21-year-old Oregon Army National Guard member Gerod Martin thinks immigrant families should be “lucky we aren’t executing them,” according to a recent Facebook post.
Martin was commenting on a viral fundraiser for undocumented immigrant families whose children were taken away as a result of the Trump administration’s former policy of separating children at the U.S. border. As of this writing, the fundraiser — named “Reunite an immigrant parent with their child” — has accumulated more than $18.7 million in donations, with nearly 500,000 donors contributing as of this writing. The money is allocated toward the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.
Sometime on Wednesday, however, Gerod Martin, whose Facebook profile says he lives in Salem, commented on the fundraiser, calling the effort to reunite immigrant families a “waste of money.”
“They’re lucky we aren’t executing them,” he wrote.
According to The Oregonian, Martin is a military police officer in addition to being a member of the Oregon Army National Guard. Oregon Military Department spokesman Major Stephen Bomar said that Martin would be disciplined for the post, although he didn’t elaborate on what specific punishment Martin would face.
“This is a horrible thing that he posted, we all know that,” Bomar told The Oregonian, saying that while Martin is entitled to his First Amendment rights, his Facebook profile shows him in uniform, meaning he violated the guard’s social media policies on taking a political position while in uniform. “It’s unacceptable, horrific and doesn’t reflect the values of our organization as a whole.”
“You always have to think before you post. Sometimes you can get caught up in the moment, but it’s not an excuse,” Bomar added.
A cellphone number registered to a 21-year-old Gerod Martin in Salem, Oregon has been set to not accept calls as of this writing.
Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.