Wednesday, December 30, 2009

About The State of Diversity Today

The Army Times published my letter on 12-03-09:

Letter to the Editor: The Army Times, Maj. Gen. Dennis J. Laich (ret.)
"A policy of delusion"
Letter to the editor
December 7, 2009
The Army Times

As news media reported the tragic events at Fort Hood, Texas, I read with particular interest the comments of Gen. George Casey, the Army chief of staff. He said, “Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as the tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”

He expressed the legitimate concerns of a senior leader. However, I find his comments ironic at best and hypocritical at worst given that the Army legitimizes discrimination and bludgeons diversity every day as it executes its don’t ask, don’t tell policy, which forces the 65,000 patriots currently serving in our military to hide or lie about their own identity.

It is also an affront to those 13,000 veterans separated under this policy, many of whom were combat veterans or had critical skills. Don’t ask, don’t tell is a policy of delusion that acknowledges that gays and lesbians serve in our military but pretends they’re not there.

In the spirit of his expressed concerns regarding protecting diversity in our Army, I would urge Gen. Casey to aggressively advocate for the repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell. Diversity is best supported by the courageous expression of truth.

— Maj. Gen. Dennis J. Laich (ret.), Powell, Ohio

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