Good Morning, America! (Part 2)

Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out Part 1 where Moses reacted to the news of open service for transgender people. Below is Part 2, Moses’ direct response to my originating post, Facing Military Reality, which cited the evil of war as the the background to our noble support our troops and the new policy of transgender service in the military.

 

I agree. Despite the fact that transgender folks have been given a green light to serve openly in the military, there will still be many obstacles hindering full integration, just like freeing slaves did not erase racism in the US.

Life Magazine, 1955

Life Magazine, 1955

The military is not different from any other organization, and it has challenges, especially when leadership becomes corrupt and self-centered, sending us into wars for no reason. Unless it is well-intended, a last resort for the protection of the freedoms of the people, no soldier should be dragged to war because the consequences are always dire on the local population, on the wannachi (the East African word) for the soldiers, families, communities and government itself that are torn to shreds during war.

Regardless of the intentions, war is an environmental disaster. The real issue is how do we minimize the impact.

Should armed forces stop recruiting? Absolutely NOT because there is need for trained personnel to carry out the main goal for which the organization is intended, the protection of freedoms and rights of people. As long as there is abuse of people’s freedoms and rights that leads to conflicts, war is inevitable. 

Does this mean that allowing trans soldiers to serve openly will increase the number of soldiers joining the armed forces? My argument is no. Just take the example of 2011 when gays where allowed to serve when there was not that much increase. The effect is that the trans men and trans women already serving will now be protected from losing their jobs and reduce suicides often related to harassment and discrimination.

On the issue of coercion, which Alison raised, I really do not look at it that way. Yes, people are in need of jobs, education, retirement packages, etc., and the material needs a constant pipeline of people who are most frequently attracted to the signing packages recruiters offer. But this is not like the old days, such as during the Vietnam War, when there was mandatory selective service registration and drafting of 18-year-old men. The recruitment techniques have changed due to the recent surges in Iraq and Afghanistan. The recruiters have quotas that need to be met, so they have to use whatever means to get people to sign up. However, people still have the right to choose to sign up or not and they can get out anytime. Does it feel like a trap? Yes and no, depending on the reasons why a particular person signs up. If it is student loans, citizenship, retirement benefits, etc., yes, it can seem like they had no other choice for these. But if someone signs up simply because he or she wants to defend our country, then no. Today, unlike the Clinton era, no one in the military can ever again be forced out because of their sexual orientation or gender identification.

Last, I agree that having an “Eventual, inevitable, universal pluralism is built of mutual respect and individual responsibility, and is only made possible through the creative energy of Love, a very high form of Peace wherein we do good to one another” is the right thing to do; however, we are still in the intermediate and painful stages of civilization and other places are still far behind in the primitive stage. I wish the whole world was on the same footing. WE THE PEOPLE have the moral responsibility of making this progress and it will happen when we get the right people in positions of power, make laws that are just, respect each other’s point of view without killing ourselves. Then, and only then, can we adhere to these higher values, but until then, the struggle continues. As the Portuguese say, A Luta Continua.

 

 

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Kushaba Moses Mworeko

Kushaba Moses Mworeko

Moses Mworeko is a gay refugee from Uganda who attained US citizenship in 2013, and in 2015 received a Masters of Social Work from USC. He is a social worker, HIV/AIDS and human rights activist, and US Army Combat medic. Moses continues to be a vocal advocate for HIV-positive and LGBT people and refugees through sharing his story. Moses currently works with California Department of Corrections as a clinical social worker also doing research with The Chicago School of Professional Psychology on the lives of Ugandan gay refugees in the US, hopefully leading to his Doctorate in Psychology.
Kushaba Moses Mworeko

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