Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dobbs: GetEQUAL's DADT Stand?

Let Queers Kill, Too

GetEQUAL, an organization with a neutral position on America's wars, staged a disruption this morning in Washington, as part of their effort to help make more soldiers for the war machine.

I've lost count of how many zaps and whatevers GE has staged fighting to join the military, but I know this: they have never organized an action opposing the wars, nor have they demanded that the trillions being spent on the wars be diverted to domestic programs, like AIDS cocktails and affordable housing for gay seniors.

Longtime gay peace and justice advocate Bill Dobbs of New York City, today offers up a cogent complaint about the spinelessness of GE leaders and supporters. Here are his reactions to GE's zap this morning:

Mainstream gay politics in the 21st century: disrupting a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing -- not with hopes of stopping war -- but so that 'patriotic Americans' can help the US-led war(s) and occupation(s) of Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. To this crowd, war and the carnage wreaked by US foreign policy is nothing against the need to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT). Repeal proponents now wreathe their cause in civil rights rhetoric.

Equality means out queers just want to kill, too.
Equality as a goal means other aspirations shrivel and even vanish.
Equality is now the worldview of the organized gay realm.
Equality uber alles.

How did a movement that stood for transformation, large-scale structural change - fall so far?

Following the money gives some clues - Get Equal got going thanks to its very rich openly gay patron, Jonathan Lewis, a Democrat, who has been writing big checks; the group pays high salaries and is closer to Astroturf than grass roots.

Get Equal uses militant tactics but its agenda evokes Human Rights Campaign, the lavishly funded gay lobby group. HRC's former public relations honcho, Brad Luna, is doing the Get Equal press work.

Revolting is the only word that comes to mind.

Time for progressives and leftists to stop giving gay agenda items a free

When will GE differentiate itself from HRC's neutrality on the wars? Probably about the same time they develop an effective strategy and genuine transparency.


ish said...

I really appreciate your posts on this. I find myself in discussions about DADT thinking well, yes, I'm against discrimination and all but wait, this joining the army when these horrible wars are going on is just wrong.

Bob Schwartz said...

I have a problem with Get Equal's failure to break with the Democrats, and I fully expect Robin McGhee to back those who don't back us as the November elections draw near.

I agree that transparency is lacking, as is follow-up. Targets for direct action would benefit from a more broadly based organization.

Still, I point out to Bill Dobbs and to you, Michael, that Get Equal protested DADT at the White House with the antiwar outfit, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and that those "queers who want to join in the killing" refused to be photographed with IVAW.

Mr. Dobbs refuses to understand that when the federal government sanctions discrimination against LGBT folk with DADT, it says OK to antigay hatred and discrimination at the highest level. Many of us are antiwar and against discrimination, walking and chewing gum at the same time.