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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 28, 2000)
ivumuay, reuruary 40, ■ u&ny ncuiaanan ■ rage j
r Perverse reasoning justifies ‘don’t ask, don’t tell ’
I don’t know any gay people
(because the Bible says not to consort
with sinners), but I sure am glad
they’re not allowed to serve openly in
the military. Like my progressive
friend Alan Keyes, I believe homo
sexuals are an abomination, and
would prefer that they be banned
completely from the military.
However, I understand the politi
cal realities of the situation: The fault
lies with flaming leftist radicals like
A1 Gore and Bill Clinton.
There has been some pressure on
the United States to change its “don’t
ask, don’t tell” policy and allow gays
to serve openly.
Recently, for example, Britain
completely lifted its ban on gays in
the military. However, a close look at
the facts shows this to be a terrible
mistake. Look at what has happened
to the once-vaunted British army
since it lifted the ban:Iin the few
months since the decision, more than
two officers have quit in protest, and
surely thousands more will follow.
How can the British High
Command hope to staunch the flow?
Only by reinstating the ban on gays in
the army. The lifting of the ban in
Britain should have no influence on
U.S. policy because our countries are
vastly different; we all know Britain
is a godless country of pagan hedo
nists. Perhaps when our level of
morality and civilization has fallen to
the level of Great Britain’s, then we
can consider allowing gays to serve in
i Others point out that Israel has
allowed gays to serve since 1993.
This is completely irrelevant.
Orthodox Judaism is a bastion of lib
eral propaganda. Israel also is a
secure place, surrounded by friendly
neighbors. They don’t have to worry
about foreign threats like we do.
> Military superpowers like
Mozambique and Latvia always have
banned gay soldiers. How are we
going to keep up with them if we
don’t do the same?
. f Allowing gays to serve in the mil
itary would be disastrous because it
would disrupt the morale of our high
ly disciplined soldiers. Polls of enlist
ed men ana the unanimous stance ot
the Joint Chiefs of Staff demonstrate
this, regardless of what the comman
der in chief thinks.
In the 1940s, when President
Truman wanted to integrate black
soldiers with white soldiers against
the wishes of the Joint Chiefs, did he
succeed? Of course not! The integra
tion of black and white soldiers would
have destroyed morale and maybe
even have caused us to lose Vietnam.
If military veteran George W.
Bush says gays shouldn’t serve, that’s /
good enough for me. /
Think about this issue from the /
average enlisted man’s perspec- / /
tive. Imagine yourself on a long- / /'
range reconnaissance patrol in / /
the humid jungles of Iraq. / /\,
Suddenly, from out of / /
nowhere, bullets whiz over
your head as you dive for / /
cover. / / \
You re pinned! / /
You turn to shout for / /
• y Vvs
someone to bring'up the / /
M-60 to lay down some ,
covering fire, but then , /
you remember that / /
soldier might be gay! /
In the heat of bat- /
tie, inches between /
life and death, only one
thing matters: the sexual orientation i
of one’s fellows. I
What if we allowed gay police- /;
men, firemen, store clerks or profes- L ;
sors? Clearly law enforcement, fire /
prevention, commerce and educa- , s
tion would crumble from within. It
would be the downfall of western civ- ^
ilization as we know it.
If gays aren’t qualified to do any
of these things, they’re certainly not
qualified to serve in the U.S. military.
How could they contribute any
way? Does the army really need an
elite battalion of go-go boys, home
decorators and hair dressers?
I don’t think so.
Look at the practical difficulties:
what if two gay guys were on a sub
marine and one got pregnant? What if
a marine deserted in the middle of an
amphibious assault to visits gay
bathhouse in San Francisco?
Allowing gays to serve is a slip
pery slope. The next thing you know,
some feminazi will say women
should be allowed to serve in the mil
When it comes down to it, if any
one should be allowed to get killed
for this country, it’s we heterosexuals.
Allowing anyone else the privilege
simply defies common sense.
In the heat of battle,
... only one thing
matters: the sexual
orientation of one s
Jeremy Patrick is a first-year law student and a Daily Nebraskan columnist.
New York policemen should have been punished for the Diallo s death.
The justice system in this country
is far beyond a joke.
The innocent are imprisoned, and
the guilty are free to walk the streets.
■ Horror, disgust, outrage and
shock are the feelings I had when I
heard last Friday the verdict that four
New York policemen were acquitted
of all charges of killing unarmed
African immigrant Amadou Diallo.
The jury was composed of seven
white men, one white woman and
four black women.
■ Forty-one bullets were fired at the
innocent man as he was entering his
home when he reached for his wallet,
which the four police officers
believed was a gun.
Nineteen bullets went inside him.
The police believed Diallo fit the
description of a rapist whom they
were searching for, and, apparently,
Diallo was acting “strangely.”
The four white men contended
that they fired in self-defense.
Fearing for their lives, they fired 41
Diallo did not stand a chance. At 5
feet, 6 inches, 150 pounds, the 22
year-old was helpless and defense
What immediate threat could an
unarmed man have against four
No reasonable person would have
responded die way these officers did
under such circumstances.
This case has sparked attention
worldwide and has touched off weeks
of civil disobedience over police
treatment of minorities.
The color of one’s skin plays a
crucial factor when the police target
Racial profiling amounts to sin
gling out blacks, Hispanics and other
minorities for police stops that per
tain mainly to motorists.
My brother and I were stopped by
police last year for no apparent rea
son. I believe it was because we were
“driving while black,” a term often
used in the black community that
refers to police’s selectively stopping
It seems that being a minority is
enough to allow police to have a dif
ferent perspective when stopping dri
Should police have a right to stop
people because they fit into a stereo
type that they are criminals?
Had Diallo been your average
white guy, do you think he even
would have been stopped, not to men
tion gunned down 41 times?
The killing of Amadou Diallo was
an accident waiting to happen.
N His death is not only a tragedy but
also represents an example of the
continuous suffering and injustices
that minorities face.
An innocent black man was killed
yet again because of an error the
The officers were negligent.
Experienced and reasonable men
never would have made such a mis
They had no real motive to violate
Diallo’s civil rights. He was minding
his own business.
The big issue in this case is the
intention of the officers.
Did they intend to kill?
Obviously, they intended to harm
and kill Diallo or they would not have
fired at him so many times.
Self-defense is a pathetic excuse
in this case.
The officers are clearly at fault. *
They each commited a crime of mur
der. They acted in a manner that was
inappropriate and contrary to their
They had the poor judgment not
to “think,” instead making a split
second, careless decision, and they
were reckless in endangering a life, a
life that cannot be replaced.
Yet these white men are free to
valk the streets.
The justice system failed again.
The mayor of New York called the
shooting “ a great tragedy,” and he
said the verdict followed “an eminent,
fair trial under very difficult circum
Had this case had eye witnesses or
tiad the case been tried in the Bronx,
the outcome may have been different.
Had four black officers gunned
down an innocent white man because
he looked “suspicious,” would they
also have been acquitted of murder?
The Diallo family is calling for
peace and calm in die streets of New
York. But furious protesters are still
appalled by the verdict.
Fear and terror are the only words
I can describe for my feelings as a
minority as I and all minorities may
be a victims of police profiling and
also may be victims of a vicious
crime like Amadou Diallo’s.
Lesley Owusu is a junior broadcasting major and a Daily Nebraskan columnist
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