Tag Archives: desegregation of the armed forces

Yet another dream deferred

A little history lesson:

On July 26, 1948, [President Harry Truman, against the threat of a filibuster by racist white Southern U.S. senators] issued an executive order abolishing segregation in the armed forces and ordering full integration of all the services.

Executive Order 9981 stated that “there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed forces without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.”

The order also established an advisory committee to examine the rules, practices and procedures of the armed services and recommend ways to make desegregation a reality. There was considerable resistance to the executive order from the military, but by the end of the Korean conflict, almost all the military was integrated.

[Source: usnews.com]

Now, I’m no lawyer, although I probably should have become one, but it seems to me that President Barack “Where Are My Balls? Has Anyone Seen My Balls?” Obama could, if he so desired, issue an executive order to stop discrimination against non-heterosexuals in the U.S. armed forces.

I don’t buy the Repugnican “argument” that the homophobes in the U.S. armed forces need “time” to get used to the idea that it’s not OK to discriminate against someone because of his or her sexual orientation.

What the fuck does it say about the character and integrity of those in the armed forces that they need “time” to stop fearing and hating a whole class of people whom they have no rational reason to fear and hate?

This is from The Associated Press today:

Washington – The United States should not rush into a change as large as repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the military without making sure the people it affects are on board, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said [today].

Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said an 11-month study into the effects of lifting the ban will examine practical questions such as how the change would affect the numbers of people who decide to remain in the service when their terms expire.

“There is very little objective data on this. It is filled as you know with emotion and strongly held opinions and beliefs,” Mullen said a day after announcing his own opposition to the ban as unfair to gay troops.

“That’s the work we have to do over the course of this year. We need to understand that in terms of what the senior military leadership’s principal concern is, which is the readiness and military effectiveness of the force,” he said.

The study is seen by advocates of a quick repeal as an unnecessary delay, or a political convenience designed to stretch any real action to lift the ban until after congressional elections this fall….

Gates told the House Armed Services Committee … [that] he learned that imposing change from on high does not work….

“Stupid was trying to impose a policy from the top without any regard for the views of the people who were going to be affected or the people who would have to effect the policy change,” Gates said.

Gates has commissioned two reviews, one by the outside consultant Rand Corp. and one to be led by a four-star Army general and the Pentagon’s top lawyer. The reviews will look at attitudes about openly gay service among the armed forces, with particular emphasis on those in combat.

The reviews are supposed to look at the effect that lifting the ban could have on soldiers’ trust and reliance on one another, as well as practical and legal issues, military officials said.

Mullen is the president’s senior military adviser, but he said he does not speak for all the Pentagon top brass. Several of the top uniformed leaders in the military services have deep reservations about repealing the policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and Mullen was unable to unite them behind his view before [yesterday], when he became the first sitting chairman of the Joint Chiefs to say the policy should be changed.

The attitudes of troops under fire, the ramifications for recruiting, family benefits and other considerations are likely to get a fuller examination later this month, when leaders of the Army, Marine Corps and other services testify separately on Capitol Hill….

President Barack Obama pledged to work this year to repeal the 17-year-old policy that says gays may serve in the armed forces only if they keep their sexuality private. In the decades before that, the Pentagon expelled gay troops but the policy was not written into law.

Congress enacted the ban in 1993 as a compromise short of fully allowing openly gay military service, as then-President Bill Clinton had said he wanted.

What the fuck?

First off, Obama never should have kept on Gates, who was defense secretary under George W. Bush. Obama probably did that to look “bipartisan” and/or not “soft on terror” or the like, but it was a mistake.

Secondly, they’re going to issue a survey to the members of the U.S. military?

Maybe the survey questions will look something like this:

Do you want your male comrades to try to fuck you up the ass when you drop your soap in the shower?

___ Yes  ___ No

Do you want to have to learn to sleep with one eye open, lest one of your comrades try to get Brokeback with you?

___ Yes  ___ No

I kid, but it does dangerously seem to be the case that the “review” is going to consist of something like a fucking poll.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Equal human and civil rights are not up for a vote. Equal human and civil rights are what our founders called inalienable rights rights that are inherent and rights that cannot be taken away, not rights that we take a vote on.

Further, isn’t the U.S. military supposed to be a top-down organization? Um, you take orders in the military, don’t you?

Before the unelected Bush regime in March 2003 launched its bogus Vietraq War for the war profiteering of Dick Cheney’s war-profiteering Halliburton and for the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp, they didn’t ask the troops what the troops thought about that, did they? They didn’t conduct a “review.” They gave marching orders.

This 11-month “review” on whether or not to end discrimination against non-heterosexuals in the U.S. military is what you call BULLFUCKINGSHIT.

It’s foot-dragging.

Whether it’s because of the November 2010 elections or whether it’s just to buy the retrogressive homophobes some more time, there’s no excuse for it.

So after 11 months, then what?

We find out that indeed, the majority of troops are homophobic?

What excuse will we be given then?

“Well, we reviewed it, and now just isn’t the time.”

No — now is the time. There is no other time than right fucking now.

Fuck the stupid old white men like John McCainosaurus. He’s half-dead already. He is history. He represents the old dead hand of the past. This is about the future. This is about what is right.

There was resistance among the racists in the U.S. military when President Truman issued his executive order to desegregate the troops. And it was just too damned fucking bad.

Now, we take a desegregated military for granted.

One day, we will take for granted a military that doesn’t discriminate based upon sexual orientation.

Click here to sign on to the Courage Campaign’s letter to Sen. Carl Levin, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to include a repeal of the unconstitutional, unAmerican “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the defense budget bill.

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Tomorrow, tomorrow! I’ll love ya — tomorrow! You’re always a day away!

“For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait.’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ ”

Martin Luther King Jr.

I’m sick and fucking tired of equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals always elusively being just somewhere up the road.

But what’s up the road is just a fucking mirage that, when you get upon it, fucking disappears.

If I hear just one more time the “argument” that we can’t give non-heterosexuals equal human and civil rights right now because right now we have other things to deal with, I just might go postal.

Two give just two examples, there is this (from The Associated Press today):

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s top military adviser said [today] the Pentagon has enough challenges — including two wars — without rushing to overturn a decade-old policy that bans gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military and incites political and social factions on both sides.

Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he is working on an assessment of what — if any — impact overturning “don’t ask, don’t tell” policies would mean for the military and its culture. In the meantime, the Pentagon plans to follow the existing rules, which say gays and lesbians can serve in the military if they do not disclose their sexuality or engage in homosexual behavior….

During his presidential campaign, Obama pledged to overturn the Clinton-era policy and promised that gays and lesbians could serve openly in uniform. But he has made no specific move to do so since taking office in January….

Wow. Did the U.S. military bigwigs — most of them presumably straight white males, of course — say the same thing, I wonder, during the years before and after President Harry S. Truman signed an order in 1948 to racially desegregate the armed forces? That they had more pressing matters to attend to? That the racial desegration of the armed forces would just have to wait?

Stopping discrimination against non-heterosexuals in the armed forces does not require the armed forces to do anything. It requires them to stop doing something: to stop discriminating, to stop treating a class of Americans as less than equal.

Equal human and civil rights are inalienable rights, which means that these are rights that all individuals are to have right now — not at some vague point in the future when the majority oppressors feel that they have crossed off enough items on their to-d0 lists to finally fucking let some historically oppressed minority group have its equal human and civil rights.

There is nothing to argue about. Discrimination against a class of people in the U.S. armed forces is a violation of inalienable rights and thus is constitutionally illegal as well as morally wrong.

If the U.S. military truly cannot eliminate “don’t ask, don’t tell” while simultaneously performing its other functions, then the United States of America is frighteningly unsafe because its military cannot walk and chew gum at the same fucking time. (But don’t fear, because of course the U.S. military can end “don’t ask, don’t tell” right now.)

To give another more personal and more local example, on Friday I attended a small gathering at the California state Capitol to observe what would have been gay-rights icon Harvey Milk’s 79th birthday.

In response to the coverage of the small event on the Sacramento Bee’s website, some assbite dipshit left this comment: “Another example of how these lawmakers have their priorities all messed up and why our state is the way it is. Not only this but having frog jumping contests, etc., is crazy when they should be taking care of this budget! The longer they wait the worse it gets for the rest of us.”

You know, I highly doubt that even though the Milk birthday gathering was led by state Sen. Mark Leno, the gathering had any appreciable adverse impact on the state’s current budget crisis. My guess is that Repugnican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been the state’s CEO for more than five years now since the gubernatorial do-over — er, recall — election of 2003, is a lot more at fault for the state’s budget meltdown than are we non-heterosexuals (and friends) who observed Milk’s birthday at the Capitol on Friday.

Another asshole left this anonymous comment: “With the budget crisis, why is the the state wasting money on this????”

My impression of the event — which, unlike the anonymous asshole who left the anonymous comment, I actually attended — is that the state most likely did not pay for the event, but that the event was paid for by a private party or parties. But not actually knowing whatsofuckingever who actually paid for the event didn’t stop Captain Anonymous from just assuming that “with the budget crisis,” the “state [wasted] money” on the birthday observance for Milk.

Further, if the state Legislature truly cannot walk and chew gum at the same time (as the U.S. military apparently can’t, either) — then we Californians are far more fucked than we even realize.

Where it comes to equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals, it isn’t about the money and it isn’t about competing priorities. Excuses like that are just a smokescreen for the fucking fact that the homo-haters just don’t want to grant non-heterosexuals equal human and civil rights and are just throwing out excuses to drag their feet.

We non-heterosexuals cannot wait for that day that will never come. The mirage just up ahead in the road always vanishes and then another mirage appears, only to vanish also.

If we non-heterosexuals want our equal human and civil rights — our inalienable rights that we should have had from Day One — then we need to fight for them, not wait for them.

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