don't tell hell

DADT Discriminates Against Gays … And Blacks?


Yup! Actually, not just blacks, but all racial minorities. American soldiers discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell aren’t just being kicked out under a policy that targets gays, but data shows non-whites are disproportionately getting booted.

People of color account for 29 percent of active duty troops, and yet 45 percent of those kicked out in 2008 (640 total) came from that demographic, according to Servicemembers United, the legal defense fund representing folks like Dan Choi all-veteran advocacy group that Dan Choi belongs to.

But how pleasant is it to know that discrimination is alive and well … in a policy of discrimination!

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  • Cam

    This policy just gets more and more bizarre. Can the adults start running things please?

  • Chitown Kev

    Of course, I’ve been saying this for the longest.

    Black and Hispanic gays are more likely to go in the Armed Forces because of the benefits. (education, training, etc.) that they can’t get struggling with a job at McDonalds.

    If my straight nephew can go in because he “wants adventure” (in spite of the fact that he had college scholarships) then why shouldn’t my gay nephew (who’s making it but struggling a lot in this economy) have the same opportunities.

  • Michael @

    I can’t figure out the current pattern from these statistics as they’re not sufficiently broken down. But, previous analyses reveal interesting, sometimes contradictory, patterns. According to the Palm Center, “African Americans are overrepresented in the U.S. military, especially in the Army. The percentage of African Americans in the military still exceeds that of the general population: around 17 percent in the military, versus 12.8 percent in the U.S. population,” but there has been a pattern, both pre and post DADT, of discharging fewer black MALE servicemembers than white in proportion to their percentages in the services.

    This has been attributed to the racist presumption that black males are hyper-heterosexuals resulting in a greater immunity to scrutiny.

    Discharge rates of all kinds have varied over time, but women, generally, have consistently been discharged at much higher rates than men for being gay. In 2002, women made up “approximately fifteen percent of the armed forces, [but] account for nearly half of all “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) discharges from the Army and Air Force.” -ibid.

    At some points African-American women have been discharged at rates below their representation, equal to, and, at others, higher. During the infamous 1980 USS Norton Sound witch hunt EVERY African-American woman crew member was accused of being gay.

    In 2002, African American women were discharged under DADT at three times the rate that they serve in the military. These current figures don’t break down discharges of women by race, but they are roughly twice their service percentage.

    For a variety of reasons, FEW gays discharged, of whatever color, go public. Of the roughly 311 discharged since Obama was sworn in, only two have…Sandy Tsao and Dan Choi, and, technically, his discharge isn’t final. Other factors include that both outed themselves while most discharged don’t. They have their own significance, however, as virtually no Asians discharged have gone public before.

    Perry Watkins was the only discharged gay POC whose case gained any significant media coverage, primarily because he sued for reinstatement, did a lot of media, etc. His long, and truly bizzare experiences with the US Army began when he was drafted in 1968 [despite telling them he was gay], reenlisted, again telling them he was gay, served several years until someone decided to dump him. He was the first gay person ordered reinstated when, in 1990, the US Suprem Court let stand a lower court ruling that his discharge was simply unfair based on the Army having let him serve so long knowing he was gay. It wasn’t actually a ruling on the legality of the ban itself, and Watkins chose to take a settlement instead.

    His story can be read in his own R-rated words in an anthology of first-person accounts by gay and lesbian vets called “My Country, My Right to Serve,” published the same year by Mary Ann Humphrey.

    While recent Congressional candidate Anthony Woods hasn’t made fighting DADT his sole focus, his contribution to the subject as both a POC and a West Point graduate is a major one.

    In something of a full circle, Watkins was an honorary pall bearer at the funeral of Leonard Matlovich and Anthony Woods has been invited to speak at his memorial in October the day before tne National Equality March.

  • Jennifer

    The problem is STRAIGHT WHITE MEN. They’re the problem with everything. Straight White Men need to be called out and people need to stop treating them like some kind of sacred cow. It’s time to stop being so damned nice.

  • AlkeWekJunkie

    @Jennifer i so agree, they have a monopoly on everything and if you aren’t able to be a part of the “good old boy’s network” then you’re short as women and minorities have been seeing since the turn of the century!!

  • J. Clarence

    Thank you, Queerty, for pointing out the obvious. Symbolically there is something of merit in this, but there is no racial element to this besides the fact that are a lot Black homosexuals in the army apparently.

    If anything at all it could help put a different face to DADT, which has been framed for some time as a White gay issue, in order to pick up some more support in communities of color. But who knows, Black gays out of the military has a hard enough time as it is.

  • Lloyd Baltazar

    OBAMA needs to step up and commit to this empty promises to the Gay and Lesbian people!


    Obama LIED to the Gays. I fought and campaigned hard for Obama to be President based on the? empty promises he made for repeal of DADT, Gay rights and Gay marriage. He has not done ANYTHING and my community is PISSED. Wasted vote and I feel betrayed.

    As far as I’m concerned, the Gay & Lesbian community has no more trust left for Obama because he lied about his promises that he would deliver for the Gay & Lesbian people. And if you support Obama, then shame on you! So many people like myself campaigned hard and devoted time,? money and effort so he could be President.

    But he has not done anything except give a couple of homo awards & Vanilla cocktails. we dont need that. WE NEED rights that he PROMISED us. No to Obama on 2012. And I hope Joe Solmonese (A Man I respect so much to which I often contribute funds to HRC would remove his support for Obama). WAKE UP JOE!!!!!

  • M Shane

    As some of you may know, I have been and remain to some degree and apologist for our current President., hoping that at some point, he and the congress willl get his ass in gear.
    I’m sad to say that it looks like he just took a long mental health break since getting elected. I donm’t really give a flying fucjk about what Micjhele’s him.

    The sore spotis coming to be more like a bullet wound. Firstly he has not , as he so soundly promise guit the war or started withdrawals from Iraq. His ideas to move troups to Afganastan are no more enterprising, since the only reason we are there is to protect a coveted Oil pipeline. Fuck that ; thesimple fact seems evident: he is just afraid of the military. We spend over4550 of our national budget on the military, so they are more powerful than they were everment to be. The secret behind DADT is just that he is afraid to scare the horses, or better to get the wolves baying. The constitutuion as well as every great statesman we have had have warned against a Standing Army which we have had since WW

  • ProfessorVP

    Does it prove what I’ve been saying for years– that our wars were phony baloney for oil, construction, private contractors like Halliburton/KBR, and the whole gamut of war profiteers? If our military’s adventures made us safer, they’d be less prone to kick people out for fivolous, idiotic reasons, ya think?

    Hate to say it, but I’m not so keen on the gays and lesbians who are so gung ho about being involved in places like Afghanistan. Since nobody- not since the days of Alexander the Great- has been able to conquer and colonize Afghanistan, and since our meddling only pisses off the Muslim world more, thus making America LESS safe, not more… well, what else could their motive be but egotistical grandstanding and chest thumping, look how butch and patriotic I am? Straights don’t own the whole market on that kind of shit, y’know.

    Again, I’m not so thrilled to say it, but when I see the antics of, say, Dan Choi, it makes me think that the pro-DADT crowd might just have a point about order and discipline. What if there were a big emergency, a Hillary 3 a.m. crisis, and troops were needed, and Dan was busy doing the “Goodnight, Farewell” number from “The Sound of Music.” Since our current wars have absolutely nothing to do with our security, it’s no big deal. But on the other hand, what if America were fighting a REAL war? Hells yeah, I can see it being an issue.

  • InExile

    @M Shane: I notice you are beginning to see reality, that is good! But I have a question, What is the deal with MEchelle? At the democratic convention she seemed pro-gay but not one word since. Do you think she was really sincere or just like him?

  • boring


    why would a korean gay want to sing a tune from a musical about a bunch of white austrians? wouldn’t he rather do a number from miss saigon? or maybe an act from madame butterfly? point is, prof, if you’re going to make dumb comments, try to do it with a little finesse!

  • Bill Perdue

    There’s a little more to the story. “Women represent 15 per cent of active service members but accounted for a third of the dismissals.”

    The military are a microcosm of US society, which itself is a sewer of bigotries – homohating, racism, misogyny. One key difference is that while race and gender discrimination are ‘officially’ frowned on, homohating is encouraged by DADT, which codified military bigotry. The result is what you see, double doses of discrimination.

    That is completely and exclusively the fault of the bigotry that permeates the Democrat Party. DADT was written by a Dixiecrat redneck, Sam Nunn, and embraced and signed by another Dixiecrat redneck, Bill Clinton. It was passed with overwhelming support by Democrats in the House and Senate, with a little help from their Republican friends.

    The movements for equality will never make any headway until they break free from dependence on the Democrats. Unions and third parties can help our fight but not if we’re mired in the swamp of Democrat party politics.

    @ProfessorVP: I don’t often disagree with you but you’re dead wrong about us not being able to fight. We have a long history in the military of every culture I’ve ever read about, from the Theban Band to the Templars down to the current war.

    We can fight and kill and it doesn’t matter whether or not we don macho drag personas. Dan Choi should be able to be as gay as he wants but he’s stupid and backward for wanting to do it in the blood for oil murder machine. I think we should not fight for US corporate pirates. We should discourage everyone from enlisting in the US military.

    And don’t worry about a ‘REAL’ war. All the soldiers and all the civilians will die in the aftermath of nuclear firestorms. The hominid experiment will terminate.

    Sexual orientation, like everything else, won’t count for shit.

  • ProfessorVP

    Hi, racist! Why not Miss Saigon or Mme. Butterfly? Because I don’t care that he’s Asian, only that he engages in over-the-top queen behavior. My imagination, unlike yours, is Equal Opportunity.

  • ProfessorVP

    Bill, I never said anything about “us not being able to fight.” Fighting and killing for Big Business isn’t exactly brain surgery, and many gay men are physically fit. What I said was that the image of a Dan Choi, and especially the audio of him, certainly adds fuel to the fire about gays being a distraction. What I also said was that if there were a REAL war going on… not an oil grab and to settle a family feud (Iraq) or the ability to control a strategic area and build a pipeline under it (Afghanistan)… a real war with a real enemy, with the mission making America safe… if it were a genuine war and not a fraudulent one built of lies, nobody would care much about drumming out effeminate translators, or butch lesbian medics and nurses, for examples. Bottom line, to me, is that since any reasonable, intelligent person knows what our two so-called wars are about, he or she shouldn’t want any part of them.

  • dlpca

    USA, the “Discrimi-Nation” and proud of it!

    We really need to tell our young GLBT highschool students to stay clear of the military until DADT is repealed.

    They need to be warned before the military ruins what promise their vulnerable lives may have. I think it more prudent to follow high school getting into debt on college student loans rather than join the military, gay or straight. If you end up in Aphganistan or some other war zone, your future could be over. If you are GLBT your future could be over.

    So tell me recruiter, what are the benefits of being in the US military again?

  • Bill Perdue

    OK, that clarifies it. I misunderstood.

    We agree on the role of the military and I have my own criticisms about Choi. Mainly that he want to be a lifer and an officer and that he supports this rotten genocidal war.

    And you’re right about major wars. they want cannon fodder and they don’t care about anything else. That was clear enough during World War II and in Vietnam.

    The main point I wanted to get across is that we’ve always been in armies and always fought. We just need to stay out of this war and these armed services. They’re being used to steal oil and murder civilians all over the world and the looter rich will try to use them they same way here if the economy continues it downhill slide.

    Boring sounds a little familiar. Swinish as always.

  • GBM

    @Chitown Kev:

    Your statement Boo sounds akward…Why?, Well why do you think uneducated Whites go in the military?????? for those same reasons because of the benefits. Not just us MINORITIES.

    Poverty hits all of us! Gays included!

  • edgyguy1426

    @ProfessorVP: According to Choi’s unit, he wasn’t a distraction at all. From the few interviews I’ve read with men and women in his unit, he was highly respected. I think you’re seeing this issue through your own homophobic glasses. Are we to give the men a ‘macho’ test before we let them serve? Ugh

  • Chitown Kev


    First of all, bitch, you don’t know me well enough to call me boo.

    Secondf of all, I never said what it was a fuction of; of course, it’s in large part economic; I’ve been saying that all along. Though I have also encountered (esp. in my family) those who go for yet other reason (family tradition, etc.)

    Again, anyone on this board that knows me pretty much knows most of my position on things. If you want to play “blacker than thou” cards with me, you are welcome to do it but be warned that I would advise against it.

  • Chitown Kev

    Actually, I would think that women would be more affected by this, as several on this board points out.

  • Michael @


    “Dan was busy doing the “Goodnight, Farewell” number from “The Sound of Music.”??????

    Did I miss his appearance on “Saturday Night Live”?

    What ARE you talking about? Places, dates, please.

  • ProfessorVP

    @edgyguy1426: Those interviews- I haven’t seen them- may have been prior to Choi’s post-military activities, some of which may be too camp to have been done at the camp. It’s not a question of macho, and naturally, anything you don’t fully understand must fall under some category- racism, homophobia, misogyny, etc. In fact, many gay men are butch or beyond butch. John Wayne was a good example, although he was a draft dodger.

    Although I have never served, I have heard from gay men who did serve that they had never had so much gay sex in their whole lives than while in the military, a lot of it between butch guys away from home too long. All I am saying is essentially two things: 1) If there should be an example of a gay man who shows that gay men aren’t of a different mentality and from a different planet than their straight counterparts, Choi isn’t it; 2) More importantly, nobody should want to take part in our phony wars that make us, if anything, less safe and not more, were never for a minute about 9/11, bankrupt our treasury, and kill and displace too many innocent civilians, the majority being women and children.

  • Rick

    Yup. Women and servicemenebers of color are more likely to get kicked out under DADT.

    DADT is the best of all worlds: bigoted, racist, sexist AND compromises our national security!

  • GBM

    @Chitown Kev:

    At first Kev I wasn’t going to respond to this. But since you seemed to get so offended at Boo???? and call me a BITCH????

    To bad when some of the white kids on here get rolling with racial vitriol you don’t call them BITCH. As where Boo is a southern affectionate term you got offended and called me a BITCH???

    First of all, you don’t know me well enough to call me BITCH! That’s what you should be calling your Family members after all it was you in past posts who said you never experienced WHITE GAY RACISM. But have been called faggot from your own family members. Then that type of anger should be directed at them not me.

    And what the fuck is “blacker than thou” cards? I don’t play those I am Black and Proud OKAY! Be warned about what? You acting like someone is suppose to be scurred running. Well not this BITCH as you called me. NOT HARDLY MA’AM. NO FEAR!

    I don’t mind conversing over issues. But why don’t you learn to keep it classy with us Blacks as you do with the others.

    I SERIOUSLY digress!

  • Chitown Kev


    Actually, if you don’t like ME I have no problem with you calling ME a bitch…hell, I CAN BE a bitch sometimes. The family members are very much out of bounds, as you would well know.

    I know damn well what “Boo” is. I do have a serious pet peeve (and I have ALWAYS had this pet peeve) when members of the race automatically assume that they can use affectionate terms with me solely on the basis because I’m black (I don’t like it when someone I barely know calls me fag or Miss Thing, either); I need to know more info about commonalities before I allow someone to use affectionate terms, period. That goes for anyone.

    Since I do visit Queerty on a pretty regular basis, the charge that I have never “experienced” white gay racism is pretty fucking ludicrous and is something that I would never say. And in fact anyone on here couls tell the number of times I have rolled out the lines about racist queens and racist bitches (I probably use the term dumb asses most often, since I think racism is just so STOO-PID).

    Nothing wrong with being black and proud or gay and proud but you don’t get to define exactly what that is me, either. I don’t mind serious conversing either (obviously) but I have my boundaries in cyberspace as well as in real life and I get pretty bitchy when they’re crossed by anyone.

  • Chitown Kev


    You’re right, my initial outburst was probably wrong. My pet peeves are what they are (and will remain so…never ASSUME anything about me).

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