juliespeaks

The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.

NEW POST – DUMB

on February 17, 2012

DUMB, DUMB, DUMB

In the process of doing some research about translation jobs for my granddaughter I came across a story that makes me wonder about the sanity of those in whom we place our trust, namely the military.  Imagine an American soldier deep in the Iraqi desert who receives notice of an insurgent ambush right in his convoy’s path.  That information is relayed toWashingtonwhere the Army’s shortage of linguists trained to translate such information. delays translation until it becomes too late. Two young men, capable of translating that message, had recently been discharged under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which mandates dismissal if a service member is found to be gay.

The lack of qualified translators has been a pressing issue for some time. The Army had filled only half its authorized positions for Arabic translators in 2001.  Cables on September 10 that might have prevented the  terrorist attacks on September 11 went untranslated. Today the American Embassy inBaghdadhas almost 1,000 personnel but only a handful of fluent Arabic speakers.

That may be an extreme example but the idiocy of equating one’s professional capabilities with one’s sexual orientation is clear; undebatable. Who decided living with a person of the same sex in a committed relationship was not to be tolerated?  Why should it matter to the Air Force if a skilled pilot is gay? Has that anything to do with his ability to fly a plane?

I have to wonder to what extent the same policy – by any other name – is prevalent in the corporate or the academic world.  Would General Motors or Boeing fire a capable employee found to be gay?  Would Harvard or any University discharge an excellent gay professor of English or Math  or Biology. Are his students learning the subject at hand or are they absorbing ‘gayness?’  Nonsense! One doesn’t change his sexual orientation by being exposed to others with a different orientation.

Where did that policy come from in the first place? Is it a leftover from the days of the Puritans? Was it decided upon by a couple of bigots who also disparaged anyone who was not a WASP? I haven’t a clue and it matters not.  It’s just plain DUMB.

 

Julie Rose

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