A certain Twitter follower asked me for my thoughts on the Senate’s failure to move forward on a repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell yesterday. Well, that’s just not something I can express in 140 characters or less…and Lawd know I don’t want to be one of those Twitter people who sends 20 tweets to make one statement (wince). So, I’m going to share my thoughts here…and then maybe tweet the link!
America is always having an identity crisis and we're sure as shit having one now. From the national debate of immigration, to the continuing debate over whether to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, to the outbreak of intolerance and hatred toward Muslims…we are a society struggling to live up to our founding values even as some try to re-write what those values are.
We’ve been here before. In many ways, this is how American society moves forward…painfully, reluctantly and through embarrassing public displays of ig’nance.
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) needs to go.
There are LGBT Americans serving in the military and there have always been LGBT Americans serving in the military.
We need not wonder what a repeal would do…many of our allies have already done away with their bans on LGBT people in service and, as a result of our coalitions in current wars, many Americans are serving along side LGBT service members who are not limited by DADT.
But the resistance to repealing DADT isn’t about the logical…it’s about politics and votes and pandering to the segment of Americans who respond positively to politicians who deny LGBT people equality.
Just as some respond to anti-Muslim statements...just as some respond to anti-immigration propaganda…we are a society struggling to be true to our founding values even as some try to re-write what those values are.
And don't even get me started on how we became a nation while not being true to the values we proclaimed at the time...shit.
Yesterday’s failure is not an end any more than a repeal of DADT is an end.
Of all the walls to LGBT equality currently on the table, DADT is the one I’m willing to bet is going to fall in the next few years if not sooner. Then the segment of Americans who would deny LGBT people equality will cry out in protest…and politicians who seek their votes will ratchet up the homophobic rhetoric…and what should just be will painfully become after a series of embarrassing public displays of ig’nance.
It’s moments like this that make me wonder how we look to the rest of the world - walking around pounding our chests over how we’re the best and we’re the nation where people are free and we’re #1…USA, USA, USA!!!
...even as we demonstrate intolerance, hatred and fear of the other coupled with a willingness to withhold justice and equality...even when our actions make our cheers of greatness and freedom damn near laughable.
But we’ll get there.
It won’t be pretty, but it will be.
And then we the people will have arrived at the beginning…again.
Our identity crisis continueth…