Thursday, July 24, 2008

Don't ask, don't tell?

NPR had a piece on Morning Edition today about Congress revisiting the famous "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy of the military. It's okay if we send homosexual troops off to die for our country, but they can't have the same rights as heterosexual troops? What does this say about our society as a whole?!? A hearing was held yesterday on whether or not this policy should be repealed. Marine Sgt. Eric Alva, who lost his leg as the first casualty of the Iraq war testified,"...I realized that I had fought and nearly died to secure the rights for others that I myself was not free to enjoy. I had proudly served a country that was not proud of me."

Yesterday was also the 60th anniversary of the desegragation of the military. Colin Powell spoke at the hearing, as well as Vance Coleman, a straight retired African-American Army major general. Coleman compared the current policy toward homosexuals in the military "to the segregation he encountered enlisting in 1947". It was incredibly powerful, having one minority, from a group whom it is not longer socially acceptable to be prejudice against, defend another minority group, whom society says it is okay to ostracize, selflessly, without any hope for personal gain...I was telling Kate about it at work today and I actually started crying (crying at work = not awesome)because the change that could be made by people like Coleman speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves is enormous. Homosexuals currently serving in the military cannot speak for themselves because they will be immediately fired, and so straight military women and men and retired openly gay women and men (like Navy intelligence Capt. Joan Darrah)are the ones who truly have the power to make a difference. I am so grateful for Vance Coleman, Joan Darrah, and people like them. It makes me hope that my (possible future)children will grow up in a world where it will not be okay to judge someone or treat them differently based on their sexual preference, race, or sex.

2 comments:

Quinn said...

I saw a Yahoo headline the other day that indicated that most Americans now opposed this policy. Did the NPR piece talk about whether there was a chance that this horrendous policy might be repealed?

Rachelle said...

They do not plan to attempt it until we have a new president.

 
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