Officials Resign Amid Backlash After Veteran's Mic Was Cut For Talking About Race In Memorial Day Speech
Retired Army Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter's speech on Memorial Day was censored when his microphone was cut by organizers. The veteran dared bring up the subject of Black people's role in the creation of Memorial Day.
In response, a number of officials representing the Hudson American Legion Auxiliary, a branch of the American Legion of Ohio, resigned after backlash over cutting the microphone for 2 minutes of Kemter's 11-minute speech.
The organization VoteVets restored the censored part of Kemter's speech and shared it online.
We sound corrected the part of Lt. Col. (Ret.) Barnard Kemter’s speech that was muted when his mic was cut off this… https://t.co/aaqPLmquSZ— VoteVets (@VoteVets) 1622731560.0
And now you know the rest of the story. It’s not CRT it’s just HISTORY https://t.co/pTKxH2Zn2r— James Green (@James Green) 1623166195.0
I really admire this retired military officer wanting to tell the story of the origins of Memorial Day and give Kud… https://t.co/nzXijGH8q3— Christine Mitchell (@Christine Mitchell) 1622900029.0
I can't believe they muted out the part where he mentioned Black ppl started #MemorialDay !!!!#kemter #ohio https://t.co/BcbHaSfa6j— Pandora's Pithos (@Pandora's Pithos) 1622879483.0
Cindy Suchan, the President of the Hudson American Legion Auxiliary, officially resigned, according to the American Legion of Ohio.
In her initial response to the incident, Suchan said either she or another official had been the one to lower the audio because it "was not relevant to our program for the day....the theme of the day was honoring Hudson veterans."
Kemter himself was very dismayed by this choice.
"I find it interesting that [the American Legion]…would take it upon themselves to censor my speech and deny me my First Amendment right to [freedom of] speech...This is not the same country I fought for."
“Kemter said he was emailed by an event organizer (whom he declined to name) asking him to remove a part of his spe… https://t.co/1tzOE79Jl0— Ida Bae Wells (@Ida Bae Wells) 1622668915.0
Veteran asked to remove part of his Memorial Day speech about Black Americans, then “audio malfunction” during that… https://t.co/sYgkv0nTlI— Kirby L. Wycoff, Psy.D., Ed.M., MPH., NCSP (@Kirby L. Wycoff, Psy.D., Ed.M., MPH., NCSP) 1622809631.0
The fragility of white supremacists at work. They can’t even hear of the black contributions to this county without… https://t.co/cLlLgwNJyA— Kristine Ross (@Kristine Ross) 1622747646.0
A year after George Floyd was murdered, look how far we've come on talking about race....oh wait.... https://t.co/AciNeucWK5— Heidi MacDonald (@Heidi MacDonald) 1622736895.0
And the WHITE SUPREMACISTS get more and more desperate. #CancelWhiteSupremacy https://t.co/IULg51qKKF— Jan L.R.🇺🇲 (@Jan L.R.🇺🇲) 1622734974.0
Jim Garrison, the other person Suchan alluded to who "may have" turned down the audio, resigned from his position as adjutant of Hudson American Legion Lee-Bishop Post 464 as well, following an investigation by the American Legion Department of Ohio officials.
The investigation found the cutting of Kemter's mic was "pre-meditated and planned by … Garrison and … Suchan." The department also suspended Hudson's charter "pending permanent closure."
@ProfBlacktruth This is Cindy Suchan, the President of the Hudson American Legion Auxillary, that asked the Lt Col.… https://t.co/zHg1846Lh7— Jaxson Reid (@Jaxson Reid) 1622735418.0
@nhannahjones @marcushjohnson Cindy Suchan is NOT a veteran. But she IS a member of DAR. Explains everything. https://t.co/sfEijroXjQ— TashaCNS (@TashaCNS) 1622671970.0
@tariqnasheed This is one of Cindy Suchan's children: https://t.co/PyF7CJQ8KL— In The Loop Radio (@In The Loop Radio) 1622741961.0
@LeonardPittsJr1 @420AttyChicago Let's also not let @hudsonohschools off the hook. Cindy Suchan works for them per… https://t.co/toRnb9xGXG— Dan (@Dan) 1622727803.0
Neither Suchan nor Garrison commented on their resignations.