Dec 20th, 2010
by F. Grey Parker
Our American journey continues. We fight the same fights in different times and places. We fight them for different people. But these skirmishes are all part of the same, larger battle. When one victory is achieved, it more often than not often merely leads to the next round of conflict. It is good to celebrate our successes but essential that we rest not long, for there will always be more to do. The repeal of the 17 year old military policy of shame and exclusion, so wryly named Don't Ask Don't Tell, is the most recent sign that we are closer to the promise of our country. Alas, not everyone can see this to be so.
From Raw Story:
"Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) said Sunday that the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" could actually "cost lives" by disrupting combat units. "From a constitutional stand point, this is not a constitutional right or a constitutional issue as was the issue of racial segregation," Kyl told Fox News' Chris Wallace."
He is wrong on every level, of course. Just ask conservative stalwart Ted Olsen who has become one of the true heroes on the issues confronting lesbian and gay Americans. This is so obviously an issue of civil rights that to deny it is lunacy.
What is even more sad is the inability of hateful, angry old men to envision not just change, but what they leave in posterity. For example, it doesn't matter how many apologias were made after the death of Strom Thurmond. As with Thurmond, We will neither forget nor excuse Kyl his petty hatreds because they have actually affected the lives of millions. They will not merely have been the private thoughts of a citizen-bigot. They are a matter of historical record. One day, likely long after I am gone, Kyl's statements this morning and others he has made like them will be in the history books alongside the one that follows:
“And I want to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there’s not enough troops in the Army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theatres, into our swimming pools, into our homes and into our churches.”
Kyl, like Thurmond and many before them, is just plain wrong. He may never know it. However, history already knows it. And it is history that will never forgive.