The trend in the naming of Navy ships

(Note: many comments have been added to this entry.)

Timothy A. writes:

The U.S. Navy is going to name a ship after Cesar Chavez [LA adds: who (see below) said his time in the Navy was “the two worst years of my life.”]

Another ship in the Lewis and Clark class (currently under construction) will be named after slain civil rights worker Medgar Evers.

Other ships in this class are named after Sacagawea and Amelia Earhart.

I don’t see the names of any prominent homosexuals for the 14 Lewis and Clark class ships, so apparently the Navy hasn’t yet overcome its homophobia.

LA replies:

Well, these ships all began construction before the federal statute prohibiting homosexuals in the armed services was repealed last December. If that step is not reversed, and if the advance of the homosexualist agenda in general continues, it is a certainty that within 15 years there will be a Navy ship called the U.S.S. Harvey Milk.

May 19

Sophia A. writes:

Couple of last thoughts about Harvey Milk.

Apropos of your observation:

The movie shows what the homosexualist movement really aims at getting society to accept as “normal”: not just the “polite” type of homosexuality but the whole thing. And of course the same is true in the political sphere. There is not any “moderate” place where the demands of the homosexual rights movement can stop …

Milk’s motto was “I am here to recruit you.”

The helpful journalist points out that it was a play on the old “canard” that homosexuals want to recruit the young.

Is it such a canard? There is a correlation between having been molested as a child and being an adult homosexual. This is NOT “homophobic” propaganda, but peer-reviewed social science:

“Prior research has established that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people experience higher rates of childhood abuse than heterosexuals.”

Sophia writes:

Sacagawea was a Shoshone, and was a key part of the Lewis and Clark expedition. In addition to her translation skills, having a woman along (with a baby no less!) convinced hostile tribes along the way that the expedition meant no harm. Interesting.

She was no minion. They could not have done it without her. But I still don’t think that a Navy ship should be named after her. It’s this kind of ridiculous groveling that makes me think that in a very real sense, we are all sailing on the USS Harvey Milk. To hell. And not coming back.

- end of initial entry -

JC writes from Houston:

I just found this article, the Navy is naming a new ammunition ship the U.S.S. Cesar Chavez. Apparently Chavez was in the Navy and described it as the “worst two years of my life.” I discovered that another ship of this class is named the Medgar Evers. I guess this is to be expected from a Navy that now allows blacks to enter Annapolis with much lower qualifications than whites, allows coed crews on combat ships and now women on submarines. The time is coming when I fear that our vaunted military superiority will be a thing of the past if, God forbid, we ever get into a war with a country like China, which takes its military seriously.

James N. writes:

The novelty of naming capital ships after dead politicians has been a disaster waiting to happen since the keel of the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was laid, and perhaps before.

Battleships, during their reign as top surface combatant, were named after states. Carriers were named after great American principles (Independence) or great battles (Saratoga, Lexington), or the nation itself (America)

Beginning with CVN-68, the USS Nimitz, we switched to war leaders. The first two carriers of the Nimitz class, Nimitz and (perhaps) Eisenhower (in addition to war leader, he was also a dead politician) followed this custom.

But since Carl Vinson, we’ve had a run of pure politicians, except for Washington and perhaps Lincoln.

Once we fell down to John Stennis, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and moved along to a whole new carrier class in the USS Gerald Ford (CVN-78), we made the USS William J. Clinton and the USS Barack Hussein Obama an inevitability.

Carriers since Nimitz listed below, FYI

USS Nimitz (CVN-68)
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69)
USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)
USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)
USS George Washington (CVN-73)
USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74)
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)
USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77)

USS Gerald Ford (CVN-78)

James P. writes:

The San Diego news article says,

Lewis and Clark, Sacagawea , Alan Shepard, Richard E. Byrd, Robert E. Peary, Amelia Earhart, Carl Brashear, Wally Schirra, Matthew Perry, Charles Drew, Washington Chambers, William McLean, Medgar Evers.

Thus, of fourteen ships (and fifteen names), we have nine white men (Lewis, Clark, Shepard, Byrd, Peary, Schirra, Perry, Chambers, and McLean) and one white woman (Earhart) whose achievements are real. Brashear and Drew are black but their achievements are genuinely worthy of respect—they were not political agitators or affirmative action beneficiaries. (I don’t know much about Drew, but frankly he looks white to me.) Only Sacagewea, Evers, and Chavez are worthless, artificial PC “heroes.” Twelve out of fifteen isn’t so bad in this day and age!

Duncan Hunter criticized the choice of Chavez and rightly said that a Latino Navy Cross winner would have been a better choice. Good for him! Note the response to this:

“He is arguably the most revered Latino American in the United States, and his contributions to equality and justice for one of our most vulnerable work forces make him a hero in the eyes of Hispanics and Americans of other backgrounds,” said Abel Valenzuela, chairman of the César E. Ch├ívez Department of Chicana/o Studies at the University of California Los Angeles.

Well, that’s great, but what does it have to do with the U.S. Navy?

Keep in mind also that the dry cargo ship is far from the most prestigious ship in the U.S. Navy. If the Navy has to throw minorities a bone, this is the place to do it. We would never see an aircraft carrier named after Chavez, though inevitably (and tragically) someday we will see an aircraft carrier named the USS Obama.

LA replies:

Do you want to say that Sacagawea was worthless?

James P. replies:

Yes. A mere lackey who is vastly overhyped in order to boost the self-esteem of women and native Americans. There’s nothing special about her; if Lewis and Clark didn’t get her as a guide, they would have gotten someone else.

LA replies:

If Lewis didn’t get Clark, he would have gotten someone else.

James P. replies:

Lewis and Clark were joint commanders of the enterprise. Sacagewea was a minion. A useful minion—or she wouldn’t have come along—but a minion nonetheless.

James P. continues:

I have more use for her than for Evers or Chavez, but naming a ship after her is like naming a ship after Nimitz’s Filipino steward in addition to naming a ship after the admiral himself.

LA replies:

I’m not saying a Navy ship should be named after her (nor that she should be on a U.S. coin, another absurdity), but you are unfairly denigrating her and minimizing her importance to the expedition when you call her a mere servant. She played a vital role as translator between the expedition and the western Indian tribe (I forget their name) among whom she originated. She was brought along for that purpose and became a part of the expedition. In order to make the point that someone’s contribution is being exaggerated, it’s not necessary to reduce that person’s contribution to nothing.

LA continues:

Also, I didn’t literally mean what I said about Clark being dispensable. Very few if any men could have done what Lewis and Clark did together, one of the most extraordinary accomplishments in human history. I was making a rhetorical reply to James when I said that.

SL Toddard writes:

This trend is consistent with Steve Sailer’s observation (which I believe he attributed to Gregory Cochran) that America has transformed from a people who once celebrated heroes of accomplishment and now celebrates heroes of suffering.

Howard Sutherland writes:

Depressing thread today on what the U.S. Navy names ships nowadays. It is bad enough to name ships for dead politicians, but the Navy also names them after live ones now, which is far worse. I think Vinson was the first, as he was still alive when his eponymous carrier was commissioned. I’m pretty sure Reagan was also. And, of course, the elder George Bush is still with us, still falling out of airplanes or whatever it is he does to fill his days. Naming ships for characters unrelated to the Navy for multicultural reasons (there is no way that ship is being named for Chavez to commemorate his naval service!) is just going lower. You say the USS Harvey Milk is on the horizon; what about the USS Barney Frank or the USS Gerry Studds? Gag.

The Navy used to have a pretty consistent naming system for warships: Battleships for states; cruisers for cities; destroyers and frigates for naval heroes; large amphibious ships for Marine battles; small amphibious ships often for counties; submarines for fish. Carriers have always been something of an anomaly. I think the only people U.S. warships should be named for are distinguised veterans of our naval service, and only after they have died. According to me, then, the only people whose names U.S. warships should bear are those of late U.S. sailors and Marines who distinguished themselves conspicuously in U.S. naval service. I would be tempted to make an exception for George Washington only—but, on reflection, better to make no expections. Let his service, the Army, name a new tank for him. The only partial exception that comes to mind would be for sea service astronauts. I can see naming a ship for Alan Shepard or John Glenn; each had a solid naval service career (Shepard, USN; Glenn, USMC), but their real fame is as astronauts. But I wouldn’t name a ship for, say, Gordon Cooper, much as I loved him (USAF). Let the Air Force name something for him, if it so choose.

Unfortunately, what this naming of ships, streets, parks, etc., for politicians and political figures, living and dead, indicates is—even if unconscious—more Latin-Americanizing of the United States. Go to Mexico, or pretty much any Latin American country, and you’ll find that almost every street, square and public space bears, if not the date of some revolutionary event, the name of some politico you may never have heard of—always spelled out in full complete with titles. Now, that’s familiar! How many “Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Boulevards” are there in America today? HRS

LA replies:

In New York City, major city landmarks, integral to the city’s identity and character, have recently been renamed after politicians. The Triborough Bridge has been renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, and the Queensborough Bridge has been renamed the Ed Koch Bridge. It’s disgusting and despiriting. I hope these name changes are reversed under a future mayor and city council.

Sophia A. writes:

I gasped when you wrote that about Harvey Milk because I had the exact same thought—did you know that Milk was a Navy diver?

He was honorably discharged, but there is some gossip that his proclivities were known and he was eased out.

What could be more politically appropriate than naming a destroyer after Harvey Milk?

LA replies:

I did not know that he was in the Navy.

By coincidence, I saw the movie about him not long ago. Unlike other mainstream pro-homosexual movies I’ve seen, which put a soft focus on the characters’ sexual lives to make the whole scene more acceptable to mainstream sensibilities, this movie shows an unexpurgated Harvey Milk, very forward and repulsive in his sexual behavior. And of course he’s a saint at the same time. The movie shows what the homosexualist movement really aims at getting society to accept as “normal”: not just the “polite” type of homosexuality but the whole thing. And of course the same is true in the political sphere. There is not any “moderate” place where the demands of the homosexual rights movement can stop.

In any case, if the homosexualist movement is not turned back, there will absolutely be a Navy ship named for Harvey Milk within 15 years.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 18, 2011 08:48 AM | Send

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