The Black, gay veteran who surprised the political world when he came out as a conservative is now sharing his thoughts on “Don’t aks, Don’t Tell" and diverse journalism.
Rob Smith is a journalist and celebrated Iraq War veteran. Smith was first recognized for being one of 14 military personal and civilians who protested the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy by chaining themselves to the White House Fence back in 2010. Smith was then present when Former President Barack Obama officially brought an end to the system.
Now, on the seventh anniversary of that repeal, Rob Smith spoke to students and media reporters at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, according to the Daily Nebraskan.
Smith started his speech by talking about serving in the military while being a closeted gay man under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
“If I told anyone about why I wanted to kill myself, I would be discharged under the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy,” Smith said during his lecture. “I stood to lose everything, even if they helped me before.”
After leaving the military, Rob Smith studied at Columbia University to become a journalist and political commentator. He now says that was a mistake.
“If you are into racial justice, if you are into immigrant rights, if you’re into politics, there are places that you can go to do that,” Smith said. “In an industry that does not have a lot of money to invest in real journalism, I don’t think it’s the best idea in the world to go into journalism if you want to advocate for something very specific.”
Smith explained further that media outlets often publish articles highlighting social injustices against marginalized groups and push harmful “victimhood narratives” onto readers.
“The second I start wallowing around in this black pain or this gay pain is when I lose,” Smith said. “I found out a very long time ago that there is no strength in being a victim.”
Smith then circled back to his political ideology. He states that he has moved to conservatism due to Democratic leaders using identity politics to force the idea that black men need the party to succeed.
“Once I took identity out of it and I started realizing that there are some ideas that were more relevant to me and some ideas that I agreed with more, it was easy for me to make that switch,” Smith said.
Rob Smith is certainly an interesting figure in the political world. While some may not like his rhetoric or logic, it isn’t totally unfounded.
h/t: The Daily Nebraskan
If you are a reader who appreciates articles that border the intersection between LGBTQ issues and race issues and aren't about victim narratives, here's a list of last month's stories from this Instinct writer that you might like.
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