Friday, July 9, 2010

DADT TROOP SURVEY MADE PUBLIC: A STUDY IN DEGRADATION

This subject of this article entitled, DADT Troop Survey Made Public has angered me more than I can express.

Please read the full article, but part of it reads as follows:

The Palm Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has made available the “don’t ask, don’t tell” survey distributed to 400,000 active duty and reserve military personnel Wednesday....

Here is one sample question:

"If Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed and you are assigned to bathroom facilities with an open bay shower that someone you believe to be a gay or lesbian Service member also used, which are you most likely to do? Mark 1.

Take no action
Use the shower at a different time than the Service member I thought to be gay or lesbian
Discuss how we expect each other to behave and conduct ourselves
Talk to a chaplain, mentor, or leader about how to handle the situation
Talk to a leader to see if I had other options
Something else
Don't know

If you selected 'Something else,' please specify below."


This "study" is one of the most despicable things I've seen in my life. And I've seen quite a few of them.

Even that one question that the article cites is biased. But the very fact that any questionnaire would be used regarding the "acceptability" of any minority group is despicable!

Why don't they do such a study regarding Jews? It's undoubtedly because in their minds Gay=Sex, and they don't see Gay people as full human beings.

My ethnicity is Jewish! Why not do a survey among military personnel as to whether or not they would be comfortable being in close association with Jewish people?

Why shouldn't such a survey be done? After all, if one minority group's acceptability and worthiness are at issue, why not have other minority groups' acceptability and worthiness also be at issue?

You see, putting equal rights up for grabs, be it at the ballot box or in a survey questionnaire, be it in the military or in any other institution, is not only degrading to the given minority group, but also sets the stage where equality is granted at the behest of others, rather than granted as a fundamental right by mere virtue of being a citizen.

Gay people, by the mere virtue of having their fate and fortunes depend on the values and prejudices of others, have been demeaned, degraded, and humiliated in a terribly egregious way by the very existence of this "study." (Indeed, just seeing the above cited question shows me that whoever crafted that question knows little or nothing about survey research!)

The kind of mind-set that would even think it appropriate to allow such a study to occur is not at all unlike the mind-set of White Supremacists and Fascists who, for example, took advantage of the relatively muted anti-semitism that existed in Germany prior to Hitler's ascendancy and, moreover, made possible Hitler's ascendancy by his and like-minded people's manipulation of the media, and crafting his and his followers' rhetoric to appeal to that anti-semitism that came to its full flowering in the Holocaust.

What I am writing is no mere hyperbole! Heterosupremacy is no less real and no less dangerous than is White Supremacy and Fascism!

The very existence of this study, the very idea that such a study should be undertaken regarding any minority group, shows that this country has devolved into one that is setting the stage for increased homophobia and further rationalizations for the exclusion and further demonization of Gay people within the military and even within other institutions in our society.

Before Hitler's ascendancy, many Jews remained in Germany and Austria because they never in their wildest dreams believed that they would be the target of extermination, of genocide! When they found out that the unthinkable was actually occurring before their eyes, it was too late to avoid their horrific fate.

In my opinion, the very existence of this study is a harbinger of an escalation of hate-speech and discriminatory actions against LGBT people, and is also serving to provide rationalizations and "justifications" for military personnel, and others, to further demean and degrade, as well as even physically assault, Gay people who are now serving in the military.

And should the results of this "study" result in the conclusion that DADT cannot be repealed, further ammunition will be given to the military and to other segments of this society to further humiliate and degrade LGBT people, thereby stalling any hope we have for full equality for all U.S. citizens.

After all, as of now, ENDA has not yet been repealed; we still have DADT; we still have DOMA; in many states, a person can be fired from his/her job for merely being Gay.

If you think that the state of the Jews in pre-Nazi Germany is that much different from the current state of LGBT people in the U.S., think again!
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6 comments:

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

SUPERB, Jerry! I knew you had this polemic inside you, and that's why I encouraged you to express your outrage by writing this essay. No one could do a better job of underscoring the urgency of denouncing this bogus survey, which was funded by our tax money. May I post this essay on one of my blogs?

genevieve said...

Jerry, I wonder why they have such surveys (at tax payer expense) in the first place. It's very humiliating to everybody.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks so much, Don Charles. That means an awful lot to me. Of course, you may post this or any other essay of mine on any one of your, or others', blogs. Best wishes, Jerry.

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi genevieve: They have such surveys because they know they can get away with it, and while so many LGBT people are fiddling while Rome burns, through frivolity and burlesquing of Gay identity.

By apolitical frivolous parades and other such social posturing, with the use of epithets that show a reveling in outsider status, LGBT people are not sufficiently taken seriously, so even "liberals" feel free to place the civil rights of Gay people up to a vote of the majority, be it among the electorate or within the military.

Any Gay person who isn't terribly offended and outraged by this or any such "study," must have a degree of internalized shame and self-loathing that I cannot fathom. Best wishes, Jerry.

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

Jerry,

I've posted this essay in the sidebar of my new blog, Ignorance Is Plentiful, in a permanent Jerry Maneker section that I can update periodically with examples of your best op-ed writing.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks so much, Don Charles. That means an awful lot to me. Best wishes, Jerry.