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Chan Lowe: Don't Ask, Don't Tell redux


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On this historic day, when the U.S. Senate is poised to further the process to repeal the infamous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy banning gays from openly serving in the military, it seemed appropriate to re-post a cartoon that first ran in this space in April of 2009.

By the end of today, we will know if Majority Leader Harry Reid was able to muster the sixty votes necessary to override a filibuster and pass the measure, which comes in the form of an amendment to a Pentagon appropriations bill that has already passed through the House, into full debate.

If not, the failure will largely be due to the efforts of Sen. John McCain, who once pledged that he would support the measure if it had the backing of military leaders. It now does, and he has not only reneged, but he is planning to lead the filibuster against it himself.

What happened to poor old John? I once respected him. Is reelection that important?

Since this cartoon was published, it has won some awards, was proudly worn on t-shirts by a contingent from Atlanta at a gay-rights march in Washington, D.C., and appeared on The Daily Show.

Here are my accompanying comments at the time of original publication. In my humble opinion, they are just as accurate today.

Tuesday Afternoon Update: The attempt has failed, 56-43. Thanks to the arcane rules of the Senate, a majority is not enough to prevent a filibuster. There is a slim chance something could be worked out during the lame duck session in December.

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Comments

The answer to you cartoon is....none of them. These were real men facing death straight in the eyes who were gunned down because the queer in the foxhole was too scared to come out. This same gay boy is still sitting in the fox hole crying for Mamma and equal rights. Get a life bi-man commentator. How many real men want some queer staring them down in the showers or listening to conversations of their perveted desires? This entire subject is pitiful. If you want to protect our Country then do so but keep you un-natural queer desires to yourself as not to offend any of our real soldiers. Point said! I support a real President (Bush) who enforced DADT! Now he was a true Commander and Chief and someone I would be proud to serve under.


TK, please go back to your cave.


For TK:

Maybe the true queer in the foxhole is YOU. Those men (because it does not matter if they are gay or not, they are MEN just like you idiot) are fighting for your country, they are dying for your country they only ask for a little RESPECT. Think about that.


TK: Some day people like you will have their own dioramas in History Museums next to Hitler and a bunch of witch-hunters.
Get a f*&*ing brain.


Just when I think that we're making progress on DADT, along comes "Cretin Thinking"....
If you replace the word "gay" with "black" your going back in a Time Machine to when we had segregation in the military...
Do we really want to regress to that level of thinking.?
Or- allow gays to serve openly, as over 35 other countries do.?
Or- be like countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, Korea, Pakistan.?
Sorry----That's not where we should be going........


Very nice cartoon, real as life itself. congratulations


TK :facepalm:


Grande muy grande.

El problema es que la gente que lo tiene que entender, po mucho que miren
no lo entenderan nunca. Ese es el problema.

Muy Original.


so sad that someone like TK thinks that all gay guys want to look at some homophobe in the shower, or that a gay soldier would have "perversion" on their minds while under attack. what a clueless, closed minded, soulless, lame excuse for a human. and to think i served to protect him... USMC 92-96


"the queer in the foxhole was too scared to come out"
TK might want to suck on this:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3020/2444076247_362f36a8a5_z.jpg


I'd like to thank TK for reminding us that gay soldiers are braver than we can even comprehend-they're the only troops who have as fierce a battle at home as they do abroad.

Also, I'd like to thank TK and his ilk for doing more to help the homosexual equal rights movement than I ever could. If it weren't for people like him, then we get the on-the-fence types to join us in mutual distaste.


TK - if you are in the military I wish we could get rid of people like you. To everyone else - please realize that not everyone in the military is as ignorant as TK is. First of all, no one sits in "foxholes" anymore but I think you need to erase the stereotypical view of homosexuals from your memory. There have been many, many homosexuals in our military from its creation. Frederich von Stueben, the man who created our military customs/drill and ceremonies, was a gay man. Many great warriors through history have been homosexual. I guarantee you there are homosexuals in SF, Delta, Rangers, etc. You are not a "real man." Do you honestly think you are that hot that ANYONE would want to check you out? Just because someone is homosexual, does NOT mean they are attracted to everyone of the same sex. Are you attracted to every woman you meet? I'm not attracted to every single man I run into.

Unlike you - I AM a real soldier. Oh and I'm a woman. Are you going to tell me my two deployments mean nothing because I'm not a "real man?" To address a previous comment the first time this article was published, I could care less if I had to shower with men. If that was the ONLY way to get a shower for months on end, I'll take it. We had co-ed bathrooms on the FOB I was at in Iraq. We managed to share a bathroom with guys. No incidents.

If you are thinking about sex when under fire, gay or straight, you need help. I can guarantee you many homosexual men and women have served, have died for our country and ARE serving the country. I don't think this cartoon is in any way offensive or using it as a political agenda. It's straight forward asking people can they tell who is the gay soldier?

Also to TK and other homophobes - I've heard that homophobes are just deeply closeted homosexuals. They are just scared to come out and are jealous of those who do come out so they attack them. Maybe you need to check yourself TK.


Mr Lowe,

Your cartoon is an embarrassment to your profession and to the Sun-Sentinel. Gays and Lesbians have been around and in the military for years. I supervised two of them in the early 90's, once their sexual preferences were discovered, they were discharged by policy. However, they were just as hard working young Airmen as the remainder of our team...and no knew.

As for your cartoon, part of my job for 23 years in the Air Force was handling "human remains" and ensuring dignity was upheld on their last ride home. Note the flags, they are all the same, there is no difference, they fought, they died, they deserve the honor of a "Dignified Ride Home".

Shame on you for trying to make this event (daily now a days) a slap in the face to those who died for MY country.

Mr Lowe,

Your cartoon is an embarrassment to your profession and to the Sun-Sentinel. Gays and Lesbians have been around and in the military for years. I supervised two of them in the early 90's, once their sexual preferences were discovered, they were discharged by policy. However, they were just as hard working young Airmen as the remainder of our team...and no knew.

As for your cartoon, part of my job for 23 years in the Air Force was handling "human remains" and ensuring dignity was upheld on their last ride home. Note the flags, they are all the same, there is no difference, they fought, they died, they deserve the honor of a "Dignified Ride Home".

Shame on you for trying to make this event (daily now a days) a slap in the face to those who died for MY country.

Ben Bailey, MSgt, USAF (Ret)


TK

http://www.pauld.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/picard-no-facepalm.jpg


Master Sergeant Ben Bailey,

First, thank you for your 23 years of service to our country.

Second, thank you as well for your work in the dignified handling of the remains of our fallen soldiers. The difficulty of such work I can only imagine and your efforts in this area should be recognized and acknowledged.

Lastly, I am not homosexual. I am also not really a fan of gay marriage. Too much Romeo & Juliet in my background, I guess. I do favor civil unions for homosexuals. But I will tell you that the reactions of Sen. McCain and his fellow Conservatives - who are no more Republicans than you, sir, are a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - may well convert me into a supporter of gay marriage. I find their actions to be repugnant and indicative, sadly, of some of the worst offshoots of partisan politics.

As there may well be no atheists in foxholes, I also respectfully submit that there should be no consideration of a person's sexual orientation - if that person, as a soldier, wants to serve our country and do so in a manner befitting the high levels of performance and professionalism in the United States military.

The U.S. military once segregated African-American soldiers amid concerns about performance. Those concerns proved to be unfounded and dealt, instead, with the biases, sadly, of national politicians and some - NOT ALL - high-ranking military officials.

Throughout our history, hundreds of thousands of first-generation immigrants to America have displayed their citizenship by enlisting in and serving in the U.S. military. The overwhelming majority of these men and, more recently, women have done so with courage, dignity, pride, honor, and discipline. Their very actions - and their patriotism - have endowed and later preserved for you and I the cherished right to debate on this very blog site under the First Amendment. These people have strengthened America as a melting pot of countless nationalities and cultures. These people have United our very nation by merging their races, ethnic origins, backgrounds, experiences, and religions into the four cherished branches of our all-volunteer military.

Homosexuals who want to serve our nation and do so in accordance with the guidelines set forth for performance, discipline, ethics, and honor must be allowed to do so for no other reason than America has always merged its citizens of divergent backgrounds and origins into a single entity of diverse, can-do people to serve the common good. It is this merger of the self for the good of the whole that defines America and our fine military. Ours is a nation of acceptance in accordance with the standards of productivity and decorum. Someone - anyone - who can do the job must have the right to do the job.

That, sir, is why you and I are proud Americans.


Try substituting 'atheist' for 'gay' in any of these remarks and see what comments that engenders.


TK wants to "serve under" Bush. Wonder what that's all about?


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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