A civilian contractor working with the U.S. army in Afghanistan has been fired from his job after footage showed him wearing a highly racist neo-Nazi flag on his helmet.
The video was filmed during a U.S. and Afghan air crew training to fly a UH-60 helicopter in Kandahar and was originally posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service’s (DVIDS) website. However, something very disturbing popped up in the middle of a video.
During the 01:12 second mark, the YouTube video above shows a contractor wearing a helmet with a green flag on it. The only problem is that it was the highly racist “Kekistan” flag.
The pennant was first created in racist 4chan chat rooms and its design is a rip-off the German Nazi war flag, with the Iron Cross replaced by the 4chan logo, the swastika switched with the “KEK” symbol and the red of the German flag swapped with green from the alt-right mascot, “Pepe the Frog.” The Kekistan flag is displayed by ultra-nationalists and refers to their satirical “religion,” which the alt-right has created to troll liberals.
Eagle-eyed freelance journalist Joseph Trevithick noticed the racist emblem in the DVIDS footage, took a screenshot of it and tweeted it out. Shortly after, DVIDS removed the video from its website but a copy of it still exists on YouTube.
The man, who has not been identified, worked for the Virginia-based aviation consultant company MAG Aerospace, said Sgt. 1ST Class Debra Richardson, and he was immediately fired by the company for violating the company’s policies.
Richardson told the Huffington Post that MAG Aero obeys all rules devised by the U.S. Army, which follows the Defense Department policy that “prohibits partisan political activity of civilian employees while they are on duty.”
A spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Col. Dave Butler, said the U.S. Army or the NATO mission to Afghanistan does not “support the symbology in this patch or any racist garbage.”
“We’re joined together with 40 other nations across the globe helping the Afghans fight terrorism,” he said. “We don’t have time or patience for bigotry.”
Neo-Nazi have waved the racist flag in rallies across America, including the August 2017 “United the Right” Charlottesville rally, which turned deadly.
Neo-Nazism is so rampant that even the U.S. Armed Forces are not free from it. In Oct 2017, a Military Times report revealed one-fourth of active-duty members in the army said they have come across white nationalists in their own ranks.
Earlier this year, the United States Marine Corps ousted 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Vasillios Pistolis after he was revealed to be a violent white supremacist. Pistolis has been connected to known white supremacist organizations, including the National Socialist Movement, the Traditionalist Worker Party, and Atomwaffen Division, which is described by ProPublica as a group that hopes to provoke a race war. He also took part in the aforementioned Charlottesville rally.
Ultra-nationalists groups have bragged about worming their way into politics, academics and even the tech industry. However, their presence in the military is so much more terrifying.
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