A Veteran Tried to Credit Black Americans on Memorial Day. His Mic Got Muted.


A little more than four minutes into Barnard Kemter’s speech at a Memorial Day service organized by the American Legion post in Hudson, Ohio, an unusual thing happened: His microphone was silenced.

Mr. Kemter, 77, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who served in the Persian Gulf war, had been crediting formerly enslaved Black Americans with being among the first to pay tribute to the nation’s fallen soldiers after the Civil War when his audio cut out on Monday.

Soon after, he said in an interview on Thursday, he learned that he had been intentionally muted by the event’s organizers, who disapproved of his message.

Now, the head of the American Legion of Ohio is seeking the resignation of two of the event’s organizers, and the organization has opened an investigation into the matter.



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