Sunday, June 28, 2009

Because Bigotry is Not Dead

Neo-Nazis are in the Army now | Salon News: "He started his own Nazi rock group, Attack, and made friends in the National Alliance, at the time the biggest neo-Nazi group in the country. It has called for a 'a long-term eugenics program involving at least the entire populations of Europe and America.'

But the military ran in Fogarty's family. His grandfather had served during World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and his dad had been a Marine in Vietnam. At 22, Fogarty resolved to follow in their footsteps. 'I wanted to serve my country,' he says..."

Despite the fact that Army regulations explicitly do not allow soldiers to be active in racist groups, and that those enlisting must explain any tattoo on their bodies before signing that line, there are very few ways to verify those stories because of the "personal" nature of tattoos. You can just make shit up, which is exactly what Fogarty did.

Fogarty's ex-girlfriend, intent on destroying his new military career, sent a dossier of photographs to Fort Stewart. The photos showed Fogarty attending white supremacist rallies and performing with his band, Attack. "They hauled me before some sort of committee and showed me the pictures," Fogarty says. "I just denied them and said my girlfriend was a spiteful bitch." He adds: "They knew what I was about. But they let it go because I'm a great soldier...Fogarty left the Army in 2005 with an honorable discharge. He says he was asked to reenlist, but declined."

So this guy is a Neo-Nazi. He has tattoos of overtly racist, white-supremacist symbols on his body (listed in the article are the Celtic cross, a widely recognized symbol of white supremacist groups in the US, and the Viking carrying the staff, which is also widely used). His entire unit and his immediate superiors know explicitly, both from context and from the horse's mouth, but do not report higher. The guy fights because he hates the people, and for no other reason.

Yet Lt. Clnl Ferenbach, a man so exemplary in his personality and his military career that he flew sorties over the capital on September 11, is being discharged and stripped of many of his rights as a veteran. All this because he is gay, and someone else ratted him out to the military.

Tell me how that's in any way exemplary of what we claim to stand for, America.

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