.

His microphone cut out just as began talking about how former slaves and freed Black men exhumed the remains of more than 200 Union soldiers from a mass grave in Charleston, South Carolina, and gave them a proper burial.

Kemter at first thought there was a problem with audio, tapping on the microphone.

The decision to silence him disrespected Kemter and all veterans, Hudson's mayor and City Council said in a statement Thursday.

"Veterans have done everything we have asked of them during their service to this country, and this tarnished what should have been a celebration of their service," the statement said.

The Associated Press


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sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
1  seeder  sandy-2021492    2 weeks ago
"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," Friend said in a statement.

 
 
 
epistte
Junior Principal
1.1  epistte  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1    2 weeks ago

 This has turned ugly. The lady who did it has resigned and outed herself as a supporter of the Klan. There were some epic posts on Facebook that were cross-posted to the Akron Beacon Journal website.  The charter for this American Legion Post has been suspended.

 The ironic thing is the town was chartered by and named for David Hudon who was an abolitionist and a close friend of John Brown, of Harpers Ferry fame. I could see this happening in Cuyahoga Falls which is just south of Hudon on Rt-8 because Cuyahoga Falls is noted for its racism and has the nickname of Caucasian Falls.  

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.1.1  Kavika   replied to  epistte @1.1    2 weeks ago

Is that Cindy Suchan?

Haven't seen you in quite some time, welcome back epistte.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
1.1.2  seeder  sandy-2021492  replied to  epistte @1.1    2 weeks ago
The lady who did it has resigned and outed herself as a supporter of the Klan.

Well, at least she resigned.  Glad to see some white hoods coming off.

 
 
 
epistte
Junior Principal
1.1.3  epistte  replied to  Kavika @1.1.1    2 weeks ago

Yes, it was Cindy Suchan.,Why?

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.1.4  Kavika   replied to  epistte @1.1.3    2 weeks ago

Just wanted to confirm it was her since I read a comment/report that her son was a neo nazi.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2  Kavika     2 weeks ago

Wow, talk about some morons being in charge of the ceremony. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  sandy-2021492  replied to  Kavika @2    2 weeks ago

Not just morons.  Racist morons.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Kavika   replied to  sandy-2021492 @2.1    2 weeks ago

Yup

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Masters Quiet
2.1.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Kavika @2.1.1    2 weeks ago

Agree with all the above.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
4  Tacos!    2 weeks ago

It's heartbreaking that people are so racist that they would stoop to this.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Tacos! @4    2 weeks ago

Are you shocked? 

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Masters Participates
5  igknorantzrulz    2 weeks ago

anymore, after Trump mainstreamed tolerance of intolerance, doubt too many are surprised, as the party of racism is losing the race, yet again..and know surprise is it, yet, i guess i've made an assumption, but i'm gonna bet the GOP is affiliated with thee two, who coulda knew...

 
 
 
Duck Hawk
Freshman Silent
6  Duck Hawk    2 weeks ago

So conservatives no longer support the police, see the issue with the Capitol Police, and no longer support the US military. Just exactly who do they support? Russians, leaders of the FAILED Confederacy, white supremacy, conspiracy theorists... any others???

Would ANY CONSERVATIVE please respond with your sides actual governing ideas and or how you are planning to "Make/Keep America Great? Thus far all I have seen is policies and behavior that is destroying this country. 

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Masters Participates
6.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Duck Hawk @6    2 weeks ago
Thus far all I have seen is policies and behavior that is destroying this country. 

that's all they have. Division, gerrymandering, make it more difficult to vote and of course LIE THROUGH THERE DAMN TEETH

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
7  Paula Bartholomew    2 weeks ago

At least they lost their charter over this.  No other post will take them now as it should be.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
7.1  seeder  sandy-2021492  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @7    2 weeks ago

I think that's actually a bit sad for the members who were decent people, and I'm sure there are members who were decent people.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
7.1.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1    2 weeks ago

I bet some of the other members already knew about the racism but turned a blind eye not wishing to rock the boat if it didn't affect them directly.

 
 
 
Duck Hawk
Freshman Silent
7.1.2  Duck Hawk  replied to  sandy-2021492 @7.1    2 weeks ago

There are decent people in NE Ohio but there is an extremely strong/large racist crowd. I grew up in Wayne Co. it sucked.

 
 
 
epistte
Junior Principal
7.1.3  epistte  replied to  Duck Hawk @7.1.2    2 weeks ago

 Where in Wayne Co were you from? I currently live there and work in Woo.  I hate this backward Amish nirvana and I'm working to get out in a year or less.

 There are many racists her and often hide as consecutive Christians and libertarians.  I saw a man at the grocery store with a large Klan tattoo on his arm and he wasn't trying to hide it.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
7.1.4  Bob Nelson  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @7.1.1    2 weeks ago

Yes... and we're past the point where silence is acceptable. 

Silence is complicity. 

 
 
 
Duck Hawk
Freshman Silent
7.1.5  Duck Hawk  replied to  epistte @7.1.3    2 days ago

LMAO, I grew up outside Orrville. Left for the military in '84, never went back.

 
 
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