Thursday, February 4, 2010
When you can't be all that you can be.....
There's talk around Wahington about lifting the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the military. Even General Colin Powell (ret USArmy) has gotten behind the lifting of the ban. Powell, you may remember, was previously against homosexuals openly serving in the Army. He said it was a "behavioral characteristic", unlike skin color, which was a "benign characteristic".
Powell now says, "If the chiefs and commanders are comfortable with moving to change the policy, then I support it. Attitudes and circumstances have changed. Society is reflected in the military. It’s where we get our soldiers from."
Other than ending his sentence with a preposition, he's right.
The Army has long been a forerunner in civil rights. Black Americans were integrated in the Army before society at large accepted them as equals (if they are today?). The complete desegragation of races was not implemented overnight. It was a slow process. Many fine examples of valor among "negro" units exist. From the Buffalo Soldiers to the Tuscagee Airmen, black Americans had fought and died with distinction - only to be segragated.
Don't Ask, Don't Tell was a landmark decission, to be sure. Up to that point, homosexual Americans had been barred from service in any branch of the military. Don't ask, don't tell provided a way for homosexuals to serve. However, serving came with restrictions. They had to stay in the closet, living in secrecy.
Race is a bit harder to keep secret. But, should anyone be forced to deny a most fundamental human right as basic as loving who you wish to love? In the United States?
C'mon folks, let's end this bigotry quickly!
What's the great fear? Does anyone really believe homosexuals are less capable to wage war? Is it really any of our business who an adult loves? Are we afraid we'll somehow get gay blood on us and morph into drag queens on the battle feild?
Sure some people aren't going to like it. But, a lot of people weren't comfortable with the idea of intergratin of races either. Would any reasonable person now say that was a bad idea ?