Teacher and member of the Pico Rivera City Council Greg Salcido brought shame upon his family, his school, and his southern California community last month when he was caught on tape disparaging the troops. After taking notice of a student wearing a Marine Corps shirt, Salcido launched into a long, multifaceted, ignorant rant about the idiots who serve in the military, the weakness of our armed forces, and the low caliber of person that the Marines seek to recruit.
This week, the city council voted to remove him from office after hearing from dozens of angry veterans and other members of the community. But the council doesn’t have the authority to forcibly remove him from the panel and Salcido insists that he won’t resign of his own accord.
“How dare have you not resigned?” a woman asked Salcido.
In his first public appearance since the incident, Salcido said he and his family have received multiple death threats and apologized to the community.
But he said the comments attributed to him were “definitely taken out of context.”
“If this situation caused a problem, I certainly do apologize for it,” Salcido said at Tuesday’s council meeting. “If anything I’ve said has hurt somebody it was unintentional.”
His comments were intended to motivate his students to go to college, he explained.
“I don’t think the people in the military have low moral character. I think people in the military or students who look into the military are lower standing students,” Salcido added. “That’s not a moral judgment on them.”
In his original remarks, though, Salcido certainly sounded like he was making some judgments, moral or otherwise.
“They are not high-level bankers, they are not academic people, they are not intellectual people,” he said. “They are the lowest of our low.”
At another point, he said it was disgraceful for the school to allow recruiters on campus. “I don’t understand why we let the military guys come over here and recruit you at school,” he said. “We don’t let pimps come in the school.”
Even for a leftist, Salcido’s comments were reprehensible and the reaction has been predictable. For him to refuse to resign at this point proves that he stands behind his remarks, meaning that he views the U.S. military as the scum of the planet. Which, okay, it’s his right as an American to have an opinion. But when you’ve got a captive audience as a high school teacher, you should keep those kinds of opinions to yourself. Your students are almost certainly related to men and women proudly serving this country, and they are the reason you’re able to RETAIN the right to that precious opinion. Have a little respect for those who have the courage to do what you didn’t.