Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Rainbow Connection


The Army withdrew the ROTC scholarship of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill senior Sara Isaacson after she revealed in a written statement that she is gay. Because her action violates the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy, Isaacson must return the $79,000 in scholarship money that she has already received. Said Cadet Command spokesman Mike Johnson, "To accept the scholarship, the kid signs a contract and agrees to serve X years in the U.S. Army." Isaacson's father Ken had a different take: "It's disappointing that our country doesn't want her. But she will find some way to make her mark."

On July 26, 1948, President Truman issued Executive Order 9981, which desegregated the military. Until then, African-American soldiers served in separate units, typically commanded by white officers. Now, it occurs to me, why not do something similar for gay soldiers? I don't mean an executive order ending discrimination: I'm talking about the next step on the way to that. The Army could form a separate-but-equal Rainbow Brigade of gay and lesbian soldiers, commanded (naturally) by straight officers. There would be no concerns about unit cohesion and -- let's face it -- most barracks and foxholes could use some decent interior design.

The benefits for gay soldiers, starting with an improved social life, are obvious. No longer would they have to lurk in a psychological dark alley, at terms with their sexuality and yet unable to express it. Instead, they could seek refuge in the safety of a rainbow asylum, free from ridicule (outside of the occasional bit of playful graffiti sprayed on their barracks by soldier boys being soldier boys). When going out on the town, they could band together openly for protection. The Army could even design a special rainbow-colored service ribbon that would prevent misunderstandings in places like restrooms at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. The Navy could paint designated cruisers (the ships) in rainbow camouflage.

Gays have served in the military at least since the days of ancient Sparta. In an only-in-America tale of tolerance and liberality, patriotic homosexuals have, over the span of a few brief millennia, attained the enviable position of being permitted to serve their country as long as they lie about the nature of the most fundamental part of their humanity. A Rainbow Brigade would be the next proud step on the gay journey to the American Dream. But for now, could they maybe walk on the other side of the street?...

Riccobono's Panola Street Cafe...

Two studies in brown...

No bathing suits in the lobby...

Scenes from the macro-world...

What am I gonna do on a submarine?...

12 comments:

Roy said...

Re: The "In the Navy" video - See? Anita Bryant was right - they do recruit!

ducks/runs

K. said...

LOL! The YMCA was just the beginning!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

it took a while before willie emerged on the vid, but it was well worth the wait.

now the music in the park, that's one willie concert I'd really enjoy attending....esp like the closeups of willie's guitar

i'd like to see a duet of kermie and willie singing this song!!

Scrumpy said...

Glad to see you're still fighting the good fight, K. :)

K. said...

Mouse: Re the duet, what do you bet that someone figures out a way to mix that and posts it on youtube?!

Scrump! Great to hear from you! I promise not to quit.

Sylvia K said...

Oh, yes, you do have a way of making my day and saying it all so much better than I can. I get so frustrated I just tend to babble and no one reads it anyway. And, no, don't stop!!

Sylvia

Sylvia K said...

Oh, and I love the video!!

Sylvia

TaraDharma said...

hehe...I have the oil spill widget posted as well. Appalling. The spill - not the widget.

Interesting concept, this rainbow brigade...though I'm not sure I buy into the idea. I actually think the armed services are beyond this need for segregated troops. By and large it's not the rank and file that have a problem with gays serving, it's the cranky old men at the top. Maybe they should have segregated units for folks who don't want to serve with gays, and let them declare their fear and loathing daily. Everybody else can serve their country like grownups!

tnlib said...

I think I'd sue the hell out of them for breach of contract.

Willie is my man.

Bill said...

The ancient Greeks implemented this idea: The elite force of the city-state of Thebes was comprised strictly of gay couples. The belief was that they would fight harder if defending a loved one. The band was quite successful until its eventual eradication at the hands of the Macedonians sixty years after its formation.

A monument was built for the band on at their burial site in Thebes and still stands to this day in what is now Luxor.

Food for thought...

Bill said...

Erm... the monument is actually in Chaeronea in Greece.

K. said...

Sylvia, tnlib: Willie can do no wrong. He da man.

Tara: Don't we already have a Fear and Loathing unit? I think it's called "Alabama."

Bill: I didn't know that the Greeks had gays in the military as a matter of policy. I had figured it stemmed from their acceptance of homosexuality. However did they manage to invent democracy and Western philosophy, plus dominate the Mediterranean while being moral lepers?