Last week, footage emerged of a California high school teacher and city councilman, Gregory Salcido, making a series of offensive and derogatory remarks about the United States military to students in his class. The former mayor of Pico Rivera, California, who has a history of suspensions for inappropriate behavior, was apparently spurred into the rant when one of his students wore a Marine Corps sweatshirt to class.
Why are you wearing that Marines shirt? I thought you were going to college,” he asked the student. “Why would you wear something that you can’t freakin’ support? Don’t ever wear that again, don’t ever wear it here,” Salcido said.
From there, Salcido went on to decry service members for being unintelligent, and compared military service to prostitution.
We all have night-vision goggles, all that kind of stuff, and we can’t freakin’ control these dudes wearing freakin’ robes and chanclas [flip-flops] because we have a bunch of dumb shits over there,” Salcido said. “Think about the people you know who are over there, your freakin’ 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 freakin’ lowest of the low.”
“I don’t understand why we let the freakin’ military guys come over here and recruit you at school. We don’t have pimps come into school. Anyone interested in being a ho [whore]? And they’re going to freakin’ lie to you,” Salcido said.
The internet backlash to Salcido’s remarks has been swift, with the man’s Facebook page inundated with complaints before being set to private and multiple hashtags surfacing that are critical of the teacher not only for this incident, but for previous ones involving striking a male student and making threatening statements toward a female one. Now, however, it’s not just internet outrage Salcito faces, but even the ire of the White House Chief of Staff, retired Marine General John Kelly.
“Well, I think the guy ought to go to hell. I just hope he enjoys the liberties and the lifestyle that we have fought for,” Kelly told Fox News.
For Kelly, Salcido wasn’t only insulting a lifetime of service. Kelly’s son, also a Marine officer, died in combat in 2010. Last year, Kelly recounted what Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford told him about his son’s passing – remarks that run in stark contrast to the inflammatory statements made by Salcido.
“He knew what he was getting into by joining that 1 percent who serve the nation,” Kelly said Dunford told him. “He knew what the possibilities were because we’re at war. And when he died … he was surrounded by the best men on this earth, his friends.”
Amber Smith, the Pentagon’s director of outreach, also made a statement regarding the video, though in keeping with her role within the Defense Department, it focused on how to improve Salcido’s understanding of America’s military, which she characterized as “uninformed.” She is also a veteran, having served as an Army Kiowa helicopter pilot on deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan
“I think that’s an excellent example of who we would like to connect with, and inform them with an accurate image of those who are serving and why they serve,” said Smith.
Salcido has been placed on administrative leave following the release of the video, though many within his community have continued to call for his dismissal as an educator.
Patriots from all over Southern California are uniting at El Rancho High School to stand up for the men and women of our American Military, in support of students, and to ensure the faculty is being held accountable for false indoctrination and not meeting the ethical standards our students deserve,” protest organizers said in a statement following a recent city council meeting.
Feature image courtesy of the Associated Press