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Columbia University Wants It All

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 6:30 pm - January 12, 2006.
Filed under: Gay Politics,Gays In Military

Taking a break today to give Ullr a chance to replace the snow I scraped off the mountain yesterday, I’ll take a chance to answer some email:

My thanks to Eric Chen, former spokesman for Advocates for Columbia ROTC, who recently wrote inquiring about my views regarding his university’s treatment of ROTC and the broader issue of some elite campuses’ active shunning of the military.

Columbia University—and many other elite schools—of course objects to DADT. This is the chief reason cited for banning the military from recruiting on campuses (also why they bar ROTC). The military has an unacceptable policy toward gays, the logic goes, so just as any other prospective employer with an anti-gay policy, the US Armed Forces are not welcome. Sounds reasonable.

On the other hand, the federal government has decided (through the Solomon Amendment), “Fine, then we won’t give you funds.” This also sounds fair. Eric, an Army veteran himself (thank you, Eric) and current student at Columbia, wanted to know my opinion “particularly as gay servicemember”.

There will be many opportunities to discuss DADT and Solomon (in fact, SCOTUS is currently reviewing it). However, the more I researched this specific issue, the less I thought it had to do with either the military, homosexuals, or DADT. To me it sounds more like Columbia, et. al., wanting to have their cake and eat it too. Look at it this way: If a university is receiving grants from a company or organization it finds repugnant, should they expect the right to deny the company’s recruiters on its campus while at the same time demanding a continuation of the funding? How is this different?

If the faculty of Columbia or any other institution is so offended by what the federal government does (in any way or for whatever reason), they should have the courage of their convictions and put-up or shut-up. Criticize that policy all you want, but when you come hand outstretched to the federal government, you should expect to follow their rules if you want the funding. If Columbia University doesn’t want the federal government on its campus, fine. But they shouldn’t expect federal dollars.

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19 Comments

  1. Well no, universities don’t really give a damn about DADT — it’s nothing more than an excuse for them to implement the anti-military policy they’ve held since the nutjobs took the universities over in the 70s.

    Comment by rightwingprof — January 12, 2006 @ 7:02 pm - January 12, 2006

  2. Yup, those that are against the military recruiting on campus are not allies. They really want for no one to join the military. Gays and lesbians included. I’ve been disgusted at their behavior. I’ve noticed SLDN walking a bit of a little dance around the subject. As a Patriot Circle member, I plan on bringing it up with them.

    And I approve of the Solomon Amendment. Of course, I don’t think the GOP and Bush will like it much when I suggest something similar to regulate faith-based groups seeking funding for their programs such as “Exodus”. Heh. But if they want to play then they should adopt my values. After all, no one is forcing them to take my tax money. It’s the Law of Unintended Consequences at work.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — January 12, 2006 @ 8:11 pm - January 12, 2006

  3. I agree with #1. The barring of military recruiters and ROTC on campus is really about being anti military, DADT is just the excuse they use. I suspect if DADT was done away with tomorrow, very few of these campus’ would welcome the military with open arms.

    Comment by Just Me — January 12, 2006 @ 8:11 pm - January 12, 2006

  4. Regarding DADT itself and who’s responsible…

    I’d like to spell this out once more for the slow learners (you know who you are). It emerged in another thread but probably needs repeating for them.

    In the United States of America, we have something called civilian control of the military. It makes us a civilian democracy, as opposed to a military dictatorship, y’know?

    It’s all defined in something called the United States Constitution. Per said Constitution, military policies such as DADT are set by Congress and the President – Not by the military.

    In 1993, a Democratic President, combined with a (then-)Democratic-majority Congress, gave us DADT.

    So, DADT is the product of the homophobic culture of Democrats and Congress.

    It’s true that, at the time (1993), certain military studies / committees were homophobic and recommended DADT. It is also irrelevant.

    Why irrelevant? Well, in 1948, when Truman ended racial segregation in the military, he didn’t care that the military opposed him (Truman).

    That’s due to, again, that civilian control of the military thing we have going in these States. Everyone on the same page now?

    Comment by Calarato — January 12, 2006 @ 9:55 pm - January 12, 2006

  5. So, DADT is the product of the homophobic culture of Democrats and Congress.

    It’s true that, at the time (1993), certain military studies / committees were homophobic and recommended DADT. It is also irrelevant.

    Why irrelevant? Well, in 1948, when Truman ended racial segregation in the military, he didn’t care that the military opposed him (Truman).

    That’s due to, again, that civilian control of the military thing we have going in these States. Everyone on the same page now?

    Comment by Calarato — January 12, 2006 @ 9:55 pm – January

    If you strip out the usual partisan attempt to portray the GOP as the Angel and the Democrats as the Devil, you will find that you are still only partially correct. Clinton did face a “revolt of the colonels” led by Powell, who did assert pressure to enact DADT.

    The other thing that you are omitting is that the expulsion of gay people from the military was a prior policy that existed long before Clinton. It was not invented by the Democrats, it went back at least to WWI. The law as written is simply the adoption of the prior policy into the UCMJ almost verbatim.

    I also wanted to bring up that there is a bill in Congress right now that would repeal the ban. It currently has about 100 Representatives signed on, Dems and some reasonable GOP’ers. (Alas, not mine) It’s called the “Military Readiness Enhancement Act” (H.R. 1059)

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — January 12, 2006 @ 10:36 pm - January 12, 2006

  6. Having been associated with the military for over 30 years, I want to thank and commend ColoradoPatriot for his active duty and reserve service in the Armed Forces. And I want to welcome him to GayPatriot. I look forward to reading his posts.

    Comment by Jack Allen — January 13, 2006 @ 12:08 am - January 13, 2006

  7. Back to the issue as pointed out in Comment #1, the liberal left and theiruniversity tools, don’t give two shits for the military and they’ll hide that fact any way they can.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 13, 2006 @ 3:43 am - January 13, 2006

  8. After seeing the Internet continually bombarded with gay porn images of models in uniforms, it’s no wonder some are suspicious of attempts to change DADT. Apparently, many seem to believe all soldiers do is pose and screw.

    Comment by rightwingprof — January 13, 2006 @ 7:53 am - January 13, 2006

  9. Regarding DADT itself and who’s responsible…

    Calarato, you’re half right about who’s responsible for DADT. Unfortunately, it was Clinton and a Democratic Congress that enacted the policy. I wasn’t a fan of Clinton before then, and that just clinched my disdain of him throughout his Presidency.

    But, if I recall correctly, there has been a Republican President and a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, and, unless I missed something, DADT still hasn’t been repealed. In fact, my recollection is that Bush has said that he was not in favor of having the policy repealed. So it appears to me the Republican Party should get credit too for that policy.

    Comment by Pat — January 13, 2006 @ 8:30 am - January 13, 2006

  10. Oops. In first sentence of second paragraph…

    …in both houses of Congress since 2001,…

    Comment by Pat — January 13, 2006 @ 8:32 am - January 13, 2006

  11. -After seeing the Internet continually bombarded with gay porn images of models in uniforms, it’s no wonder some are suspicious of attempts to change DADT. Apparently, many seem to believe all soldiers do is pose and screw. –

    Yes, I’m sure that the military is desperate to keep gays out of the military because of military uniforms in gay porn.

    I’m amazed that construction workers didn’t ban gays after the vulgarity of The Village People.

    Comment by Carl — January 13, 2006 @ 10:57 am - January 13, 2006

  12. Yes, I’m sure that the military is desperate to keep gays out of the military because of military uniforms in gay porn

    Look “straw man” up in your nearest rhetoric textbook.

    Comment by rightwingprof — January 13, 2006 @ 3:52 pm - January 13, 2006

  13. Shame it seems the point of my original post got lost in all the haranguing about DADT. (There’s always time for that.)

    My point was: Regardless of the policy or your objection to it, Columbia (and the other schools) should not expect federal funds if they’re not going to allow the federal government to recruit on their campuses.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — January 13, 2006 @ 9:16 pm - January 13, 2006

  14. -Look “straw man” up in your nearest rhetoric textbook.-

    I think that saying the military would be more resistant to ending DADT because of uniforms in gay porn is a straw man all its own. I’m sure there are military uniforms in straight porn as well.

    Comment by Carl — January 13, 2006 @ 10:44 pm - January 13, 2006

  15. Well on this I find myself in agreement with ColoradoPatriot. I’m not swayed by their supposed concern for gay servicemembers and opposition to DADT. They are free to ban the military recruiters and ROTC from their campuses, but not to also take taxdollars in support.

    Comment by Average Gay Joe — January 13, 2006 @ 10:50 pm - January 13, 2006

  16. My point was: Regardless of the policy or your objection to it, Columbia (and the other schools) should not expect federal funds if they’re not going to allow the federal government to recruit on their campuses.

    Agreed. These leftist university administrators cannot have it both ways.

    Comment by rightwingprof — January 14, 2006 @ 7:38 am - January 14, 2006

  17. I’d also like to remind people that this is Columbia University we’re talking about, aka the university that pays their associate professor of anthropology Nicholas De Genova to say things like this:

    The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military. I personally would like to see a million Mogadishus.

    If we really believe that this war is criminal … then we have to believe in the victory of the Iraqi people and the defeat of the U.S. war machine.

    Of course, De Genova’s remarks were “condemned” by the other professors — mainly because it brought unwanted attention to THEIR similar exhortations comparing the US military to Nazi thugs.

    It simply staggers the imagination that a university whose faculty is so devoted to anti-Americanism receives Federal funds.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 14, 2006 @ 10:37 am - January 14, 2006

  18. Hi. I’m Eric Chen, the former ACR spokesman who asked for ColoradoPatriot’s thoughts. My thanks to ColoradoPatriot for investing his time into it. I encourage all interested observers and commentators to read through our case for ROTC. It represents the positions of Columbia student, alumni and faculty supporters. Some of our arguments may surprise you, eg, consider our statement on the DADT issue. There was a lot of liberal (to be differentiated from ‘radical leftist’) support for our ROTC campaign, including two consecutive endorsements by the Columbia Spectator editorial board, which is notoriously liberal.

    CP’s conclusion is insightful. My view is that DADT is certainly worthy of passionate debate at Columbia, but in the ROTC exclusion context, I agree with CP that the issue is being used as a front for the university administration’s larger agenda. CP nails the main thrust of that agenda.

    Columbia President Bollinger says …

    “My fourth point is that all of us, but universities in particular, must stand firm in insisting that, when there are lines to be drawn, we must and will be the ones to do it. Not outside actors. Not politicians, not pressure groups, not the media. Ours is and must remain a system of self-government.

    To be sure, as we have witnessed throughout recent history, the outside world will sometimes find the academy so dangerous and threatening that efforts will naturally arise to make decisions for us about whom we engage and what we teach. This must not be allowed to happen. We must understand, just as we have come to with freedom of speech generally, that the qualities of mind we need in a democracy — especially in times of crisis — are precisely what the extraordinary openness of the academy is designed to help achieve — and what will necessarily seem dangerous and threatening when our intellectual instincts press us, to be single minded or, to put it another way, of one mind. In a democracy, that’s what we must be wary of.”

    Reasonable for a bastion of academic freedom like Columbia, right? The problem is that contained in this position is the Ivory Tower syndrome, ie, a wilful disconnect from the real world. Bollinger is claiming the right to an autonomous freedom and self-defining power for the university that is not limited by accountability, conditions or consequences. In their view, self-determination is the highest priority and if federal funding is required for a university to function, then federal funding should be given on Columbia’s terms without conditions like the Solomon Amendment. To sell it, Columbia frames its side to the public by recasting the debate to take away troubling details and contradictions. It replaces them with noble concepts like “academic freedom” where any outside check, no matter how reasonable, is anti-democratic, no matter how Columbia determines internal policies. In short, “academic freedom” means that Columbia can discriminate, but a government check on university-imposed discrimination is anti-democratic.

    I could still respect Columbia’s decision if they gave fair consideration to all sides of the debate. Cost/benefit is a reality of decision-making, after all. However, I take issue with the intellectual dishonesty we witnessed in the final senate vote, where our case for ROTC was all but absent and the senators framed BOTH sides of the debate using anti-ROTC’s terms. One faculty ROTC supporter told me he expected the university senate’s rejection of ROTC, but he was surprised and dismayed by the utter lack of *regret* in their decision. It’s as though, to the senators, the main function for ROTC’s presence would be to persecute gays at Columbia. Our case for ROTC, which had driven the issue from a grassroots student advocacy to a university senate vote in only 3 years, was practically invisible in the senate discussion.

    I’ll conclude my comment with a cynical observation. As much righteous outcry against DADT as we witnessed during our ROTC campaign, the silence on campus regarding DADT is deafening today. On the day of the vote, our Provost even characterized the fight against DADT as on par with the black Civil Rights movement of the 60s. I could respect that, if the university upon rejecting ROTC continued a vigorous campaign to reform DADT. Has it? Not at all. It would seem that once the absence of ROTC at Columbia was secured, the actual goal was achieved and the DADT issue had served its cynical purpose. Columbia remains a non-player in the national DADT debate, and continues to leave a ragged hole in our championed campus diversity and deepen the civil-military divide. I see Columbia’s decision as a defeat for anyone who supports both the gay community and our military, and hopes to close the civil-military gap.

    Eric

    Comment by Eric Chen — January 15, 2006 @ 5:43 pm - January 15, 2006

  19. batty boy

    Comment by AndyPandy — March 27, 2006 @ 5:08 pm - March 27, 2006

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