Deconstructing The Absurdity

Another page added to history, one more step towards change; DADT is repealed!

In 2012 Presidential Election, Democratic Party, Presidential Debates, Republican Party, Tea Party, U.S Congress on September 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm

At 12:00 am on September 20th 2011, one of the most discriminatory policies existing in the United States military ceased to exist. The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy is now officially history. For the past decade and more the idea of letting LGBT As per the December 21, 1993 Department of Defense Directive 1332.14, it was legal policy (10 U.S.C. § 654) that homosexuality is incompatible with military service. Any person engaged in homosexual acts or stated that they are homosexual or bisexual were to be discharged.  The Uniform Code of Military Justice, passed by Congress in 1950 and signed by President Harry S Truman, established the policies and procedures for discharging service members.

The one thing I love about America is how as a country we have learnt so much from our past and made changes. Slavery, civil war, civil rights, assassinations, integration, wars and finally 9/11. Every event has had a devastating impact on the American society and we always learnt something valuable from it. That learning is what made and makes the United States such a strong country and by strong I don’t just mean hard power. I am talking about social and structural power. The mistakes we made us stronger and a better country. So why is the whole sexual preference concept so alien to the American community? As a culture America is perhaps the most open and progressive culture in the western world. Popular cultural trend is mostly set by America and American institutions/people. The question mark is still on the sexual preference being such a taboo. In a free country like this, how can the people discriminate against someone who has a different sexual preference? How can you discriminate against Americans who have sacrificed their lives and are on the battlefield fighting your security or maybe even your pride?

Herman Cain is one person on the GOP hopeful roster who you’d think would be against any kind of discrimination. Considering he is a “representative” of the African-American community he would know not to discriminate a fellow human being on any basis. Cain has supported the military’s ban on homosexuals and says he would have never repealed it as president. As for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA – a proposed bill that would prohibit “discrimination” against workers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity), the conservative commentator explains that he “would veto that relative to special rights to homosexuals.”

Last night at the Republican debate, Stephen Hill, a gay soldier serving in Iraq submitted a YouTube question aimed towards Rick Santorum. The question was how Santorum would handle troops like him. The audience responded to his question with boos and Santorum said he’ll reinstate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (a promise he doubled down on later in the evening). Major criticism came from all across when none of the GOP candidates stood up to defend the serving soldier. The joke was later on the candidates as they drew heavy fire from their own party. Former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said, “Booing a soldier serving our nation is uncalled for. If I were on stage, I would make that point.” Conservative LGBT tax exempt group GOProud said, “Tonight, Rick Santorum disrespected our brave men and women in uniform, and he owes Stephen Hill, the gay soldier who asked him the question about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, an immediate apology. That brave gay soldier is doing something Rick Santorum has never done – put his life on the line to defend our freedoms and our way of life.  It is telling that Rick Santorum is so blinded by his anti-gay bigotry that he couldn’t even bring himself to thank that gay soldier for his service.”

Well! After so much criticism and backlash Rick Santorum did reply. He played the naive card and said he didn’t hear the boos and thanked the gay soldier for his service. This is what Santorum had to offer.

“That soldier is serving our country. I thank him for his service to our country. I’m sure he’s doing an excellent job. I hope he’s safe and I hope he returns safely and does his mission well. I have to admit, I seriously did not hear those boos. Had I heard them, I certainly would have commented on them, but, as you know, when you’re in that sort of environment, you’re sort of focused on the question and formulating your answer. I just didn’t hear those couple of boos that were out there, but certainly had I, I would have said “Don’t do that. This man is serving our country and we are to thank him for his service.”

Days after DADT was repealed conservative politicians all ready to bash it or make it look bad. Either they let the audience boo it off and/or they go out and make derogatory anti-gay statements to charge up their base. Sometimes it makes me wonder. What kind of audience is present at these debates? Some want to let a fellow American die because he didn’t have health insurance and some just keep it simple and are homophobic.

You can watch the Obama administration’s campaign video about the repeal of DADT here.

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