Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just one more thing we're going to have to explain some day

Some day, in the not too distant future, young people are going to come to us and ask why anybody ever thought the whole "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was ever a good idea. I am not looking forward to that day because I don't enjoy talking to young people now and I doubt that's a condition that's going to get better as I age. I'm also pretty sure I'm not going to have a very good answer.

25 years from now...


"Yes, Joey?"

"We're studying history in school and learning that there was major controversy surrounding gays serving in the military."

"Yes, that is true."

"And why was that the case?"

"It's like this, Joey. You know how a man and a woman can love one another and become a daddy and a mommy? Well, sometimes two men or two women will--"

"I know what homosexuality is, grandpa. I'm 8, not stupid."

"Wait...if you're 8 and I'm your grandfather, then that means your mom or dad would have to have been born some time around when I was dating...."

"Grandpa, please? I want to understand why people thought it would be bad to have openly gay people volunteering to serve their country by enlisting in the military. Surely it couldn't have been because of the widely-held perception of gay men being overly effeminate and therefor not fit to serve in combat."

"Well, uh--"

"After all, even if a ridiculous stereotype like that were a valid concern, most positions in the military are based in logistics or support and relatively few service members ever actually face combat. And what does that say about women who have served, and continue to serve in combat?"

"Yeah. Um--"

"It's also difficult to rationalize how Bill Clinton, widely considered to be one of the 20th century's most progressive leaders, would be responsible for implementing an obviously discriminatory and unconstitutional policy like 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'. What, out of concern for the safety of closeted gay service members? That's downright hypocritical in light of the country's previous struggles with civil rights issues that took place a relatively short time before. What am I missing here, grandpa?"

"Are you sure I can't just explain homosexuality to you instead? I'd really be much more comfortable with that."

1 comment:

Amarjeet said...

Great post I must say.. Simple but yet entertaining and engaging.. Keep up the good work!

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