I was brought up to believe that getting an education, especially a "higher" education, including advanced collegiate degrees, implied that you were more intelligent. The process is supposed to broaden your thought processes, deepen your understanding of the world around you. Apparently, those beliefs could not be more wrong.
Yesterday, in the New York Times, there was an insidious article by one Kathleen Belew. Ms. Kathleen Belew is an "a postdoctoral fellow in history at Northwestern University, is at work on a book on Vietnam veterans and the radical right." She is also a "Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in History, is also a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis. She received her Ph.D from Yale University for 'Theaters of War: Paramilitarism, Mercenaries, and the Racist Right from Vietnam to Oklahoma City.' While at Rutgers she will be teaching history courses, including the 'Aftermath of the Vietnam War' and 'The American Vigilante.'"
Ms. Belew is obviously highly educated. So much so, that she now deems it her place to grace the rest of us with her opinions on the Vietnam war, Vietnam war veterans, veterans in general, and best of all, how those of us who have gone to war and come home with brain injuries, have the potential to become racist terrorists.
I thought I had read it or seen it all - all types of stupid and uneducated comments about Veterans being "dangerous, volatile, violent or even terrorists."
The author of this article, Kathleen Belew, could possibly be the worst of them all!
For decades, our brothers and sisters who fought in Vietnam, who came home to be treated like monsters, have fought to overcome the stigma of serving their country in a war that American's hated. They did without the parades, the handshakes, and the thanks. They did this because they are honorable soldiers, not monsters.
For the last 12 years, millions of us have served our country in 2 wars. Most of us were lucky to come home vertically. Many of us came home broken. Living in places that explode around you, losing friends who are like family, driving in places that no sane person would go ~ will make you that way.
If you are lucky, you find moments of laughter and seconds of peace. Rarely at the same time, but treasured just the same. We are not dangerous. We are not violent. In fact, the largest percentages of us are in hiding...either in reality or in our minds. We have to work at appearing normal, to come across as the rest of the community.
But there are a few lost and broken souls who become unhinged. They may not have ever served, let alone gone to war. Being a soldier does not give you a free dose of insanity. Being human can put you in the line for it.
The author implies that soldiers and veterans are the REAL threat that Americans' must be wary of. Her warning is clear, "Would he have received greater scrutiny had he been a Muslim, a foreigner, not white, not a veteran? The answer is clear and alarming."
I find it ironic that someone so learned would espouse such narrow-minded drivel. I really could not believe the small blurb about Ms. Belew in her byline in the NY Times article. When I started looking for Ms. Belew, I started with where she claims to work – Northwestern University. That esteemed center of higher learning has a search engine for staff and faculty. Here is what came up when I put in her name:
This led me to go further down her biography. It seems she taught at Rutgers in 2011: Then, in 2012, she did a guest spot at University of Arizona, while a "Fellow at Northeastern University…" I went back and looked at Yale, where she got her Ph.D….in 2012…, not 2011 like she states on Facebook.
What I did NOT find anywhere, is her full biography.
Her Facebook page indicates the following (as of 4/18/2014):
- Northwestern University, Postdoctoral Fellow.
- Rutgers University New Brunswick, Postdoctoral Fellow • 2011 to 2012.
- Yale University, Class of 2011 • PhD • American Studies • New Haven, Connecticut
- University of Washington, Class of 2005 • Comparative History of Ideas • Seattle, Washington
- Green Mountain High School, Lakewood, Colorado
I did this digging because I wanted to know what type of "education" she has that it completely shrunk her mentality and narrowed her outlook so severely. I also wanted to know if this "expert" on Vietnam and combat veterans with PTS, has one second of military training or experience. From what I can find…she has not ever spent a second in our boots.
This "educated, expert" should keep her uneducated, narrow-minded, stereotypes to herself. For someone who claims she wants to teach others, she appears to have nothing to offer.
I, on the other hand, have an offer for HER: Perhaps she should join us at our Rally on May 21st and get to know a few thousand of us. Then we will ask her how "afraid" she felt...when we have a show of hands of who has PTS.
Editor's Note: Perhaps, you would like to read Belew's article in full by clicking the link above and then possibly contact her to express your thoughts. Here's her contact information: