WASHINGTON, D.C. — Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) has strongly condemned the anti-gay and racist emails sent by Army Recruiter Sgt. Marcia Ramode to Corey Andrew, a potential recruit. In her emails with Andrew, Ramode said, among other things, that Andrew, an openly gay African-American man, should “go back to Africa and do your gay voodoo limbo tango and wango dance and jump around and prance and run all over the place half naked there and practice your gay morals over there…”
The few, the proud, the Marines. We know why.
SLDN has demanded Sgt. Ramode's dismissal.
“Sergeant Ramode’s comments were insulting and inflammatory to all troops now serving in our armed forces,” said C. Dixon Osburn, the group’s executive director. “Individuals from all racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds, as well as those who are lesbian, gay and bisexual, serve in our armed forces. This diversity not only reflects the diversity of our nation, but it also strengthens the military might of our armed forces. There is absolutely no place in our military for intolerance and bigotry.”
In an email with SLDN, Douglas Smith, a public affairs officer for the Recruiting Command, stated, “The matter has been referred through the U.S. Army Recruiting Command's Staff Judge Advocate to the appropriate commander for review, investigation and appropriate action. The Command expects its Recruiters to conduct themselves in a professional manner in all dealings with potential applicants and members of the public. We are ambassadors for America’s Army. I cannot comment further on this series of email messages at this time as it may interfere with the commander's investigation.”
“We are encouraged that the U.S. Army Recruiting Command has taken the emails seriously and look forward to the results of the investigation,” said Osburn. “SLDN fully anticipates Sgt. Ramode’s immediate dismissal.”
According to the log of emails exchanged between Andrew and Ramode (viewable online at www.sldn.org), the exchange between the two began, initially, when Ramode spotted Andrew’s resume on the website careerbuilder.com and suggested he apply for a job with the Marines.
It's unclear as to whether or not Andrew actually did not know that gays and lesbians are not allowed to serve in the military openly in the United States, though he did express interest in the job and inquired about his eligibility as a gay man.
Ramode’s response was abrupt: “… if you’re gay we don’t take you, you’re considered unqualified.”
Thus began a verbal discourse that lasted over the course of multiple emails, with Ramode telling Andrew that she “personally thought being gay was immoral and disgusting” and that he “was a total idiot to presume that you do not know what gender you are.”
Although much of Ramode’s ramblings were verging on incoherent, it’s clear the recruiter overstepped her boundaries with a barrage of homophobic insults hurled on company equipment and time.