Well, I'm going to dwell on this subject, because the MSM and some of their columnists just can't seem to get it thru their simple minds that soldiers take this abuse, have taken it, and I'm calling them on it. I'm not going to let them make light of it, nor dismiss it as 'urban myth'...
In today's Slate column, Jack Shafer re-hashes an old column from 2000 that reiterates a lame book by Jerry Lembcke, whereby he claims that because no single event was ever documented by the media, the claim that vets were or have been spit upon is indeed an urban myth.
Mr. Shafer would like to hear from you if you have proof. Well Mr. Shafer, if that's so, I hope your IT staff has put a new tera-bit server up, because here it comes...
(And thanks goes to Huntress for forwarding this to me- Slates' site seems to be running a wee slow)
First off, for those who don't want to read any further, please accomodate Mr. Shafer by writing to him at email@example.com. I'm sure he'll be feeling lonely soon.
His article, HERE , lambastes Newsweek and seems to claim that because he cannot find a Lexis/Nexis article that could be substantiated, well, then it never happened. As quoting Lembcke-
If spitting on veterans had occurred all that frequently, surely some veteran or soldier would have called it to the attention of the press at the time. … Indeed, we would imagine that news reporters would have been camping in the lobby of the San Francisco airport, cameras in hand, just waiting for a chance to record the real thing—if, that is, they had any reason to believe that such incidents might occur.
Mr Shafer wrote about the same article in 2000, stating:
Although Nexis overflows with references to protesters gobbing on Vietnam vets, and Bob Greene's 1989 book Homecoming: When the Soldiers Returned From Vietnam counts 63 examples of protester spitting, Jerry Lembcke argues that the story is bunk in his 1998 book The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam (click here to buy it). Lembcke, a professor of sociology at Holy Cross and a Vietnam vet, investigated hundreds of news accounts of antiwar activists spitting on vets. But every time he pushed for more evidence or corroboration from a witness, the story collapsed--the actual person who was spat on turned out to be a friend of a friend. Or somebody's uncle. He writes that he never met anybody who convinced him that any such clash took place.
I don't want to let them off the hook here. It happened to me, and I asked my father if it had ever happened to him. If anyone were to be on the receiving end, it would have been him after being involved in the Ohio State riots and Ohio University riots for years. (He did say the worst he ever personally received was marshmallow-covered rocks thrown at him during the OSU riots). He did say that they received LOTS of taunts, from spitting to flowers to verbal abuse during those heady days of yore.
...there are the parts of the spitting story up that don't add up. Why does it always end with the protester spitting and the serviceman walking off in shame? Most servicemen would have given the spitters a mouthful of bloody Chiclets instead of turning the other cheek like Christ. At the very least, wouldn't the altercations have resulted in assault and battery charges and produced a paper trail retrievable across the decades?
Ok- again, this guy did 4 years and didn't learn much, obviously. Real soldiers, real warriors, don't beat the pulp out of someone just because they can- only because they deserve it. Repeatedly. We have enough class to know when to walk away, and when to put their teeth in their digestive tract. When it happened to me, I really felt sorry for the kid- it must have been that beat-up old Toyota he was driving, probably to the next sit-in. I didn't have the time nor the inclination to put a Texaco- taser in his a$$ and let him light up the night so I just shrugged and turned away.
The days of the Kumbaya round-tables are over for them. Now, its getting personal.