The USenate has just isolated and posted the comment that purportedly garnered controversial reactions at last week’s ROTC hearing. The exclamation of “Racist!” that was mentioned in this morning’s NYPost article on the speaker is not discernible in this audio recording. The Post’s story is currently reproduced on the front page of the Fox News website. You can listen to the clip below.
Mr. Maschek: Hi, my name is Anthony Maschek. Can I see all the signs, raised up high for me please? Everyone that’s holding signs. Okay. First of all, if you want to villainize the military, you’re looking at it in the face right now. My name is Anthony Maschek, I served in the army nine years, deployed three times. I’ve been in a lot of bad places, sniper-trained; I was shot nine times in Iraq. I spent two years in Walter Reed; none of it I regret cause it all led me right here to this microphone.
Many of these arguments that you have have merit in some instances, but they do not have merit in terms of ROTC. What my speech is going to be about is personal responsibility. If you invite ROTC onto this campus right now, are you going to hate transgender people? Are you going to discriminate against them? If you do, that’s your problem, that’s not ROTC’s. I don’t believe that anyone that joins ROTC is gonna suddenly discriminate against transgender people just because they’re in ROTC.
If you think that the military preys on the poor and the weak, then you have to think of: you’re the one that’s excluding them from Columbia University. I think we can all agree that this is a very expensive place to go and when you exclude the ROTC from this area you are forcing them into those poor areas, so that is not just the military’s fault, that is your fault as well.
It doesn’t matter how you feel about war. It doesn’t matter how you feel about fighting. Other parts of the country – or, other parts of the world, are plotting to kill you right now, when you go to bed.
[laughter with clapping erupts from the audience]
Moderator: Quiet from the audience, please.
Mr. Maschek: It’s not a joke. There are a lot of tough men out there willing to do bad things to bad people to keep you safe. These people seriously are trying to kill you. They hate America, they hate you.
Audible audience member: That’s completely offensive.
Moderator: Audience, please.
Mr. Maschek: It’s true. And I’m not lying about it because I’ve been there, I’ve seen it. I know these people. So when you think that war is evil, it’s true…
[further commotion erupts from audience]
Mr. Maschek (continued): …I believe you, and I agree, war is evil. But it’s not a choice that you have and it’s not a choice that I have. I mean, I guess the choice is don’t fight and die or you can stand up for yourself and not. That’s true.
When you decide that you want to exclude ROTC from Columbia, you are yourself discriminating against people that want to do great things for their country. So you’re discriminating against discrimination and it’s just a very [confluted] thing. It’s confusing that you want to be discriminatory towards people just because. You have to take that discrimination on yourself…
Moderator: Please finish your thought.
Mr. Mascheck: That’s it. Thank you.
Moderator: Thank you. Just to reiterate, there are to be no cat calls and no addressing commenters from the audience. There’s to be no cat calls, no addressing commenters. This needs to be an open place where people who come to speak are not threatened.