No, Mr. Salcido, You’re The Lowest of the Low

Gregory Salcido


Randle De Graaf, Staff Writer

“We’ve got a bunch of dumb [expletive] over there…Think about the people who you know who are over there – your freaking stupid Uncle Louie or whatever – they’re dumb [expletive]. They’re not like high-level thinkers, they’re not academic people, they’re not intellectual people; they’re the freaking lowest of our low.”

These comments were made by Gregory Salcido, a councilman, former mayor and current history teacher at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera, California, to a student wearing a Marine Corps sweatshirt.

Salcido’s comments show an uninformed, ignorant and uneducated view of today’s military members. Salcido represents the small minority of people who share a hatred and unappreciation of those who have served and are currently serving in our military. The overwhelming majority of Americans have not a clue what our military members and their families endure, and to speak blindly about their lack of intelligence says a lot about the person making the comments.

Clearly, Mr. Salcido has never served a minute in the military or felt the pain and hardship of losing someone to armed conflict. As a veteran, nobody has a more vivid picture of the treasure trove of knowledge that exists within our military ranks.

To even be considered for military service, a potential recruit must be able to pass a knowledge-based assessment, as well as many physical and mental tests in order to be considered, let alone qualify. Up to 80 percent of applicants who wish to join the military are not accepted. 

Out of those who are accepted, 82.8 percent of officers hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to just 29.9 percent of the civilian population. Out of all enlisted troops, 93.6 percent have earned a high school diploma or equivalent, as opposed to 59.5 percent of civilians.

In more ways than one, our men and women in uniform are both mentally and physically superior than their civilian counterparts. For Salcido to make such comments speaks clearly of his character and the kind of man he is.

The national response to Salcido has been overwhelming.

Current White House Chief of Staff and retired four-star Marine Corps General  John Kelly commented, “Well I think the guy ought to go to hell… I just hope he enjoys the liberties and the lifestyle that we have fought for.”

The Pentagon has gone as far as to introduce a new public initiative titled, “This is your military.” The initiative’s focus is to educate the public about the less than one percent of Americans who join the military, and to dispel any misconceptions about military life.

Military members excel in many areas, especially academia, and often make up an overwhelming presence in classrooms. An astonishing 26 of our 45 presidents have served in the military, and many companies such as WalMart, FedEx, REMAX and Domino’s were founded by veterans.

This is not the first time Salcido has made headlines. He was disciplined in 2012 for hitting a student in the back of the head and has faced criticism for his defense of child pornography.

Salcido has since been placed on paid administrative leave by the school district and removed from his position on the city council.