LETTER TO THE EDITIOR

Military tossed under the bus

Posted 6/18/20

To the Editor:

In last week’s Beacon, Joshua Kohler decried the “#CancelAllies crowd” for being upset that the popular North Kingstown donut shop announced it was ending …

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LETTER TO THE EDITIOR

Military tossed under the bus

Posted

To the Editor:

In last week’s Beacon, Joshua Kohler decried the “#CancelAllies crowd” for being upset that the popular North Kingstown donut shop announced it was ending discounts for military and police. Mr. Kohler went on and on about how the donut maker had every right to tell military and police personnel “...shame on you for your silence,” regarding the Minneapolis police officer’s killing of George Floyd and an allegation of racial bias by the Providence Police, and that the statement was really only telling us that, “...racial justice and equality are ongoing issues that demand attention.”

The “#AntiAllies persuasion,” the other epithet Mr. Kohler used to describe those who have voiced anger at the donut shop’s statement, are just as angry about George Floyd’s killing as the rest of our country’s citizens are. Not a single police officer or veteran I know condones such behavior. The donut maker clearly misunderstood who the culprits were in the killing – rogue cops, not the average, hardworking, responsible Rhode Island police officer.

Allie’s owner was especially wrongheaded about the military. Why did he throw the military into the equation, anyway? The military had nothing to do with George Floyd’s killing; has had nothing to do with police use of force, whether justified or not; and has not been the focus of protests. So, why denigrate the military?

I retired from the Army after devoting 36 years as an enlisted NCO, a warrant officer and a commissioned officer (with six years beforehand in the Navy). I know hundreds of veterans in Rhode Island. Not a single one of them that I know of has even heard of Allie’s military discount, have never asked for it, and have never been the beneficiary of it. So, their anger has nothing to do with the silly discount (10 cents per donut?). It has everything to do with the disrespect the donut shop owner showed the military.

The U.S. military is perhaps the most egalitarian organization in the country. It has strict rules and regulations prohibiting the kind of bias, discrimination and harassment recent protesters have marched to publicize. The military diligently recruits every race; pays everyone equally for the same jobs; gives everyone equal housing; promotes strictly on merit; and enjoys more respect among the citizens of this country than does any other nationwide organization.

Yet, Allies’ Donuts tossed the military under the bus in this instance just the same as they did the police. And it hurts. To every veteran in Rhode Island.

Lonnie Barham

Warwick

editorial, opinion

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