By Andy Wolf
A US military museum in Arizona was forced to close after controversial comments from a curator led to the withdrawal of State funds.
Vietnam veteran Joe Abodeely, 80, is reportedly the reason the Arizona Military Museum is shuttering its doors after he made a series of offensive remarks.
Abodeely, who oversaw the museum for decades, caught the attention of a geneal in his state’s National Guard after allegedly saying he would be replaced by “some gay, black, woman, woke Jew” seemingly as part of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion [DEI] protocols that are sweeping industries across the country.
“Eventually they will replace me with some gay, Black, woman, woke Jew who will ruin the place,” he reportedly said during a tour.
Arizona National Guard Brigadier General John Conley sent Abodeely a letter in February expressing concern about statements he made during a tour.
The 80-year-old veteran dedicated half his life to the 86-year-old museum and even had his own uniform on display.
However, his comments were often too much for visitors, including statements such as telling members of a tour group that they “knew nothing of the realities of the Vietnam era because they were too young, brainwashed, stupid, duped, uneducated, or uncaring.”
At one point, Abodeely claimed a mannequin had its hand on its hip as a tribute to gay servicemembers.
According to the Daily Mail, Abodeely admits he made a mistake, chalking up his erratic behavior to the combined stress of undergoing tests for cancer and the museum fiasco.
“I’m arrogant, and I know that,” he said. “’I am somewhat egotistical, but I care about other people. I care about other things. I care about my nation, my state and I care about the museum.”
Despite this, the doors of the museum have been closed for four months, and the state pulled funding for the establishment.
Abodeely is active on social media and is a critic of former US President Donald Trump.
“Those people are simply ignorant, despicable racists,” he said of January 6 protesters on social media, “and their actions have brought the race issue to the forefront. It took a racist President and supporters to do it.”
Abodeely had reportedly been voted out of the museum leadership by the Arizona National Guard Historical Society but created a new board to oversee the museum.
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