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Sat Jun 27, 2020, 02:36 PM

Yup, this is Wisconsin....parts of it anyway, more than I'd like to think.

Today was one of the worst days Iíve ever had in the Army in almost 24 years. Today I sat down with my entire Battalion to discuss the current issues we are facing as a nation. I wasnít prepared.

Fort McCoy is in a very rural community. Very rural. It is nestled in between the towns of Sparta, Wisconsin and Tomah, Wisconsin. Each town has a population under 10,000, and the demographics are not diverse. Both towns are situated in the poorest county in the state (Monroe), and we are 45 minutes to an hour away from the next biggest town. Itís not a bad place to be stationed if you like peace and quiet, small town living, and you arenít black or brown.

I had asked my Commander earlier in the week to talk to the Battalion because Ive been bothered for a bit now about how things are going in the country. I have several people in my life who I talk to on a regular basis. People who I genuinely care for, and people I tremendously respect. Over the last two weeks Iíve heard, Rich that could have been my son. Rich I just tell my kids all they need to do is get home safe. Rich Iím scared to let my kids out of the house. I have two boys and the thought of people I care about living their lives like that breaks my heart.

Today I wanted my Battalion to know that while I canít view the world through their eyes, I donít live their lives, and while I canít walk in their shoes everyday, I recognized their is a problem, and I would be there to listen to them and help where ever I could. And thats how I lead off the discussion. What I got back gutted me.

I sat in front of a room full of people who are like family to me. I would do anything for them. By the very nature of my profession, I would give my life for them. Iíve been their Command Sergeant Major for over two years now. These are people I see everyday. I had no idea that I have Soldiers who wear their uniforms to grocery shop because they are scared of how they are treated in Walmart when they donít. I had no idea that I have Soldiers whoís kids regularly come home from school crying because another kid called them the n-word...again. I had no idea that I had a Soldier who had to take their child out of school because they were being so tormented over the color of their skin. I had no idea I had a Soldier whoís wife was turned down for a job at a local bank because, ďwe donít hire youíre type in this town.Ē I had no idea that a few weeks ago one of my Soldiers, who is one of the most kind and gentle women I know, was told to ďget out of the crosswalk n-wordĒ as she was out for her evening walk. I had no idea that I had Soldiers who felt like this is the worst place they had ever been stationed in the Army. Not because of the unit, but because of the racism in the surrounding area. I had no idea.

I spent two and half hours listening to them, letting them vent their fears and frustrations, and crying with them. Iím still a wreck three hours later. Iím not able to type this without choking up. These arenít towns I want to live in. This isnít the America that I want to live in. Something needs to change. Something needs to drastically change.

Where do you begin? How do you change an entire community? How do you get so many people to try and see life through the eyes of another person so that they understand how unfair and unjust the system really is. I donít know. All I know is Iím going to do my best to figure it out with them, and hopefully I can make a small yet positive difference in their lives. Hopefully.

*from Facebook, posted by a personal friend, who is also personally friends with this man.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sat Jun 27, 2020, 02:39 PM

1. It is really bad. Amazing we managed to get enough votes for Obama

to overcome the 10 million vote advantage GOP has going into any PREZ election due to cheating, voter suppression etc.

The perfect storm for putin, the boss of America, is if he can get the idiot to get us to shoot each other.

That is the goal of not only putin and his idiot but the GOP now too.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sat Jun 27, 2020, 02:47 PM

2. Has it always been this bad there?

I read this and I wonder if the open and overt racism has always been this bad or if it has ramped up under the current regime. It's awful--horrible, in fact--but is it new?

SMH.


Laura

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Response to davsand (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 27, 2020, 02:55 PM

5. I don't think it's new. I think people were

properly ashamed to spew racist shot untold the orange menace started doing it in a daily basis. He made it acceptable, again. What Iíve noticed is when you call out one of those assholes they crawl into a corner to nurse their hurt feefees.

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Response to davsand (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 27, 2020, 02:55 PM

6. It's always been this bad everywhere. Political correctness

has never changed anyoneís views, it just taught people how to hide them. Trump has stripped away political correctness, and here we are. Back to ďnormalĒ, where people with these views feel free enough to express them overtly in word and deed again.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sat Jun 27, 2020, 02:49 PM

3. Fox "news" has to be called out for who they are and what they're doing to this country.

Even CNN won't call them by name when they're reporting ".....from things they have been encouraged to do by conservative media"...

Call them out by name! It's fox PROPAGANDA that is upholding all the racism, sexism, misogyny and homophobia in this country. All companies need to quit advertising on fox, and need to start advertising against it!

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sat Jun 27, 2020, 02:51 PM

4. Thank you for posting this. All I can say, humbly, is that there are hundreds of times more good...

people out there than ignorant loudmouths. The loudmouths seem more common than usual but that's because they think somehow they got the stage and they can crow about their crap endlessly, a big reason due to rump and his filthy mouth.

No, they don't. Those of us that are decent, kind, and caring for all of us do speak out, and stand up for those unfortunate to have such hatred spewed at them. Remember this, for every idiot out there, there are 10, 20, or far more that stand w/ you.

These idiots are getting fired, or worse, being charged with a hate crime if applicable, and thus getting what the deserved. I don't shed one tear for these loudmouths, who all of a sudden think that their bigotry and hatred somehow is legitimate when it's not even remotely accepted by the vast majority of people in this country.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sat Jun 27, 2020, 03:00 PM

7. Wisconsin rednecks are the worst

I grew up in smaller town wisconsin than those places

People on DU knock the South as racist

I have lived there too , the South

The racism in Wisconsin is arguably worse due the fact that the fucking ignorant small town worthless inbred losers that live in bars all day long between farm chores have had zero, none, zip, nada interaction with people other than those in the hick town they live in with the rest of their relations whom they have either molested or have been molested by.

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Response to GusBob (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 27, 2020, 03:12 PM

8. Bar culture is a significant factor.

Plays a similar role to hate radio.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sat Jun 27, 2020, 03:19 PM

9. This just breaks my heart.......

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sat Jun 27, 2020, 03:20 PM

10. Thanks for the sit down with your Battalion.

My Spouse and I cut our strings to Wisconsin some time back,about a month after Walker got elected. Monroe is not the most impoverished County. The worst area is north of I-94 on the south and 53 on the east. Believe the Guardsman in that area are part of your Command.

Always said the Northern Redneck was the most dangerous because they for the most part have a eighth grade education. And a Certain Religion has fomented this Racial as well as hatred of LGBTQ persons. After a while,one just says,screw it,don't need these Ignorant People in our lives. It has been four years since our last visit to the area,and we spent about five hours total and during that time,we seen enough of the Stupid in real time,never again. When Confederate Flags are a everyday thing in Wisconsin,and they do not understand,it was the Wisconsin Militia that fought the first battles in the Civil War and they were on the Union side.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sat Jun 27, 2020, 04:31 PM

11. Seems like no contact in life with POCs breeds racism and idiocy.

Rural America will never change.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Sat Jun 27, 2020, 05:43 PM

12. Evangelicals wield a LOT of Republicanism.

Itís not just ignorant red necks.

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Response to Heartstrings (Original post)

Mon Jun 29, 2020, 09:54 PM

13. This is so great, but maybe he needs to do a little more

He should write this up and send it as a Letter to the Editor of the local newspaper.

No need to mention names, just tell this story so the people in this little town can see themselves in black-and-white. A little bit of shaming never hurt. My guess is that a lot of these people are oblivious most of the time. Let them know how hurtful these words and actions are to the people who receive them.

It might take a couple of tries, but I believe something good will happen. Maybe even contact the minister at the town church, and make him aware of what's going on. Racism won't end until we all understand the evil it is causing.



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