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DADT: A Repeal of Convenience


By dlindorff - Posted on 30 December 2010

By Jess Guh

Am I the only queer person in the country that is sad about the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell"? I know the long-delayed bill just signed into law has destroyed my plan to avoid any future military conscription.

Let me explain. Many of my male friends in college photodocumented their participation in pacifist activities. They explained that this was their insurance policy against any eventual military draft: solid proof to support a history of conscientious objection. As a queer person, I had another plan, though: If anyone tried to compel me to serve in the military, before anyone could even "ask," I planned to "tell" by yelling, "I'm gay, and not in the happy way!" loudly and repeatedly, until no branch of the military would want me. Just for extra measure I would threaten to convert any and all women that I ran across.

Now, in the wake of another victory for queer rights in this country, it seems silly to not have taken pictures of myself at anti-war protests anyway.

But I have mixed feelings about the repeal of DADT for other reasons, too. With queer folks now allowed to serve openly, it seems that yet another oppressed minority group has been pulled into being exploited by the American military-industrial complex.

The American military's track record of inclusion is poor by even the lowest of standards. Black Americans were first allowed to serve in the military during the Revolutionary War, when Lord Dunmore, the governor of Virginia, promised freedom to any runaway slave that fought for the British army. George Washington, needing more soldiers, followed suit. I'll let you guess how many of them actually received their promised freedom. Due to fears of giving Black folks weapons and racist doubts that they were mentally capable of being good soldiers, they were not even allowed to officially serve and enlist until 1862 during the Civil War, despite having fought courageously since the revolutionary war. During WWI, US military leaders decided they would rather use black units for suicide missions where they would likely die, instead of sending their white counterparts. For their valiant efforts, no awards or citations would be given to thosesoldiers of color until 1996, nearly 80 years later.

This philosophy of contempt and "we'll let you serve, but only on our terms" is not limited to race...

For the rest of this article by JESS GUH in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent online alternative newspaper, please go to: ThisCantBeHappening!

Not queer; just homosexual. Queer means strange and there's really nothing strange about homosexuality in the US and many other countries. I'm not homo or bi-sexual, though am bi-ped, albeit it's sort of unrelated. Anyway, there's no need to refer to homosexuals as queer. Taboo days are long past.

But I have mixed feelings about the repeal of DADT for other reasons, too. With queer folks now allowed to serve openly, it seems that yet another oppressed minority group has been pulled into being exploited by the American military-industrial complex.

Recruitment numbers are low and like you said or inferred, the government doesn't want to "shock & awe" the population with an official draft.

The American military's track record of inclusion is poor by even the lowest of standards.

They're too busy f*cking everyone else.

The Black-White history is really like unpleasant, but I can certainly believe that it happened. It's typical and it surely will be with respect to how white and non-white homosexuals are treated in the military once they publicly declare that they're homosexuals.

This philosophy of contempt and "we'll let you serve, but only on our terms" is not limited to race...

It's limited only to what the ruling elites decide to make the limitations. Of course soldiers can set their limits, as well, like by DISSENTING.

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