A Military Job Is Not Economic Justice
Kenyon Farrow, Huffington Post | February 16, 2011
On Feb 19, in the heart of Black History Month, I am heading off to Chicago to join Dr. Cathy J. Cohen, author of Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics, others from the Black youth Project, and national and local spokespeople to participate in an ongoing public conversation about the Creation of a Black Youth Political Agenda.
One thing I know is that economic justice has got to be high on that agenda.
At the close of 2010 President Obama signed the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, which in theory will allow gay and lesbian members of the military to serve without being in the closet. I’ve met so many people both in and outside of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movements who have said that repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is an economic justice victory. After all, so many people of color and poor and working-class LGBT people join the military to access better jobs, better education. Now they can do it without hesitation. They suggest that because the military is the nation’s largest employer organization, groups I am associated with like Queers for Economic Justice, and the Black Youth Project should be joining in the victory dance.
Yes, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a victory — of sorts — significant when it comes to moving towards eliminating discrimination and advancing equality for LGBT individuals. But military service is not economic justice, and it is immoral that the military is the nation’s de facto jobs program for young, poor, Black and working-class people.
Even while we may applaud the repeal of a discriminatory policy, we have to be clear: militarism and war profiteering do not serve the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people, or poor people, or people of color. (Read more)