My favorite deceased African dictator has a long and winding, if thoroughly enjoyable, post about Cliff Kincaid and his recent rantings, ravings and drool. Merriment ensues.
On the topic of the repeal of DADT (George Will’s support of which is the subject of a Kincaid fatwa excommunicating Will from conservativedom), Kincaid observes that, “Socializing with gays is not the main issue although it can be a problem in the close quarters and battlefield conditions that our soldiers are forced to endure.” To which our beloved despot responds:
Stop for a moment and applaud Cliff Kincaid. Whenever situations might arise between homosexual soldiers and those who loathe them or are afraid of them, he has looked deeply at the kind of discomfort or unhappiness that can occur in close quarters and empathized with those who have to be around the queers. People with antipathy for other groups of people should be preserved from having to be near those people, in the interests of personal liberty and safety. Someone who fears gays has a right to have gays prevented from encountering him.
For the record, like almost everything else dealing with gay integration of the military — including, humorously, some of the sexual paranoia — you can swap “negro” for “gay” and an N-bomb for “faggot” and virtually recreate verbatim arguments against the racial integration of the American military. The thing about hatred and discrimination is that it just repurposes its rage against new groups whenever an old one falls away or becomes politically deadly; it hardly ever makes any attempt at novelty when justifying itself.
You know, at the risk of tarnishing my liberal street cred, I must admit that I never thought about it quite that way – or at least, I don’t remember, and maybe that’s just because of a wicked hangover depriving my brain of its “go back” functionality. But that is it, really: sympathizing with the plight of the bigot, rather than the person being scorned and ostracized. How wonderfully insidious. Yet that is reflexively how this issue is framed, and not just by rabid, frothy conservatives like Kincaid.
I’d add that there are also a neat linguistic trick that goes along with this: the tendency to refer to “soldiers” and then “gays” as if they are distinct groups, as in “the possibility of homosexuals serving openly is an issue our soldiers would be forced to deal with.” When, in reality, some of those soldiers are gay and serving already, and thus the issues our soldiers have to grapple includes our soldiers hiding their true identity in a fucked up forced closeting.
Oh, and that was probably the most sane, innocuous thing Kincaid has to say on the subject. Shocking, I know.