Mother of fallen Marine hero: Reporter tried to play Latino ‘race card’

Mother of fallen Marine hero: Reporter tried to play Latino ‘race card’
USMC photo -public domain.

The All-American mother takes a brave stand against racism…

The family of a fallen Marine hero is accusing a reporter for The Washington Post of attempting to play the Latino race card by trying to trick the family into stating that the combat hero’s Mexican heritage was a factor in his being denied the Medal of Honor, as reported by The Washington Times on Feb. 27, 2014.

Rosa Peralta, mother of recipient of the Navy Cross Sgt. Rafael Peralta, joined by her youngest son L/Cpl Ricardo Peralta, USMC, is hammering Washington Post reporter Ernesto Londono for repeatedly attempting to get family members to accuse the military hierarchy of denying the Medal of Honor to the Marine Corps martyr because of his Latino lineage.

As previously covered, in a recent article for The Post, Londono heavily leaned on accusations by two former Marines that supported the decision by the Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel not to re-open the case of upgrading Sgt. Peralta’s Navy Cross to the Medal of Honor on the grounds of “insufficient proof.”

Despite the eyewitness accounts and the official Marine Corps citation for the Navy Cross to Sgt. Peralta for his dying act of scooping a live grenade to his own body, thusly saving the lives of many of his brother Marines, civilian leadership within the Department of Defense continuously denies requests to re-investigate.

In a letter signed by both mother and son to their Congressman Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) Major, USMC Reserve, the Peraltas stated:

During the phone interview, this reporter had began asking questions about her son Rafael Peralta, my mom answered his questions but this reporter began harassing my mother and changing her words as to making him come off as some sort of punk.

She felt that by his words that he was trying to force her into making statements that he wanted to hear. He tried to get me to pull the ‘race card’ as to being the reason for the denial of the Medal of Honor on three separate occasions of the interview.

Congressman Hunter, himself a Marine combat veteran, has championed the cause for Sgt. Peralta’s MoH review.

In a three-page letter to The Post, Rep. Hunter cited numerous details of the physical evidence, as well as inconsistencies in the accounts of the very small number of former Marines who are now questioning the accounts of Sgt. Peralta’s heroism.

Londono “referred questions from The Washington Times to a company spokeswoman, Kristine Coratti, who did not address the concerns [Congressman] Hunter raised.”

“The Washington Post stands by the story,” she said.

Coratti went on to state the accusation against Londono “to bait the family into blaming race for the denial of a Medal of Honor was ‘absolutely untrue.'”

However, in a separate correspondence to The Post, Peralta family spokesman George Sabga informed Londono of “several objections to the report including disputing the claim that Peralta was an illegal immigrant.” Sabga also hammered Londono by again accusing the WaPo reporter of repeatedly bringing up Sgt. Peralta’s Mexican ancestry “even after Mrs. Peralta’s initial rejection that her son’s Mexican ancestry was involved in the decision-making.”

In the tenth year following his sacrifice, Sergeant Peralta’s Facebook memorial page still remains active.

T. Kevin Whiteman

T. Kevin Whiteman

T. Kevin Whiteman is a retired Master Sergeant of Marines. He is the founder of the blog Unapologetically Rude and has written for Examiner and other blogs.

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