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A California teacher said troops were ‘the lowest of the low’ — Here’s my rebuttal

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A high school teacher in Pico Rivera, Calif. was caught on video railing against the U.S. military late last week, and I’d like to share a few thoughts on the matter.

First, some background: Gregory Salcido, 49, is a history teacher at El Rancho High School just southeast of downtown Los Angeles. He’s also a member of the city council. On Jan. 19, a 17-year-old student made a recording of Salcido after he saw the student was wearing a sweatshirt that had “Marine Corps” on the front of it.

The mother of a friend of that student apparently uploaded three videos to Facebook, which then went viral. Then I decided to transcribe Salcido’s rant, while adding annotations and other thoughts along the way.

Here’s Salcido, with my responses in bold:

They don’t have electricity. We have all our freakin’ night vision goggles and all that kind of stuff, and we can’t freakin’ control these dudes wearing robes and [inaudible]. Because we’ve got a bunch of dumbshits over there. Think about the people you know over there. Your stupid Uncle Louie or whatever, they’re dumbshit.

This will be one of many stereotypes Salcido introduces during his screed. They don’t have electricity? Maybe you’re not aware of how racist and backwards this statement is — which paints a broad brush over people in the Middle East — but there is plenty of electricity in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Yeah, there are people living in the occasional mud hut, but chances are they probably have satellite television and they probably watched your dumbass rant on the news.

They’re not like high-level bankers. They’re not academic people. They’re not intellectual people. They are the lowest of our low. Not morally. I’m not saying they make bad moral decisions. They’re not talented people.

You are right. Military members are not like the genius high-level bankers that helped cause the global economic meltdown of 2008. But I wouldn’t say they are the lowest of our low. You might want to save that one for, I don’t know, child molesters, rapists, or fans of Nickelback.

That’s like when the president says we have the best military in the world [inaudible]. No we don’t. The data is in, we don’t have a good military. We haven’t been able to beat these guys wearing robes and [inaudible] for 15 years. And you’re telling me… we couldn’t beat the Vietnamese — they’re a bunch of people this freakin’ big throwing rice at us. Couldn’t beat them.

I’ll give you this one. I often complain about a lack of strategy and clear achievable goals as a big problem behind our misguided adventures in the Middle East. But there you go again, being a racist asshole again, saying that the North Vietnamese should have lost because they were smaller than U.S. troops. And they threw rice at us? Yeah, the North Vietnamese Army and the Vietcong, backed by the Russians and the Chinese, threw rice at us, instead of artillery, mortars, explosives, and fire from their AK-47s.

We haven’t been able to beat anyone since World War II. We didn’t get to Hitler first, the Russians got to Hitler first. You with me? We don’t, like, it’s a lie that our military is freakin’ bitchin’.

Technically, no one ‘got’ to Hitler. He killed himself before that happened. But if we’re talking about the fall of Berlin, then you could definitely say that the Russians beat us to Berlin. And the allies left the city and East Germany to them. Except there’s an addendum to this: They did so because it was agreed upon beforehand at the Yalta Conference. I’m going to drop some amazing knowledge on you, Mr. History Teacher. Did you know that the Soviets were on our team during World War II? OMG amazing, right?

I always crack up. How come you hear like, Rose Bowl, Rose Parade, Dodger opening day… why after the national anthem do we have a killing machine fly over the freaking stadium? You know, the stealth bomber comes in and everyone is all ‘yeah! that’s what we kill people with! Wooh!’ Like why would that be something we celebrate? I don’t get it.

Your question about killing machines flying over yields a simple answer: They are way more entertaining than peace machines. I’ve never heard anyone exclaim, “yeah, that’s what we kill people with!” during a flyover, but I guess I’m going to start setting the trend.

So, if you join the military, it means you had no other option. You didn’t do well academically. Your parents didn’t love you enough to push you. And you didn’t love yourself enough to push yourself, which… it isn’t even that hard. You just have to focus. You don’t even have to work hard, you just have to focus. And you didn’t do it.

Joining the military isn’t anyone’s only option. Taco Bell is always hiring and they have great benefits. Sure, there are some people who don’t do all that well in school, or have rough family lives. But the vast majority of people serving in the military do it because they believe in the idea of service. Putting the idea of defense of the Constitution and patriotism above one’s self. It’s called selfless service, something you can’t even fathom, dipshit.

Now you’re thinking, the parents are all mad. And your parents even encourage you sometimes, because they want to get you off of their ass. They want to get their grandma and grandpa off of their ass because their grandson’s a piece of shit. And they want the neighbors to think you’re okay. Now you join the military and they think, ‘oh that’s great.’

That’s just so they can get you out of their hair for two or four or six years. But someone’s gonna tell you when to get up, when to go to sleep, what to eat, what to wear, when you can crap, when you can call home, when you can go home for three days. Why would anyone ever sign up for that?

See my previous response for why someone would sign up. But what you describe is a typical layman’s insight into military life. If you did your job and read a book or two, you’d find out that the life you describe is the initial training phase of basic training. After the first few months of being in the military, you aren’t told every little thing to do. You actually get to pick what you want at the chow hall! You can crap whenever you want — in a toilet! And you can even pull out your personal cellphone — that you can actually carry in your pocket — and call home.

And then they go, ‘they’re gonna pay for education.’ Are you aware that you have a GPA of 0.0. You’re not a student, dude. What makes you think all of a sudden you’re gonna get [inaudible] your education? You don’t give a shit about education. But you say that just to get people off your back. Most people will actually get off your back — I won’t. I’ll freakin’ come on even harder.

Yes, actually they ARE gonna pay for your education. According to actual facts and not dumb opinions from idiotic history teachers, there were more than 1 million people receiving education benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2015. More than 20,000 of those were seeking Graduate degrees, so I guess every one of them aren’t “dumbshits” after all.

You can bullshit yourself all you want. I don’t have any obligation to sit here and listen to your freakin’ bullshit. Don’t go [inaudible]. Some of you guys are still gonna go, though. ‘I’m not listening, I’m not listening.’ And people who love you are going to encourage you to do it. You’re gonna be desperate. You’re gonna need to jump out of a third story window because you have no other option.

It’s so sad that students in your classroom are obligated to sit here and listen to your freakin’ bullshit.

Why you wearing that Marines shirt? I thought you were going to college.

[Teenager: I am, I just…]

Schools always harp on anti-bullying measures, and yet here we have a teacher bullying one of his students for wearing a shirt that he doesn’t like. And as it turns out, the 17-year-old kid being bullied wore it because his father and two uncles are Marine Corps veterans.

What if you had a shirt that says I love freaking [inaudible], would you wear that?

[Teenager: No.]

Why would you wear something that you can’t freakin’ explore? Don’t ever wear that again. Don’t even wear it, dude. You wear it here I’m gonna give shit [inaudible].

In a response after these videos leaked, Salcido wrote on Facebook that he and his family “respect the rights of free expression for all individuals.” Yeah, except for a teenager who wants to express himself and his pride in his family’s service with a sweatshirt, you prick.

Don’t you ever bring the freakin’ military into this classroom. I don’t understand why we let the freakin’ military guys recruit you at school. We don’t let pimps come into school. Is anyone interested in being a ho?

It’s actually the law that allows the military to recruit at high schools. But you are right. We don’t let pimps — people who are illegally promoting and protecting prostitutes — into schools. We also don’t let violent felons, child molesters, or drug dealers into schools.

Sadly, we still let assholes like you in.

And they’re gonna freakin’ lie to you… and this is what you guys always tell them, I’m gonna go into the military, why? ‘Oh, so I can have them pay for my college.’ Bull-freaking-shit. If you were interested in college, would you ever consider the military? No. But you bullshitted yourself because you wasted 13 years of your education and you have no other option, and you’re trying to figure, ‘oh what am I gonna do?’

I went into the U.S. Marine Corps after 13 years of education, did eight years on active duty, then went to college and earned my B.S. Now, I’m self-employed, not starving, not desperate, and get to make fun of dickheads like you on the Internet all day. Not too shabby.

They give you all that bullshit ‘see the world.’ See the freaking world? You’re not gonna see the world. You’re on a freaking ship or something now. What do you think, you’re on vacation? You’re freaking stupid. One, you’re not gonna go to college. And the reason you’re not gonna go is because you’re not a student. If you’re truly a student you’d be going to college [inaudible].

I was on a freaking ship and I saw the freaking world. During my 2003 deployment aboard the USS Essex, I got to see not only the most beautiful sunsets I have ever witnessed, but also stopped in Hong Kong, Australia, The Philippines, and Japan. I would have never gone to these places otherwise. And then I went to college after that!

But you have no other option.

It’s like, okay, 9/11. I can’t believe I didn’t tell you this. 9/11, World Trade Center. Do you guys recall? You guys were too little to remember it unless you’ve seen footage, where people were jumping out of like the 100th floor of the World Trade Center. You remember seeing footage like that?

Hmm, where are you going with this?

Alright. Why did they do that?

[Student: Because they were desperate.]

What was gonna happen to them jumping though? Yeah, they’re gonna die, right? But jumping from 100 floors and turning into freaking… they’re probably disintegrated once they hit the ground.

You know people died who were on the ground from getting clobbered by people who jumped?

It’s like a freakin’ meteor coming out of the freakin’ sky. Boom. Both people died. They bang their heads [inaudible].

Now, they jumped because the planes hit in like, the 80th floor. So there was a freakin’ inferno in there. And it was so bad in there that they would rather jump and die that way than burn to death. Which option is better?

You’ve just described a harrowing and heart-rending scene — one that is burned into the minds of so many — in order to do what? What the hell is your point with this tangent? That people were desperate because of the fire on 9/11 and they jumped, and that’s the same as being desperate and joining the military?

This logic is bad and you should feel bad.

That’s like, do you want to eat dog shit or cat shit?

If we could get you on national television to taste-test both dog shit and cat shit, I think America can forgive you for this poorly-worded and illogical screed. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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