By Dawn Onley, The Grio
Some jokes are lighthearted and meme-worthy, but the prospect of the United States entering a war with Iran is not something anyone should find amusing. Let’s start with the fact that many of the newly deployed members of the military headed to the region are men and women of color.
According to the Pew Research Center, minority groups made up 40% of the Defense Department’s active-duty military in 2015 and Blacks, who have consistently been represented in greater numbers among enlisted personnel, comprised 17% of that group and 19% of those who were newly enlisted.
Instagram user Kiing_Johnson, donning his Army fatigues, posted a now-viral video imploring his generation of social media users to think about soldiers in harm’s way around the world before making light of a potential World War III.
“You gotta understand man… for somebody like me who has been here since November, in the middle of this sh****…” he said in the video. “Y’all could post a good lil meme about being positive for us or praying for us …”
“We are really going through this sh***and a lot of us might not be coming back. So a prayer or a good luck could help,” he added.
Ever since President Trump launched an airstrike in Baghdad that killed top Iranian commander, Qassem Soleimani, Iran has promised to seek revenge.
After the assassination, Black Twitter, perhaps dumbfounded and angst-ridden over the repercussions, has taken to circulating humorous memes about the United States going to war.
But Kiing_Johnson said this is not the time for jokes. It was not known where his video was filmed but judging by the clip, he may be stationed in the Middle East. “My generation better tighten up sometimes,” he warns.
He wasn’t alone in his reservations about the circulating memes.
“Naaaaa these memes are f—in 😅😅😩but shit ain’t no joke!” Cardi B posted on her Twitter page on Saturday. “Specially being from New York. It’s sad this man is putting Americans live in danger.”
Kiing_Johnson also spoke directly to other uniformed men and women who are en route to wherever he is located, or elsewhere, to protect America from harm.
“I salute y’all man…I’m going to be for y’all. I’ll be here with y’all.”
We’re praying for you, young warrior. And we’re grateful for your service.
This article originally appeared in The Grio.