Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lt Choi and the jealous people who destroy a movement by contstanly trying to find fault with those actually doing the work

Box Turtle Bulletin has a discussion about Lt Choi and his work and finances:

As someone who has worked in the movement to gain civil rights for homosexuals in America since 1959, I wonder how many younger people have yet had to deal in the constant attacks from people who do nothing, but spend their time looking for excuses to NOT do anything and to question the competence and ethics of others, the few, who have actually tried to change things?

As has been said, for other reasons, but that doesn't change the fact that it is true, a cause has more problems with its "friends" than with its enemies. And Lt. Choi is finding this out.

Who has the right or "need' to question what he is doing, if he is being paid? Do the "questioners' also question the same thing about rightwingers? And what have THEY done for the cause?

I could. I have done what he is doing, without pay. But where are the thousands of others, who like us, were kicked out of the military? What have they done since? Or the dozens in Los Angeles alone who were kept out of the military, even though they were drafted, because, of the work, without pay, of Don Slater and the Homosexual Information Center, based on our work in early Mattachine and ONE, Inc, with help from free attorneys like Herb Selwyn, and experts like Dr. Evelyn Hooker, and the support of movement founders Harry Hay, et al.

The people to ask questions of, their motive, competence and ethics, are the media, back then and now. Who has heard of the national effort of NACHO in May, 1966 to force the Armed Forces to deal honestly with this issue of homosexuals in the military? To be fair while the Los Angeles Times ignored, deliberately, our Motorcade though Los Angeles, saying they would cover it only if some harm came, the New York Times,did cover it, with an article by Peter Bart. But the vast majority of media ignored it, as they did until they found a cute guy and thus thought it sexy enough to cover. And that is sadly true of the vast majority of glbt people, who also ignored the issue until it was covered as entertainment by the media.

Where is the coverage of not only our Committee to Fight Exclusion of Homosexuals From the Armed Forces in 1966, but of the Servicemembers Legal defense Network today? Or the Palm Center at the University of California Santa Barbara? Have you seen those names in even the lgbt media?

But what discussion has there been, in 1966 and now? A little from, guess where, those who disapprove of the current war-then it was Vietnam and now Iraq or Afghanistan. Are glbt people are so stupid they can't deal with one issue without confusing it by adding another issue? There is a difference between opposing a war and whether or not homosexuals who choose to should be allowed to serve openly and honorably in the military.

The same nonsense is heard about same sex marriage. Do you oppose same sex marriage just because you oppose marriage? That is a different issue. Until we change the legal nature of marriage and get rid of the special rights, there is legitimate reason to get those rights for everyone-including same sex people, even those who are not homosexual.

It is time for us to enjoy the entertainment we get now, in movies and on Comedy Central-that is great and educational. But it is not education we must have to know what the real issues are. And an example is why we of all people are not speaking out against Islamists who kill us. It is not acceptable to just say we need to respect all religions-we are stupid if we don't see that some religions-even though all harm us-are worse than others.

The people spending their time worrying about Lt Choi, should be spending their time, energy and money on the important issues-but of course that means they have to do something besides sitting on the sidelines and finding something to complain about. Those people were writing letters to us at ONE Magazine years ago. And were the ones saying Mattachine would never work-while the founders were dreaming of marching down Hollywood Blvd someday. I ask those negative losers, how has that worked for you? Or did you grow up and join the march when it happened in 1970?


Timothy Kincaid said...

Mr. Glover,

Thank you for the letter. I especially appreciate the history you included to give perspective; much of it I knew but some was new to me. Unfortunately so much of our cultural history is unknown due to the refusal of the media to present our stories, protests, or efforts, so I very much enjoyed reading your comments.

I hope that you don't think that my post was based in jealousy or is an unreasoned attack on Lt. Choi. I do have respect for his efforts and appreciate the visibility he has given to issues of importance to me. But I do have some concerns about how a few of his actions are impact our efforts and as I am not one who does nothing or looks for reasons to do nothing, I do not believe that I must remain silent.

Interestingly, I think that you and I see many things from the same perspective. Several of your comments made me chuckle - they are boldly common sense... but not always very popular among gay press. I think that one of the values that Box Turtle Bulletin adds is that we try to talk from a voice of reason, not from whatever view is currently in vogue.

I share your frustration with the lack of coverage on some issues. The recent Log Cabin v. US lawsuit in Riverside - which may well be the action that overturns Don't Ask Don't Tell received very little coverage in the gay press. We were among the few to even mention the trial. But that's probably just human nature: flashy items get more attention.

Thanks again for writing and I hope that you will continue to keep in touch with us.

Billy Glover said...

I may be wrong, but even though I didn't think the book was great, at least our journalists-and I'm not thinking of you-
should read what is available on the subject of the military, and that would include the material in Tangents (aka ONE) and books like Shilts' Conduct Unbecoming.

But I want to make the obvious, I did not aim my thoughts at you-. For instance, in fact the last line is aimed at only the people living in the 50s and 60s who are now dead. But then and now it is hard to deal with those who work against their own cause. That is generic. In LA we until recently had a law giving husbands control of all family goods-and when a woman, who later became head for a time of NOW (Kim Gandy, whose father lived around the corner from me) worked to change the law, her opposition came from stupid Pentecostal and religious type women who said, oh I trust my husband. And homosexuals who were in the closet, and would not risk being on our mailing list or be seen reading the magazine, weekly parked at and went inside the gay bar or sought sex in the trees. And cried to us when arrested.

And what about the glbt bigots who don't want to hear that Log Cabin does something since they just don't like Republicans? They are, in my book like the people who insult you or worse, and then say, have a nice day.

And yes, Box Turtle Bulletin, and others serve a great need, and let's hope many young people seek such serious discussion. And that places like Daily Queer News let us know of all resources.