A friend of mine still living in Winston-Salem, N.C., pointed my direction to a handful of ill-conceived, tasteless and offensive political cartoons syndicated by Cagle Cartoons and published by The Winston-Salem Journal following Wednesday’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal signing.
Perhaps the worst of the three political cartoons is Brian Fairrington’s which pictures a flag-draped coffin and a newspaper lying side-by-side. The paper’s headline reads, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repealed,” while a comment bubble over the coffin says, “You Go Girl!” The cartoon, in one fell swoop, manages to not only make light of the sacrifices of lesbian, gay and bisexual servicemembers but also each and every American who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to their nation.
Though the flag-draped coffin is the worst, the other two are just as tasteless. Again, they make light of the service of lesbian, gay and bisexual servicemembers and the personal and public sacrifices they’ve had to make to serve this nation especially in this time of war. Mike Lester’s cartoon, picturing an older man imagining the worst possible “queering” of the military, serves only to perpetuate the exact prejudices and bigotry that made “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” possible and kept it in place for 17 years. The same is true of Daryl Cagle’s cartoon, picturing not a valiant and respectable gay servicemember but rather a servicemember “flaunting” his sexuality along with his service awards.
Gay and lesbian members of the U.S. Armed Forces are disrespected in these cartoons. Their tireless service on behalf of our freedoms and safety, along with that of their heterosexual colleagues, is reduced to serving as punch lines of insensitive jokes.
The cartoons are below. Two were published on the Journal’s site and one published in the paper on Dec. 23, 2010. Links to each cartoon on Cagle’s site are provided below.
Artist: Brian Fairrington. On Cagle: link
Artist: Mike Lester. On Cagle: link
Artist: Daryl Cagle. On Cagle: link
North Carolina’s favorite conservative columnist, Wilmington’s Mike Adams, brought back some fond memories of my days at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) today.
In his most recent column at TownHall.com, Adams rants and raves in his usual sarcastic, smart-ass-style against UNCG’s Speech and Hearing Center’s courses for transgender people undergoing transition. He brought back one of his trademark digs. Welcome to the return of “UNC-Gomorrah.” Continue reading this post…
On November 5, friends of mine in the Charlotte Business Guild invited me to come to their special monthly social, “Wine and Poetry: In honor of the ‘It Gets Better’ project.” I was able to read an excerpt from my chapter in “CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Religious and Social Pain and Trauma of Growing up Gay in America,” edited by Mitchell Gold. Other community members also spoke, reading excerpts from other writings and poems. View other videos here.
P.S. — I have an absolute disdain microphones (excluding the handheld types). I never, ever, ever realize the microphone stand is too short for me, and I end up bent and slumped over like Quasimodo. Oh well, lol
I’ve noticed a lot of mainstream news reports covering the DADT hearings int he Senate Armed Services Committee this week have run headlines like this morning’s McClatchy report: “Generals: Don’t rescind military gay ban.” The intro on the story: “Highest-ranking leaders urge Congress to keep ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.'”
But, what McClatchy is reporting isn’t exactly true.
Washington Blade has a better, more balanced and nuanced story. I reported on the DADT hearings as well at Campus Progress. From what I’ve watched myself and read elsewhere, the arguments put forward by military leaders don’t match up to McClatchy’s version of the hearings.
Military leaders (with the exception of Marine Corps Commandent John Amos, aren’t saying “don’t end DADT.” It’s more like: “We know DADT repeal is inevitable, and we can implement it faithfully, but don’t rush through it because we need time to make it work.” Even Amos has pledged to “faithfully implement” a repeal when (not if) it happens, and each branch chief, including the Coast Guard, has said they trust the leadership of Pentagon and Defense Department leaders to know when the armed forces are really ready.
That’s an entirely different kind of argument than “Don’t rescind military gay ban.”
A big, fat mainstream media #FAIL.
Photo: Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Department of Defense General Counsel Jeh C. Johnson and U.S. Army Gen. Carter Ham, commander, U.S. Army, Europe appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee regarding the findings of the “Dont Ask, Dont Tell” Comprehensive Working Group report on Dec. 2, 2010. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley/Released, via Flickr).