Thursday, August 1, 2013

Co-ed: "If Racism Is Alive and Well, Homophobia Has Lots of Good Years Left" -- posted on Advocate.com


This morning I received the following article from Navy LT Steve Crowston who is currently serving our country as an openly gay military officer.  Steve first contacted me over a year ago after becoming a targeted whistleblower for reporting his bosses for condoning the use of sexual offensive language relating to his sexual orientation.  This was before Steve announced that he is gay.  At the time, he was assigned to work for the Navy’s Aviation community.  In the early 90s the community faced a major controversy which was later known as the “Tailhook” scandal; where more than 100 Navy and Marine Corps aviation officers were alleged to have sexually assaulted at least 83 women and 7 men.

It is no big secret that rape, sexual assault, sexual discrimination and racial discrimination have been occurring in the military for decades, since President Truman first integrated the military.   

Upon enlistment, the average service member is not familiar with the military’s Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), much less the U.S. Constitution; beyond what they were taught in high school.  While being indoctrinated into the military, during boot camp service men and women will undergo intense physical training, are taught basic military customs and traditions and given a sea bag or rucksack and pledge to an oath to defend the leaders appointed over them. Overtime, they will become completely isolated from the outside world.  Today, thanks to the Internet, more veterans/victims are publicly speaking out about the atrocities and abuse they’ve witnessed or experienced while volunteering to defend our country.

Like Steve, as prior enlisted military officers, we learn to apply a thicker layer of skin because we are just as devoted and committed to serving our country.  Because we've seen what it's like on both sides of the fence, we are just as devoted to protecting those who cannot protect themselves.  Steve’s job is a Navy Legal Officer.  Most of us were not raised with a silver spoon in our mouths and we didn’t come from “privileged” backgrounds where joining the military is a way to carry on the family’s legacy, in hopes to one day run for Congress, Senate or even President.

As we approach the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, I encourage the UNITY of America, not DIVISION.  This year, let’s honor the legacy of all those, “alive or deceased” who were willing to fight for freedom and equality of ALL Americans during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.  No matter your race, age, gender, ethnic background or sexual orientation, I call for all Americans to put down your weapons and disarm yourselves of pride and prejudice to stand side by side on the path of righteousness.  We should no longer allow hate and greed to continue to keep this country divided!

Advocate.com reports – “The Zimmerman trial feels like a relic of the inflamed race wars of the 1960s. If anything good is to come of it, it's the reminder that prejudice has a long shelf-life.

Read full article here:
http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2013/07/18/op-ed-if-racism-alive-and-well-homophobia-has-lots-good-years-left#.Ufm20la0rjk.facebook

Food for thought:  As a human rights advocate, I fully support equal rights and civil liberties of ALL Americans, no matter their race, gender or sexual orientation.  For the past year, I’ve conducted research on certain characteristics and behavioral patterns of homosexuality and I've engaged in intellectual conversations with several of my young relatives.  As young teenagers, they were already aware of their sexual orientation.   While conducting my research, I was able to remain neutral while listening to one of my relatives describe in detail a few stereotypes placed upon the LBGT community; one being their overly obsessive behavior of wanting to “act like or dress like” that of the opposite gender, which is considered as "Abnormal" from the so-called “Normal” society.

After watching the documentary of the Christine Jorgensen story, it helped me to better understand the scientific and biological aspects of homosexuality; which I oftentimes refer to as one’s ability to live a life of duality between the masculine and feminine genetic traits.  In accordance to my spiritual belief, I view it as the ability to balance one's "Yin and Yang".

Because the older "gay" generation has been forced to live “in the closet” or in isolated communities for so many years, the younger "gay" generation is becoming more openly rebellious and lack social discipline and proper etiquette that most Americans have become accustomed to.  For the sake of unifying our country, putting all religious views aside, it is the social responsibility of the elders to help bridge the gap of UNITY to help bring an end to racism, sexism and discrimination of one’s sexual orientation.

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