Disrespecting Veterans? Nah…


Steven Lockwood, Writer

Disrespecting our veterans should be frowned upon, right? Well, according to the writers on Saturday Night Live (SNL), this didn’t apply to them in the episode prior to Veteran’s Day. Pete Davidson has already been in the news after his split with pop star Ariana Grande, so his remarks only added to the amount of coverage he received.

On that night’s show, on a segment titled “Weekend Update: Pete Davidson’s First Impressions of Midterm Election Candidates,” Pete Davidson takes some jabs at congressional candidates (mostly Republicans) running for positions in midterms. One particular joke he made was about candidate Dan Crenshaw, a Republican running in Texas. Crenshaw is a Navy Seal veteran who lost an eye while on service. Davidson saw this as an opportunity to make a rather crude joke about him. Davidson said, “You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie. I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war, or whatever. Whatever.”

Even under the umbrella of comedy, this is wrong to say because we should honor and respect the veterans around us who put their lives on the line to give us the freedom we take for granted every day. And honestly, I don’t know what was going through the head of whoever wrote the skit for this segment because this is not the right thing to say and especially not at this time of year.

I also made a survey for students to give their opinion about what they think about the situation. Brandon Clark, whose father is one of the AFJROTC teachers here at Bob Jones, said, “I do not think it is right it makes fun of a veteran’s injury. Serving a free country is not mandatory. It is a choice brave souls make to fight for the safety of innocent civilians. To make fun of an injury is something that should be frowned upon.”

My own dad served in the US Marines for 12 years. He gave his opinion on this controversy: “Obviously, this is not the right thing to say, especially around Veterans’ Day. Personally, I think he should apologize to Crenshaw and all veterans around the country.” Well, thankfully, Pete Davidson did just that on the next episode of SNL, and Dan Crenshaw was even given the opportunity to accept the apology on air and then give his own message about forgiveness and unity.

Our soldiers fight for our rights, and the First Amendment is a right. Freedom of speech is a right. Though it shouldn’t be illegal to make fun of things, we should also acknowledge when our comments are rude, disrespectful, and out of line.