"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." --Frederick Douglass

The latest push for "gays in the military" has pushed me to keep trying for signatures on my online petition. My goal is to go to the major LGBT media with the petition to open up a different kind of conversation about the issue, a conversation about ending war.

One of the most common arguments against my petition is that I'm not considering the fact that working class and poor LGBT people have a right to join the military service in order to go to college. And I say that if we believe that then we uphold centuries of oppression against poor people in stating that only the wealthy are worthy of educating without being asked to risk their very lives to do so.

Not to mention risking the lives of others.

Please join me in reading and signing this online petition. And yes, I did in fact write the petition, I say this because some people have been afraid that it's a right wing trick. I send it out THROUGH this blog so that you can easily see and track me, to see who I am, and see that I am in fact NOT, very definitely NOT the right wing undercover.

To read and sign the petition, please click HERE.

Thank you for your support,
Philadelphia poet and queer anti-war activist

CONTACT: QueersAgainstWar@aol.com



lproyect said...

So I imagine that you would have opposed the American military becoming racially desegregated as well?

mariposarhythms said...

I would support a ban on any group of people serving in the military as it currently exists, whether gay people, people of color, women, white men, tall people, whatever. If there were still slavery, and the only people not allowed to be slaveholders were queer people, would we be saying, "please, please let us be slaveholders, too, it's not fair that we're the only ones who don't get to be"? If you agree that the military is an institution of domination, then I think we should be willing to sacrifice civil "rights" in the interest of human rights. Wouldn't it be great if queers fighting for the right NOT to serve in the military could start a movement in which other groups of people fight for that right as well? I think that would be a lot better than fighting for the right to kill, torture, and oppress others. As for the so-called purpose of "protecting" Americans, we'd save a lot more lives every year if money were diverted from the military to eradicate poverty and provide health care. And there's a lot of fights for queer civil rights to still be won that I'd rather see our resources going to, as well. I developed these thoughts further in an article published on the Counterpunch website: http://counterpunch.org/lucas02102010.html

lproyect said...

Wouldn't it be great if queers fighting for the right NOT to serve in the military could start a movement in which other groups of people fight for that right as well?


Oh right. And why don't they form gay soviets while they are at it. You must learn one day that the struggle for reforms are not mapped out in advance but grow out of complex social realities. But then again, you seem ill-disposed to learning such things...

poet CAConrad said...

Dear Iproyect I agree with Mariposarthythms here.

This is something I wrote this morning that I want to share:

Choi's "the terrorists"

Openly gay Lieutenant Dan Choi continues his endless stream of appearances at college campuses, and in newspaper, magazine and radio interviews for the push for repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." I tune in deliberately when I know he'll be on in order to listen to the way he handles himself, and better yet, the way he manages to continue using outdated pro-war propaganda.

For instance today on NPR the usual interview with poor, abused Dan Choi who only wants to defend the mighty but somehow also defenseless Americans. At one point he's talking about an earlier assignment in Iraq when he was still closeted and allowed to point his gun at Iraqis. He was talking about patrolling The Triangle of Death region looking for "the terrorists, the insurgents." There was literally a comma separating in his speaking, just like this, "the terrorists, the insurgents."

Haven't we COMPLETELY dealt with the lies of Bush, Cheney, Rice in this matter? The terrorists of 911 were not Iraqi. Choi gets away with it though, no one dares correct him conflating issues, especially not the liberal media who are in the middle of interviewing him because HE'S been made into the victim. Poor Dan Choi who can't go looking for "terrorists" (his word choice) in Iraq because he's gay. Dan Choi needs a remedial course in recent US history apparently.

This is the perfect time for Dan Choi to make his case though, perfect for everyone who is pro-war. Pro-war lesbian and gay soldiers will finally get the support of pro-war American elected officials who are either secretly or openly for war because the gay shield is in use. The state can make all of their arguments now as to WHY "DADT" should be repealed, and in doing so have indirect support for war by getting poster boy's like Choi to go around the country using the outdated propaganda glossary from the last administration.

It's a win-win for all who want war. The hyper-masculine model gets its way, all the way. And it's so subtle, so weirdly politically correct that it's nearly impossible to challenge in the end. Choi is masterful at sounding like a strong and powerful victim. He's the protector kept from doing his sacred job. It's amazing to me that he gets away with it. But he does get away with it, over and over again. And HE gets to set himself up as an activist, as someone seeking civil rights, while the rights of the Iraqi's are never in question.

I'm an openly queer man who is against war, especially the American occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and I believe very strongly that Dan Choi and other LGBT soldiers are being used to continue fanning the flames of war in a way which is completely new to us. Repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is genius to do right now at a time when support for our wars is waning.

Please consider reading and signing my online petition opposing the war Dan Choi is so proud of serving in. I direct you FIRST to a blog I wrote so that you can in fact see that the petition (which is linked on the blog) was written by me. I say this, and do this because many people have actually accused me of being a Republican uncover, looking for ways to trick the unsuspecting liberal into opposing a civil liberty.

There's nothing civil about war, especially these present American wars. Here is the blog which has a link to the online petition: http://invasionanniversary.blogspot.com/


poet CAConrad said...

There is no way to negotiate being against war but for gays in the military, it's not possible.

The petition makes clear that asking for a politically correct, gay-friendly war machine is nuts.

And we all know of course that we invaded Iraq and shouldn't have done so. Countless lives have been taken out of this world as a result of that decision.

And gay men have been hunted down and murdered for being gay in Iraq, which makes the idea of a gay-friendly American military even more ironic, since it's the American military which created the space for this genocide.

The madness we're living in and living with is something we must face, and address.


poet CAConrad said...

Everyone reading this, PLEASE read this amazing article by Cecilia Lucas from COUNTERPUNCH titled "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Serve".

She makes all the right points, and I for one am grateful she's around writing!


meredith said...

The thing is, you can be against war and still support the troops. Ask any first generation hippie.

The military establishment does good things here at home as far as disaster relief and other things go, so it's really not just about war or not-war, even in completely peace there would still be a National Guard and it would still be discriminating against gay people if we don't repeal this.

Plus, the issue isn't whether you yourself "support war." Lots of pro-choice activists would never have an abortion themselves and are completely against it for themselves, but they fight for your right to make your own choice, to make your own life decisions.

I don't support gays in the military because *I* am gay and *I* want to join the military, but because somebody else does and they are being forced into a closet when they get there.

Every cause you believe in doesn't need to be related to your own personal issues. Presumably you support cancer research or the struggle of cancer patients even if you don't have cancer or know someone with it. You don't say "Well I don't think there should be cancer so I won't support this research because that's just encouraging the cancer itself." That's just selfishness.

What this says to me is that you don't care at all about anyone who doesn't agree with you. That's not equal rights. I'm a pacifist, I'm against war, but I know that there will always be a military in my lifetime and within that military everyone SHOULD be equal, everyone should be allowed to join openly if they themselves want to.

Also, everyone ALREADY has the right not to serve in the military. Every single one of us already has that right, you don't need to fight for it. That should be kind of obvious.

poet CAConrad said...

Meredith, wagging your finger at me and saying that I'm only doing this because of how I believe in the world makes no sense when you make it public that you're a pacifist.

How ON EARTH can you LOOK at the destruction and killing in March of 2003 and actually beilieve that THAT is a civil right?

How can YOU as a self-proclaimed pacifist say that it's a civil right A CIVIL right to DO that? You are NOT a pacifist if you believe it's OK to kill.

To see the work of REAL pacifists who REALLY work HARD, go to this link: Global Women's Strike

Start INVESTING in NOT KILLING Meredith, and STOP supporting the war machine which is responsible for MILLIONS of deaths and MILLIONS more suffering as a direct result of American greed!