Statement Regarding the Return of NROTC on Columbia's Campus:

Proud Colors, the organization for queer students of color and their allies, stands against bringing the NROTC here on campus. In recognizing and understanding multiple oppressions, we oppose the NROTC's return because the military is institutionally heterosexist, patriarchal, racist and classist.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a despicable policy that is a denial of our full citizenship as queer people.  It is unabashedly bigoted and only furthers the current culture of homophobia and hatred we live in.  In addition to our opposition to DADT, we also believe the enforcement of oppressive and narrowly-defined gender norms within the military alienates transpeople.  The masculinity that is constructed within a military context is one that is hostile to all queer people and can make for an unsafe environment for women in general.  

Furthermore, we oppose the exploitation of people's economic and social situations to fuel ill-conceived and imperialist military ventures.  Military recruiters unfairly and disproportionately target poor people of color, especially undocumented immigrants.  We find it ironic that while we have been, and continue to be, denied many of the basic privileges of citizenship, we are expected and encouraged to defend this country.  While we believe that all people should have access to an affordable education, we do not believe that this access should be contingent upon military service.  Remembering that we are currently engaged in a war that we entered under false pretenses, we recognize U.S. foreign policy goals have been built around racist notions about Asian and Middle Eastern peoples. 

We, as both queer students and students of color, are affected by all these policies.  Because we cannot isolate our identities, we cannot isolate the issues at play.  We will oppose oppression in any form it manifests itself - whether it is heterosexism, racism or imperialism.  We call on other students to stand with us against not just against the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell " policy but the NROTC on Columbia's campus. 

We hope that the dialogue begun here with our collective opposition to NROTC on campus will empower us to continue to challenge the varied ways in which institutional oppressions are reproduced in society and to recognize that they are all inextricably linked. 

 

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