Friday, February 2, 2018

Thinkers, Doers, and Free Speech - A Response to Gregory Salcido's Anti-Military Rant

California teacher and Pico-Rivera councilman, Gregory Salcido has made the news for an anti-military tirade he recently made in a public school classroom. After publicly humiliating a high school student for wearing a Marine Corps sweatshirt, Mr. Salcido went on a major rant that insulted everyone from active military members to Blue Star families to your stupid Uncle Louie.

If you haven't heard the audio recording from Mr. Salcido's classroom, it is definitely worth the listen, if for no other reason than to witness a major waste of time in an average American classroom. I won't go so far as to claim that every school teacher uses classroom time to push personal philosophies, but it is probably far more common than we want to believe.

Bullying students, insulting their families, and issuing ultimatums ("Don’t you ever freakin' bring the military into this freakin' classroom.") is not the way to make a classroom environment conducive to learning.

Plus, I'm pretty sure the military will have to come up in conversation...considering it is a HISTORY class. Call me crazy.

I will warn you that Mr. Salcido's diatribe is full of expletives and gross racial stereotyping (“We couldn’t beat the Vietnamese — they’re a bunch of people this freaking big throwing rice at us.”).

You should watch it anyway.

Since the teacher's hate-filled speech hit the internet, and the proverbial poo hit the proverbial fan, Mr Salcido has disappeared. He is understandably worried about his own safety since he literally ticked off every member of the world's finest fighting force as well as most of the American population. He poked his head up briefly to make a brief comment on social media claiming support of Free Speech.

"I want my friends, family, and students to know we are fine and we respect the rights of free expression for all individuals."

And while I agree that Mr. Salcido has a right to free speech, I'm not sure that right completely extends to what he can lawfully say in a public school classroom. And it certainly doesn't protect him from any public backlash.

But I also might add, that Mr. Salcido violated the student's free speech rights. As a teacher in the classroom, Salcido speaks on behalf of the local school district. He told the student not to wear any clothing supporting the U.S. military. That command could be interpreted as a violation of the student's First Amendment rights.

"Don’t you ever freakin' bring the military into this freakin' classroom."

That doesn't sound particularly respectful.

Personally, I think the student has a better claim to First Amendment protection than Mr. Salcido, but I am admittedly NOT an expert in the law, so take my opinion with the grain of salt it deserves.

However, there is at least one area in which I can claim expert status.

I am a Blue Star mother.

My son is a U.S. Army soldier. He is one of the dumbshits Mr. Salcido spoke about in his filthy rant.

Meanwhile, my oldest daughter, a senior in high school and top of her class, is contemplating a career in the U.S. Navy.

Not only are they two of the smartest people I know, but they are also the bravest, strongest, and most driven people I know.

Salcido told that classroom of high school students:

"If you join the military, it’s because you have no other options because you didn’t take care of business academically, because your parents didn’t love you enough to push you and you didn’t love yourself enough to push yourself…So now you’re thinking what do I do now…and your parents even encourage [joining the military] sometimes because they want to get you off of their ass.
" Why would anyone ever sign up for that… Think about the people we have over there. Your stupid uncle Louie or whatever, they’re dumb shits. They’re not like high-level thinkers. They’re not academic people. They’re not intellectual people. They’re the freaking lowest of our low."

I call bullshit, Mr. Salcido. You don't know Jack. Perhaps you need to come have a conversation with my two oldest children. You should probably also ask them if their parents love them or pushed them. You now? Just for shits and giggles.

First let me throw a few stats at you, Mr. Salcido, just to prove you're an idiot. And I'll even post it in graphic form so even a dumbass like you can understand it.


That's right. The United States military is actually more educated than the population it serves. And since Gregory Salcido only has a Bachelor's degree from Whittier College, I'm not sure where he gets off ranting about the lack of academics and intellectuals in the military. 

Perhaps a rant about the lack of academics and intellectuals in education would be more apropos. 

Listen up, Mr. Salcido. Here's the thing. There are a lot of "thinkers" and "academics" in the world and they sit around doing a lot of thinking without actually "doing" anything. They sit behind desks and think big thoughts. They teach classrooms full of captive students. But unless thoughts are put into action, they are worthless. 

Thinking and doing are two very different things. Our military does more than think. When the rubber meets the road and action is required, they do not hesitate to act. And that action is what has protected your right to stand up in front of a class of high school students and spew misinformation and outright lies.

My oldest son announced that he was joining the military at Thanksgiving dinner two years ago. 

It was a goal he had for years, and in the months leading up to his enlistment, he was up at dawn, hitting the gym or the track to increase his pull-up reps or decrease his run times. At night he cracked books, studying for the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) with intensity and focus. I watched that young man push himself harder, both physically and intellectually, than anyone I've ever seen stretch for a goal. 

So, Mr Salcido, you don't understand what it is to love yourself or push beyond your comfort zone toward a goal. There are just some goals you don't understand.

After my son announced his intentions to the family, one person casually asked him what he had scored on the ASVAB. When Daniel told him, this person attempted to one-up him by reporting a significantly higher personal score.

But you know what. It didn't matter. That "higher-level" thinker with the impressive ASVAB score wasn't doing anything with it. For various reasons, that person never joined the military. 

My son took a huge step and vowed to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. He took action.

Whose score mattered more?

What does it matter how well you score on a test if you never do anything with the knowledge or ability the test measures?

There are valuable characteristics that have nothing to do with intellect or education level or test scores. Action, hard-work, ambition, loyalty, integrity, perseverance, initiative, communication, and confidence just to name a few. 

These are all qualities that are valued by members of our U.S. military. And these characteristics often have far more to do with success than education level. Although, our military isn't exactly lacking in that area either (see previous graphic).

So you might want to think again when you claim our military is comprised of the "lowest of the low."  Because you're quite wrong. 

About 75% of America's 17-24 year-olds are ineligible for military service due to lack of education, obesity, and other physical problems, or criminal history. Of those eligible, only a fraction actually have the drive or the desire to serve.

Nearly one in four students fail the military entrance exam. That suggests that maybe teachers like Mr. Salcido should shut up with the personal diatribes and do what they were hired to do. Teach our kids.

The United States military is actually comprised of this country's "best and brightest." 

And just because I can't let this comment go:

“It’s a lie that our military is freakin’ bitchin’.” 
In response?


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