"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

How To Lose Friends and Alienate People

So, Black Lives Matter decided to hold Toronto's Pride Parade hostage this year, because they're so very interested in constructive dialogue. From John Aravosis at AmericaBlog:

Black Lives Matter protesters brought a whole new meaning to the phrase “Surrender Dorothy” this weekend when they shut down the Toronto LGBT Pride parade with smoke flares and a sit-in.

BLM held Toronto Pride hostage, unless their demands, which included excluding police from the parade, were immediately met.

This is choice: From Alexandra Williams of BLM Toronto:

"We are not taking any space away from any folks. When we talk about homophobia, transphobia, we go through that too ... It should be a cohesive unit, not one against the other. Anti-blackness needs to be addressed and they can be addressed at the same time, in the same spaces," she said.

"We didn't bully our way into Pride ... we made space for ourselves in a place where we have been erased," Williams added.

Her entire comment is so completely self-absorbed and clueless that I don't even know where to start. Pride Toronto included them as honored guests and they took the opportunity to to spit in the face of the gay community They didn't "make space" for themselves in the parade -- they were invited to participate as a gesture of inclusion (because, after all, that's what Pride is about), and then they took our space away.

If Ms. Williams want "anti-blackness" addressed in the gay community, maybe she can work on having "anti-gayness" addressed in the black community.

Needless to say, this little stunt was not greeted with universal approbation. BLM responded on Facebook: From Pink News:

“Ya’ll quick to forget Pride was a riot. Or that it was the bodies, organising brilliance, and hearts of Black, Latinx, & Brown people and communities that created Pride.”

Bullshit. Yes, it was a riot, and guess who the majority of the rioters were: young white gay men. And guess who it was who got AIDS activism up and running: white gay men. And who was it who formed the first gay advocacy organizations: white gay men and white gay women. (I've done several posts on this issue, mostly hinging on the release of, and reaction to, Roland Emmerich's Stonewall. If you want to refresh your memory, you can look here, here, here, and here.)

I've been through this kind of crap before, in the '70s' and '80s, when we would all gather in Lincoln Park at the end of the Pride Parade and listen to the likes of Urvashi Vaid tell us how we were going to solve everyone else's problems first. I don't have much patience with BLM or anyone else who thinks I'm going to put up with it again.

I may revisit this -- I'm really pissed off about this, quite possibly because, as someone who has supported equal rights for everyone, I feel used, and consequently, right now it's hard to be dispassionate about it.

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