A Different Take on American Sniper and the Chris Kyle Controversy

By Ockydub | Posted Jan 29 2015 | 5 Comments  

ASniper

Bill Mahar spoke critical of Chris Kyle and the film American Sniper on his HBO show Real Time. He stated:

“I read some of the quotes from the real Chris Kyle. He said, ‘I hate the damn savages’ (talking about the Iraqis) ‘and I’ve been fighting and I always will. I love killing bad guys. Even with the pain I loved what I was doing.’

Note that Kyle also wrote that “he and many people referred to the Iraqis as savages.”

Bill Mahar received some pushback from guest panelist Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal who said:

“What I saw was a movie that treats what veterans and soldiers go through in a way that was subtle. It was not just about war, it was about PTSD, it was about what the wives of soldiers go through. And, by the way, the ‘savages’ he’s talking about aren’t ordinary Iraqis. The savages are Al Qaeda killers who put drills into children.”

Another panelist, comedian Bill Blurr also disagreed with Maher’s arguments, saying, “you can’t sum up a man by one quote taken out of context.”

Lets look at other quotes from Kyle to see if we can put some things into context. In his book, he recounts telling an Army colonel, “I don’t shoot people with Korans. I’d like to, but I don’t.”

Here’s another one of Kyle’s quotes that may hit a little closer to home:

“Me and another sniper travelled to New Orleans (after Hurricane Katrina), set up on top of the Superdome, and proceeded to shoot dozens of armed residents who were contributing to the chaos.”

Supposedly either he killed 30 or between him and his buddy they killed 30 looters or possible legally armed residents in New Orleans.

After numerous reporters and news organizations were not able to corroborate Kyle’s New Orleans story in addition to another story he told about killing two would be carjackers, one can conclude he may be lying to hype up his already “ultimate bad ass” image. Nonetheless, I think it is an eye opening statement to make about killing “looters” after Hurricane Katrina. I wonder in his mind what a looter looks like. Something tells me it’s not white in appearance.

lootingfinding

To date no one has an exact number of how many people were shot and killed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina or whether or not some of the confirmed killings may have been racially motivated. So again there is no proof if Kyle’s Katrina account is true or not.

I understand that American Sniper is based on Chris Kyle’s memoir which means it takes great liberties with actual events. American Sniper is not a documentary, so again I get it. However, critics have called the movie US war propaganda while the others have said the film uses Kyle’s memoir to tell a more important story about the real effects of war, not just on soldiers but also their families.

Either way, I personally don’t have the authority to question Kyle’s heroics or patriotism but that hasn’t stopped the outspoken former Navy Seal and governor Jesse Venture. Venture stated “A hero must be honorable, must have honor and you can’t have honor if you’re a liar. There is no honor in lying,” Ventura told The Associated Press. Ventura was awarded $1.8 million in a defamation lawsuit against the Kyle estate. This was a result of an appearance Kyle made on Fox News where he stated that he punched Ventura in the face after words were exchanged.

Ventura went onto to call the film propaganda because it conveys the false idea that Iraq had something to do with the 9/11 attacks. “It’s as authentic as Dirty Harry,” he said, referring to fictional movie series starring Clint Eastwood, the director of American Sniper.

Another thought as to why the film is so popular with some Americans concerns a point of view that I think is being over looked.

Chris Kyle is a hero to many not simply because he served in the military, went on missions and performed his duties superbly as assigned. He is a hero because he was able to do what many white people (supremacists)  wish they could do. Kill brown people with impunity.

I’m not saying this for the sake of being controversial but because I believe it to be truth.

Many feel this film has increased sentiments of Islamophobia. The ADC (The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee) said a “majority of the violent threats we have seen over the past few days are result of how Arab and Muslims are depicted in American Sniper.”

threats

Within post-racial America, on any given day, law enforcement and military personal make racists comments as it pertains to people of color on message boards and on social media. It has been documented for years now that white supremacists and Neo-Nazis operate within law enforcement and within the US military. Vile racists comments about every person of color who has recently been killed by police is readily available for viewing by anyone on the internet. Likewise anyone can find just as many negative comments about Muslims and the Islamic faith.

Scout snipers in the Marine Corps shown with a flag bearing an "SS" similar in design to one used in Germany by the SS, a paramlitary force that operated under the Nazi party.

Scout snipers in the Marine Corps shown with a flag bearing an “SS” similar in design to one used in Germany by the SS, a paramlitary force that operated under the Nazi party.

Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, over 130,000 civilians have been killed with tens of thousands injured. Not savages, or Al-Qaeda evil doers but Iraqi civilians. 130,000 Iraqis didn’t kill themselves. I find it hard to believe that white supremacist or Neo-Nazi attitudes didn’t play a role in some of the 130,000 deaths.

When describing natives from the island of Caribe, Christopher Columbus said “savage cannibals, with dog-like noses that drink the blood of their victims.” Centuries later, the murderous tyrant he killed and terrorized thousands throughout the Caribbean and Latin America would be honored with Columbus Day in the United States with respective holidays of Día de la Raza and Día de las Américas throughout the Americas.

I don’t bring up Columbus to say Kyle is just like him, I’m using this one example to say how America has historically glorified war and excused violence and terrorism against people of color.

Should America honor a man that wants to shot people with Korans? Jesse Venture stated “a hero must be honorable and you can’t have honor if you’re a liar. If there isn’t honor in lying, should America honor a man that is possibly lying about killing Katrina looters? On the other hand should he be celebrated for possibly killing who he perceived to be Katrina looters? In the minds of many White ‘Christian’ conservative Americans he should absolutely be celebrated. Something tells me in the coming months or years, state Republicans and Tea Partyers will introduce bills to commemorate April 8th (Kyle’s DOB) as Chris Kyle’s Day. I think this would be perceived as an in-your-face to Muslims, liberals, critics of the film and the Iraqi war.

Savages Beware.

 

About the Author
Ockydub

Octavius is a founder and editor of Cypher Avenue. He's here to help speak for us and show the world that masculine gay / bisexual men of color are not a part of the stereotypical gay normal that is seen and fed to the masses. No...we are a distinct breed, filled with character and pride. Cypher Avenue is here to show the world how we are different.

   
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5 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. Rhode | January 29th, 2015
    +2

    Thought provoking stuff. However, the American people have spoken. This movie, American Sniper, is breaking all types of Box Office records for this time of year.
    This movie is being guzzled as if it was the Ambrosia of the gods. The ramifications of hate being generated because of this film is mind boggling.

  2. Cyrus-Brooks
    Cyrus Brooks | January 30th, 2015
    +1

    My whole take on the “American Sniper” film is people on the far left and far right have dumbed down the conversation to a fucking bumper sticker and worn out political tropes. Its much more complicated than that. A few things have to be separated out. 1: The Iraq war, in general which most of us now know was an illegal started based on a lie. There was no WMD and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. As a matter of fact All Qaeda, and their bastard child ISIS are actually oppose to the Arab dictators and monarchs who they see as corrupt puppets of the west who don’t follow “true Islam”. They want get rid of all these rulers and reestablish the Islamic empire (caliphate). In toppling the secular Iraqi state the USA actually helped to make there dream more attainable. 2: Snipers, people with this skill set are necessary in war. The whole purpose of the enterprise of war is to kill as many enemies as possible while loosing the least amount of your own people. Its an ugly dehumanizing business. In order to kill people it’s easier to do so by dehumanizing them. 3: Chris Kyle himself was trained to eliminate threats and protect fellow soldiers that’s what snipers do. I’m not saying personally he was good guy. He definitely made some outrageous statements in the media and seemed to be crude and uncouth individual. Who he was personally is separate from his job. If people are outraged by the film they should save their outrage for the right wing politicians who created whole this debacle in the first place. Chris Kyle was just one of many pawns who played their part in the disaster the neoconservatives orchestrated.

  3. John | January 30th, 2015
    +1

    Nothing much to add except that Arabs hate blacks and actually still treat us as slaves, especially in Saudi Arabia. From Chad to Western Sahara, the Arab slave trade still exists, yet black people stupidly flock to Islam and to stick up for the Arab nations that continue to even blatantly depict Obama as a monkey in their news.

    I hear this as a genuine article because you’re not religious Ocky but I’m tired of hearing race articles from African Americans who are religious. The irony makes me sick to my stomach-you go in depths about how they think you are a savage but yet you cling harder to the religion they used to control and imprison you.

    What else do I have? At least they own it. I’ll take Conservative views anyday then passive aggressive sanctimonious fake liberal outrage. This movie is what it is, nothing more nor less.

    But some sh*tty liberal movie about white saviors?? Bye.

    • Cyrus-Brooks
      Cyrus Brooks | January 30th, 2015
      0

      I couldn’t have said it better myself. Black people need to wake up. Islam is tool of Arab imperial power like Christianity is tool white imperial power. We as black people shouldn’t be supporting the Arabs or shedding any tears for them because they don’t care about us. They’re just as guilty of racism and slavery against black people and seek to dominate us with their barbaric religion.

  4. Rod Turpin
    Rod! | February 2nd, 2015
    +2

    I completely agree with your perspective one this. Also, its always deeply bothered me how much we glorify soldiers as these incorruptible heroes. No matter what your job, no individual is above scrutiny, and the idea that some individuals would excuse Chris Kyle’s obviously sociopathic statements simply because he’s part of the military is absolutely ridiculous. You can’t hide horrific actions behind a thin veil of “patriotism”.




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