Mr. Chili and I have been re-watching The West Wing and loving every second of it. In the episode “Let Bartlet be Bartlet,” White House staffers are holding talks to try to get a feel for how to reverse DADT, when Admiral Fitzwallace, played by the incomparable John Amos, walks in. He asks the officers in the meeting whether they think that letting gays serve openly in the military will “disrupt unit discipline and cohesion,” which, of course, they do. Fitzwallace replied:
The problem with that is that’s what they were saying to me 50 years ago. Blacks shouldn’t serve with Whites. It would disrupt the unit. You know what? It did disrupt the unit. The unit got over it; the unit changed. I’m an admiral in the U.S. Navy and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Beat that with a stick.