On Tuesday, MSNBC foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin shared his opinion on the box office smash American Sniper.
After agreeing that the film was compelling for its depiction of veterans and PTSD, Mohyeldin claimed Kyle was racist to Iraqis and went on "killing sprees" while he was deployed in the country. Mohyeldin's comments gained so much attention they trended on Facebook.
IJReview talked with Johnny Walker, who was an Iraqi Muslim interpreter for many Navy SEALS, including Chris Kyle, about the claim that his dear friend was a racist. What he told us might just debunk those accusations.
"When we had a sniper mission, he would watch the targets. Then, sometimes I would go take care of something and he was never afraid that I was returning with my M4 and grenades. And not just Kyle, all the SEALs I worked with.
Kyle said I trust Johnny Walker with my life. When I came to America, I got invited to Chris’s book signing in La Jolla.
When Chris saw me at the event he left everyone and just came up to me and hugged me. Because he hadn’t seen me since 2007 and thought I could have died and had no idea where I was. After he signed the book, he was going to speak. Ten seconds into his speech, he said I am not an American hero. Johnny Walker is the American hero and then he made me stand up.
Then, he said that I saved more SEALs' lives than him. Pointing at me, and I am an Iraqi Muslim. So how is this racist?
Sometimes I would forget to bring an MRE to a sniper mission. Chris would share his MRE and he would talk about family. If he was racist towards Muslims why would he share intimate details of his life with a Muslim? I don’t see that in any way as racist. I think the ones calling Chris Kyle racist are racists.
If you’re going to call Chris Kyle racist, then call me a racist too. At times we were on the base, Kyle would laugh with the other Iraqi soldiers and joke with them. Again, why would a racist engage in that behavior?
The insurgents had a $50,000.00 bounty on my head. Every time Chris Kyle killed an insurgent he saved my family, and the innocent Iraqi families too. Why would a racist man protect me and innocent Iraqi families?
People should be respecting and honoring him. It hurts Taya, his brother, his dad, his children, his whole family and everyone in the SEAL community when people say such things about a man like Kyle. He treated me, an Iraqi Muslim, like a brother. So everyone needs to give him the respect that he fully deserves, and finally let the man rest in peace."
Walker's personal insight and time spent with Kyle gives us a real glimpse into the type of man he was.