Trump’s Ban Against Humans

ID-10047916“We don’t promise equal outcomes, but we were founded on the idea everybody should have an equal opportunity to succeed. No matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, you can make it. That’s an essential promise of America. Where you start should not determine where you end up.” – Barack Obama

This quote was pulled from a speech by our former President Barack Obama. This portion of the speech focuses on the basis of what America was built on. The US has promised equality and equal opportunity to its citizens for many years. Yet we haven’t been able to achieve such dreams due to the belief of many people, that not everyone deserves equal rights and opportunity because of how they are. Trump expressed this conservative belief on July 26th, 2017 when he decided to informally ban all transgender individuals from serving in the US military with a tweet on his personal Twitter account. This Tweet has been a cause for celebration by conservative parties and a sign of defeat for liberal parties.

 

On July 26th, 2017 President Trump posted a tweet stating that:

 

After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military, Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

Trump uses specific keywords and phrases within his tweets to explain why he is implementing this ban against transgender individuals in the military. He uses the phrase “decisive and overwhelming victory” and that the military would be burdened with the “tremendous medical costs and disruption”. Trump’s tweets came as a surprise to many people, though his Secretary of defense James Mattis had put a hold on allowing any new transgender military personnel to be allowed into the military until more studies were done after the administration had come into power. This temporary hold on the transgender community was put up to combat last year’s Obama administration lift on the ban, which allowed all transgender people to serve openly in the US military. This lift on the ban was made by Obama’s defense secretary and promised to allow transgender individuals to be in the military and receive medical benefits for transition surgeries.

In an official meeting with CNN and other news outlets, the Joint Chiefs Of Staff (run by chairman General Joseph Dunford)  announced that they were completely unaware of Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from the military. In a memo written to the military recently obtained by CNN, it says that “no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidelines.” This already shows that Trumps administration is not handling their decisions in a professional manner. The president is using social media to cause a stir in the system and create an even larger divide in the American people in a time where we need to stand more united. Trump has not set any plan out on the table for military personnel and it is causing a lot of confusion for many transgender people in the military. There is a fear for the loss of jobs, rights, and freedoms that the LGBT community has actively been fighting for, for decades.

It is interesting to note that many people are for this ban against the LGBT community. In an opinion piece by Tony Perkins, he congratulates Trump on a victory against transgenders and in making the armed forces a stronger and better place. Perkins is the president of the FRC also known as the Family Research Council A group that believes that homosexuality and transgender thoughts are rooted in deep psychological problems in an individual and should be received sympathy but should not be accepted because it is against conservative and Christian belief. Within the opinion piece, Perkins explains that he also believes the medical costs of gender reassignment surgery would cost “taxpayers of up to $110,000 per person”. This information that Perkins obtained is from an article explaining the difficulties of saving money for a transgender individual because of the inability to get a paying job because they are constantly being discriminated against. On the website for the FRC, they concluded that it is “difficult to estimate these costs due to numerous unanswered questions. For example, we cannot know with certainty how many persons suffering from gender dysphoria are already in the military…” Meaning they aren’t even sure that their numbers are correct and could be exaggerated for the worst case scenario to apply to their needs and beliefs that transgender people should not be allowed in the military. It is also interesting to note that in an article on the Army Times website it says  “Military Times first reported in 2015 that the Defense Health Agency the year before spent $84.2 million on erectile dysfunction medications for active-duty troops, eligible family members, and retirees”. while the reports also noted that it would cost about $8 million dollars a year for transgender medical costs. So where is Perkins getting his information from if it is not from official military outlets?

Taking a look back at the military, It can be noted that there have been many scenarios like this over the years, where certain individuals were not allowed to work in our US military. The first to note is African Americans back in the 1700’s, who were taken as slaves for people who believed they did not deserve rights, yet were allowed to fight strongly during the American Revolution and help achieve independence from Great Britain. In the war of 1812Several northern states, including New York and Pennsylvania, recruited entire regiments of black Soldiers and even some southern states, like Louisiana and North Carolina, enlisted black Soldiers”. Many of these soldiers fought for their freedom to help the country that was utilizing them for slavery and considered them to be a lesser race, yet they still worked hard and helped to achieve success. Another group that had been discriminated when attempting to join were women. The first women who enlisted in the United States military joined the Navy and Marine Corps in World War I. “Over 12,000 of them served stateside and over 200 “Hello Girls,” bi-lingual women telephone operators recruited by AT&T, served overseas with the US Army Signal Corps”. These women would work in the military during wars but immediately be discharged because of discrimination in their ability to work in the armed forces. It was not until 1948 when President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, which changed the game allowing thousands of more women to join the military and make it as strong as it is today. Even with many setbacks and lots of discrimination towards their gender and race, our country has made positive changes towards allowing people of many different backgrounds to join our forces and make a difference. Putting this ban against transgender Americans because of unproven claims of psychological problems and bad data on medical expenses is just like these setbacks in our American history.

This Tweeted ban has caused a lot of commotion on social media, making celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox, who are both transgenders. ABC News states that “There are 15,000 patriotic transgender Americans in the US military fighting for all of us,” tweeted Jenner, who voted for Trump. “What happened to your promise to fight for them?”. Laverne Cox also spoke up about the situation and talked about conversations she had with former transgender military people and how they were mistreated and misgendered over their years of service. Both celebrities are hoping that people can open their eyes and see that Trans Americans are just people too and that their lives matter as much as any others.

The largest arguments against the transgender community from working in the military is because of their medical needs and mental stability. Conservatives argue that the cost of the medical needs of the transgender community would be damaging to the system, while a lot of that money is given to vets for things like ED. Mental stability has not been proven by any true evaluations but has been made by assumptions because of religious and ethical beliefs. Their arguments have no real foundation and their facts are crumbling with new information being spread on the web.

Overall it seems as though the country is dealing with yet another setback in our time, where people cannot truly be allowed equal opportunity, and the beliefs of the administrations in power are choosing to keep the American people at bay. Trump has made many promises to the LGBT community on equality and freedom, yet he is taking away thousands of jobs from those people in order to fit his political agenda. Maybe the cost of medical expenses for gender reassignment surgery might be expensive but if there are proper plans in place explaining the true impact of it, there could be a better idea of how the taxpayer’s money should be used. Denying people their right to serve the country that they truly believe in, will only weaken our forces and divide our people. It seems as though we are losing grips on what it means to be truly American.

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