When retired Army Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter’s mic cut out during his speech explaining the role Black people played in establishing Memorial Day, he seemed to think it was just a technical glitch. However, according to the Akron Beacon Journal, organizers at the Hudson, Ohio, event cut him off on purpose because of the content of his speech. Kemter’s mic went quiet during a section of his speech when he was discussing how a group of freed Black people were among the first to commemorate what came to be known as Memorial Day after the surrender of the Confederacy in 1865. The Beacon Journal reports that an organizer, Cindy Suchan, had reviewed Kemter’s speech before he delivered it and asked him to remove that section—and decided to cut him off when he went ahead with it. Suchan told the newspaper that the section “was not relevant to our program for the day” and that the “theme of the day was honoring Hudson veterans.” Kemter said he was disappointed that organizers would try to censor his freedom of speech, remarking: “This is not the same country I fought for.”

No comments:

Post a Comment