dan's choi-ces

It’s Not That People Who Support DADT Are Older. They’re Just Much, Much Dumber

Lt. Dan Choi, who overnight became the most visible military face of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell fight last year, fielded some ridiculous comments from callers dialing NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin. Some of the arguments you might have heard before. Others, perhaps not. Or at least not phrased as such!

The go-to guest for anyone discussing DADT, Choi was a hot name yesterday following the president addressing DADT in the State of the Union speech.

Alas, it appears the phone calls aren’t a part of NPR’s transcripts or embeddable clips, so we’ll sum it up for you with one example: A veteran called in to argue that it is a national security risk to let gays serve openly in the military, because they’ll be prancing around the barracks “wearing lipstick” and acting all faggy, and that’s not good for unit cohesion. To which Choi was like: Uh, that argument was made about keeping blacks segregated from white troops, and now we all see how stupid that was.

But Choi’s best answer was a direct response to Sen. John McCain’s out-of-touch assertion that DADT is working. (Emphasis ours.)

Well, I think that when you ask soldiers – you could ask my soldiers and the people that I’ve worked with. I still go into work, and I still, you know, perform my duties, and they are all so supportive of what I’m doing.

I think there’s a huge disconnect with anybody from the outside who’s saying that don’t ask, don’t tell is working. My soldiers say working for what? We’re going to kick out an Arabic linguist? And we’re going to deploy overseas and we’re going to be weakened to the point that because somebody tells the truth, you’re going to assume that we’re all going crazy and that we’re all uncomfortable?

It’s so disconnected. I think there’s – and some people would say, Michel, that there’s this generation gap, that some people, because they’re older, they come from a different era, and therefore they say these things. I don’t think that’s completely true. This has nothing to do with how old you are. It really is how keyed in on the reality you are. Well, I think that when you ask soldiers – you could ask my soldiers and the people that I’ve worked with. I still go into work, and I still, you know, perform my duties, and they are all so supportive of what I’m doing.

I think there’s a huge disconnect with anybody from the outside who’s saying that don’t ask, don’t tell is working. My soldiers say working for what? We’re going to kick out an Arabic linguist? And we’re going to deploy overseas and we’re going to be weakened to the point that because somebody tells the truth, you’re going to assume that we’re all going crazy and that we’re all uncomfortable?

It’s so disconnected. I think there’s – and some people would say, Michel, that there’s this generation gap, that some people, because they’re older, they come from a different era, and therefore they say these things. I don’t think that’s completely true. This has nothing to do with how old you are. It really is how keyed in on the reality you are. And I would say it’s not a generation gap. It’s an education gap.

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