Thursday, April 29, 2004


A UMass graduate student, with a checkered history, mocks Pat Tillman
(Rene Gonzalez has a history of outrageous comments while at UMass. He has compared America to Nazi Germany and called the Fallujah massacre of four Americans as a "logical outcome." Below is email info for Rene Gonzalez, published on the UMass website.)

Most Americans are not going to allow someone to insult a true hero

University of Massachusetts graduate student Rene Gonzalez wrote, "Pat Tillman is not a hero: he got what was coming to him." Comparing Pat Tillman to the movie character, Rambo, Gonzalez said that Tillman was acting out "nationalist patriotic fantasies." Gonzalez continued his garbage by saying, "It's hard to say I have any sympathy for his death because I don't feel like his 'service' was necessary. He wasn't defending me, nor was he defending the Afghani people. He was acting out his macho, patriotic crap and I guess someone with a bigger gun did him in."

(Here is a what Rene Gonzalez said in the UMass "Daily Collegian")

Gonzalez's comments about Tillman should not surprise those in the UMass community who know him. He wrote, "Why we will fail in Iraq" two weeks ago. He wrote that the vicious murder and mutilation of four American civilians was a "logical outcome." He called the insurgency a "patriotic Iraqi rebellion" and said "we are the colonizers and they [are] the freedom fighters."

Just a few months ago, Rene Gonzalez was involved with a group of students protesting a $65 fee imposed on international graduate students. Gonzalez called the fee "part of a domestic component to an imperial foreign policy." Gonzalez is a signatory to the "UMass Divest from Israel Petition," circulated by the Western Massachusetts Palestine Action Coalition.

"This was a "G.I. Joe" guy who got what was coming to him," rene@student.umass.edu

Gonzalez also protested against the Patriot Act last December. He compared the United States to Nazi Germany and President Bush to Adolf Hitler. . . .

Rene Gonzalez of the university's Student Government Association's ALANA caucus spoke at the event. He said most Americans have a feeling that laws that make a totalitarian society would not happen in the United States, but his disdain toward the government was clear.

Gonzalez compared the type of government in the United States to fascism. He also said that the little opposition of U.S. citizens to the policies of President Bush is not dissimilar to the rise of Adolf Hitler in the years prior to World War II.

"In Germany, the [support of Hitler] happened first with little things. Then they had a politician with the unquestioning support of his people," he said. "That's what fear in a conformist nation does. That's what's happening [in the United States] today."

Gonzalez sounds like a sad, misguided and very angry young man. Pat Tillman died to save the life of Rene Gonzalez and the rest of us. UMass has information providing the email address of Rene Gonzalez. Perhaps you would like to let Rene Gonzalez know what Pat Tillman's passing means to you and most other Americans. Please don't harass this wayward person with threatening phone calls if you choose to contact him. Be respectful if you write him and make sure that Rene Gonzalez and others realize that Pat Tillman was no "idiot" but represents the best that America has to offer.

Click here for a timeline and retrospective on Pat Tillman's public life.

Update: The UMass "Daily Collegian" printed responses to what Rene Gonzalez had to say about Pat Tillman. One letter, "God bless Pat Tillman" by Michael Reardon and the other letter, "A lack of sympathy and respect" by Megan Cayer. It appears that the "Daily Collegian" has deleted Gonzalez's attack on Tillman while still leaving up its counterpart op-ed. You have to look for the controversial missive in the archives.

Others discussing this unfortunate story, The Corner, QandO, Cold Fury, Mudville Gazette, Southern Appeal, Blogs for Bush, North Georgia Dogma, CommonSense & Wonder, Off Wing Opinion, King of Fools, AntiIdiotarianRottweiler, A Small Victory, Right Thoughts, Inoperable Terran, Acorns from an Okie, dcthornton, Foolsblog, Steve Silver, Thunder Monkey, Original Musings, Dustbury, Chief Wiggles, Twisted Spinster.



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