"Get 'em, Girls!"
It has finally come to pass that President Obama has repealed Bill Clinton’s policy regarding the recruitment of gays in the military. The policy was meant to give the gays and lesbians a chance to serve in the military without being required to come forward about their sexuality or sexual preferences. Apparently, this system has worked well so far. It had changed a lot of policies that the military had that led to the prosecution of gays and lesbians for their lifestyle choices. It used to be a requirement for the recruiter to ask all potential enlistees if they were gay or not. As it had stood for years, it was strictly “Don’t ask, don’t tell”.
Obama’s plan is straightforwardly simple. The Gay and Lesbian military personnel come out of the closet, and there is nothing that can be done about it. The military would be forced to accept them with no questions asked. Period. They will march, drill, eat, sleep, shower and eventually fight side by side with the rest of the service men and women. Is it fair? Perhaps in a lopsided sort of way, but will it work? My personal opinion is no.
What about the homophobes? Do they have to come clean? The homophobes in the military will probably be the ones to cause more problems than anyone else. Albeit once in awhile a soldier, any soldier, will have to be “bitch-slapped” to react and fight when under fire, but it is the worrisome ways of the homophobe that will cause all of the problems. Let’s face it, once the gays and lesbians come clean about their lifestyles, there will be a lot of discontent in the ranks. Heterosexual soldiers won’t want to serve side by side with homosexuals; there will be fights, midnight beatings and discrimination. It will be like the witch hunts of Salem in the 1600’s. An anti-gay pandemic will infiltrate the ranks and people will become labeled and punished regardless of sexual preference.
During World War II, the black soldiers were segregated from the white. They were held down and given meaningless job assignments, or sent on suicide missions instead of the white units. It wasn’t until a unit of black pilots from Tuskegee, Mississippi was sent into battle in Europe and out classed and out performed the white pilots with their dog fighting and aerial combat skills. They saved hundreds of lives and performed flawlessly. It was because of units like this that led to the desegregation of the military. Eventually, black soldiers were integrated into the regular ranks, although many were not accepted because of prejudice. Is this the way that it is going to be with the gay and lesbian soldiers?
Will we end up segregating the gays and lesbians into special units to keep the internal peace? During WWII, the song “The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B” was about the rhythmic abilities of a black bugle player in the US Army. Will we now have the “Bugger Boy of Company G”? The general population of the military is just not ready for this change…not right now.
It’s hard to say whose side the civil rights people are on. Some members of the military have expressed their unhappiness with Obama’s plan for the very reasons I have laid out. They are afraid of the lack of teamwork, the lack of dedication to Semper Fidelis, and the potential lack of honor for having to lie about your own preferences for fear of retribution. It is an unfortunate circumstance of not having your potentially life saving talents recognized because of the narrow mindedness of the people you serve and serve with.
Whether I agree or disagree with a man’s lifestyle is beside the point. There is a lot out there that I don’t agree with, but I respect a man’s choices for the way he wants to live his life, what he chooses to do or what purse he wears with his Prada heels. Homosexuality has been around long before the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, and it will continue on. It is up to the rest of us to live and let live, we don’t have to agree with it.
But just remember, if it comes down to the segregation of gays in the military, you will never see Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson or Vin Diesel in an Army movie running up a hill in high heels shouting “Get ‘em, Girls!”
Copyright 2009/2010 by Del Banks