A Few Thoughts From The Bouncing Mind — Again

These are some of the thoughts that have run barefoot through my mind today …


Bigotry in all its forms is a result of ignorance.  We fear that which we do not or cannot understand. Unfortunately, some people are weak and can be easily convinced to fear almost anything.  Politicians play on that weakness, hence you have people who are scared of immigrants, scared of LGBTQ+ people, scared of anyone basically who does not act, look, and think as they do.  If you are uncomfortable about immigrants, talk to some of them, learn about their culture, try their foods – you won’t regret it. Our neighbors moved here several years ago from Iraq and spoke only about 10 words of English.  We communicated through some signing, some Google Translate, laughter and compassion, the language that knows no boundaries.  Today, they are our best friends – we have learned a bit of Arabic, they have learned a LOT of English and all 5 family members passed their citizenship tests in 2020.  We share meals, laughter and love – I wouldn’t trade that experience for all the money in the world!  If you are frightened by LGBTQ+ people, get to know a few, try to understand that who they choose to love really isn’t your business.  About half of my friends are LGBTQ+ and they have enriched my life, my understanding, in too many ways to count.  But you have to open your minds and your hearts to understand people of other cultures, views and beliefs … if you don’t, you are the one missing out!


Life is what you make of it.  A reader commented yesterday that life on earth is hell.  Well, admittedly things around the globe are in a dark place right now, but … I don’t think that makes it a hell on earth.  That just means we all need to do our part to change things.  If you don’t like the stack of dirty laundry piled up in the hallway, you can get off your arse and wash/dry/fold it, or you can spend an equal amount of time sitting around whining about it.  Your choice.  Don’t like the way the country is being run?  Then vote the bastards out and vote in people who are possessed of a conscience, who care about people over profit.  Don’t like the price of fuel?  Drive less.  Wait it out … it will stabilize.  If you want to lay blame, put the blame where it belongs – on the oil companies who are raking in record profits.  The best thing we the consumers can do, seriously, is to drive less, therefore buying less fuel.  Law of supply and demand … when the supply exceeds demand, when oil companies are selling less fuel, miraculously the price will drop.  Turn the thermostat down, turn some lights off, and stay home more!


Politicians are like prostitutes … they sell themselves to the highest bidder.  They’ll still take your paltry $20 contribution, but you won’t get a damn thing in exchange, for you cannot compete with the millions of dollars they receive from the rich dudes.  So, don’t waste your money … give instead to organizations that help feed hungry children or house the homeless.  Give to environmental groups that are working toward saving the future of the planet for our children and grandchildren.


Some of the unlikeliest candidates on the ballot this year are puppets.  Take, for instance, Herschel Walker.  Mr. Walker knows very little outside the sports arena, as he’s shown us nearly every time he’s opened his mouth.  He lies, he has no policies, no values, but is saying he stands for whatever his handlers, the puppetmasters, are telling him to say he stands for.  What would he do if he won a seat in the U.S. Senate?  He would vote in whatever way his handlers told him to.  A vote for Herschel Walker is actually a vote for Mitch McConnell who would ‘advise’ Mr. Walker how to act/dress/vote in every circumstance.  The same can likely be said for a host of others on the ballot with an ‘R’ next to their name.  Whatever happened to the day when candidates had some relevant education and experience?


And finally … let’s remember we’re all on this planet together.  We share the same resources, and what happens to one happens to us all.  “America First” is nothing but exclusionary trash talk.  We need all people in all countries to work together to solve the biggest problems facing us all:  the environment and world-wide poverty.  There is no “them vs us” — we’re all people.  People with flaws, but most of whom care about others enough to change the world, if only we stop allowing ourselves to be ‘led’ by religious leaders and politicians who have their own agendas.  Choose peace over hatred & violence.  Your grandchildren will one day thank you for it.

A Cautionary Vision

I woke to the sound of gunfire.  Looked at the clock — 4:17 a.m.  Waking to gunfire is nothing new here, but still, it took several cigarettes and about 25 pages of reading before I calmed down enough to get back to sleep, and it seemed like only minutes until my alarm clock awakened me.

The date is November 15th in the year 2030.

Today is an important day for me and my two children, Eddie and Beth.  Today is either the first day of the rest of our lives, or else it is the last day of our lives.  I do not know which it will be, but I know that I am willing to risk not only my own life, but that of my children to get us away from the living hell that has ensued since 2024 when a true madman took over the nation.  We have friends in Canada who have told us where to cross in order to avoid detection, and who will help us with shelter and food until I can find a job and we can get back on our feet.  What, you ask, has led me to such a dangerous and traumatic decision?  Let me tell you about the year 2025, the first year of hell.

The 2024 election was won by the Democratic candidate, but he and his family mysteriously disappeared less than three weeks after the election.  Six years later, and there is still no sign of him, his family, or his body, but it is believed that he and his family were murdered.  I still do not understand how the election results were overturned, but they were, and long story short, the Republican candidate took office … and he is still there today with no plans for any future elections.

What changed, you ask?  So many things have changed that I cannot even keep track, but a few of the most crucial things are the nightmares that invade my sleep each and every night.  First, the new ‘president’ was inaugurated on January 20, 2025, and he gave a lengthy speech thereafter, promising (warning) that ‘big changes’ were coming.  He was surrounded by ‘his people’ who applauded until I thought their hands must surely have blisters.  Among those ‘big changes’ that came in the first year were cuts to such things as Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, housing and food assistance for the poor, and programs that provided financial assistance for college students whose families couldn’t afford college.

But the next year was worse.  2026 would normally have been a mid-term election year, but as we neared November, something didn’t smell right.  I had a bad feeling, a bad vibe you might call it.  And sure enough, in late October, there were six school shootings resulting in the deaths of 223 students and the injuries of far more.  This led to protests in nearly every city across the U.S. as people demanded gun regulations.  But, instead of responding with any degree of empathy, even false empathy, the ‘president’ called out the National Guard and put the entire nation under a lockdown.  We were allowed to go only to work and back home, or to buy food, medicine, and absolute essentials, and even then we had to show ‘passes’.  What followed, of course, was that the president declared the nation to be in a ‘state of emergency’ and the election was cancelled.  When the state of emergency was finally lifted some seven months later, the ‘president’ had appointed the new members of Congress using ‘emergency powers’ that he created and the U.S. Supreme Court, such as it now is, supported.

Schools are now regulated, meaning the only science courses that can be taught are such things as Physics, Astronomy, and Oceanography.  Biology is taboo.  U.S. History is now a joke.  Our children are taught that white men brought Black people here to rescue them from the horrible conditions in their native Africa, and that white people treated them so well that they begged to live and work forever on white man’s plantations.  Indigenous People are no longer mentioned in the history books and such men and women as Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington are not found in any book in the schools or public libraries.  Such books are considered ‘contraband’ and possessing one can send a person to prison.

Legislation has been passed and signed into law making Blacks, women, Hispanics, Asians, Muslims and Jews basically 2nd class citizens.  If a white person is caught out in public with one of these people, they can go to jail.  The 2nd class citizens can only hold certain jobs, such as maintenance, auto repair, sales clerks, restaurant and factory workers.  They are not allowed to enroll in any college.  Colleges and high-level jobs, government positions, are all reserved for white males only.

There is a state religion that everyone is forced to become a member of and adhere to.  It is a very intolerant religion that praises white males, calls for subservience by the rest, and calls for the execution of LGBTQ people.  On August 20, 2027, more than 12,000 LGBTQ people were rounded up in every city around the nation and executed in a very public manner.  It was replayed on television endlessly for days.  I’ve never cried so much in my life, for my brother was one of those who was murdered so brutally before a firing squad.  I watched with tears rolling down my face, while the crowds applauded and cheered and said they were “making America great again.”  Perhaps my definition of ‘great’ differs from theirs.

We live under a brutal regime, our every move watched 24/7.  Our lives are not our own.  I cannot live like this any longer.  My children and I are so hoping for a better life north of the border, but if we fail, we will have no life and will fade into the annals of obscurity.  Either way, we will be free of these chains that bind us.  Our world is on fire and there is nobody to save us.


Fiction?  Yes, this is my nightmare of late, or some variation of it.  The things I wrote about above … well, my friends, those things or some semblance of them could come to pass if we don’t guard and protect our Constitution, our republic.  Today, there are so many in positions of power who are, at heart, autocrats and who have whatever it is that brings followers, ignorant souls who do not know history and cannot envision the future, to their cause.

🏳️‍🌈 Celebrating PRIDE Month – Part I 🏳️‍🌈

This is a repeat of last year’s Pride Month post with only slight modifications.  Today, with so many states attempting to push the LGBTQ community into obscurity,  think it is more important than ever that we remember the fight for LGBTQ rights which I often compare to the fight for Black rights in this country.  There is a reason we have Black History Month and Pride Month … to remember that we are all the same in far more ways than we are different, that we are all in the fight for life together.  We all have feelings, stengths & weaknesses, and nobody is ‘superior’ by virtue of the gender or colour.


My posts are usually geared toward socio-political issues such as racism & bigotry, politics, the environment, etc., but every now and then there is something that takes precedence over all those things — they will still be here tomorrow, right?  Today, I am dedicating Filosofa’s Word, as I have for the past three years, to Pride Month.  Quick question:  do you know what PRIDE stands for?  I’m ashamed to say that I did not know until a few years ago that it stands for Personal Rights In Defense and Education.  Makes perfect sense, don’t you think?  The fight to be recognized and accepted has been an ongoing battle for decades, perhaps longer, and while we have made progress, today there are states such as Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and others that have either passed or are preparing bills that would legalize discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

The following is Part I of a post I wrote for PRIDE Month in 2019 and reprised in 2020.  I don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel, and frankly when I read over this post, except for a few minor adjustments, I didn’t think I could do any better if I started over.  Part II will be on the schedule for later this afternoon.  Meanwhile, to all my friends in the LGBTQ community … I wish you a heartfelt Happy PRIDE Month!


Pride-month-3June is Pride Month, a month dedicated to recognizing the impact LGBTQ people have had in the world.  I see Pride Month in much the same way I see February’s Black History Month.  It is a way to honour or commemorate those who rarely receive the recognition they deserve, and are often discriminated against, simply because they are LGBTQ, or Black, in the case of Black History Month.  A bit of history …

The Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, was owned by the Genovese crime family, and in 1966, three members of the Genovese family invested $3,500 to turn the Stonewall Inn into a gay bar, after it had been a restaurant and a nightclub for heterosexuals. Once a week a police officer would collect envelopes of cash as a payoff, as the Stonewall Inn had no liquor license and thus was operating outside the law.  It was the only bar for gay men in New York City where dancing was allowed; dancing was its main draw since its re-opening as a gay club.

At 1:20 a.m. on Saturday, June 28, 1969, four plainclothes policemen in dark suits, two patrol officers in uniform, and Detective Charles Smythe and Deputy Inspector Seymour Pine arrived at the Stonewall Inn’s double doors and announced “Police! We’re taking the place!”  Approximately 205 people were in the bar that night. Patrons who had never experienced a police raid were confused. A few who realized what was happening began to run for doors and windows in the bathrooms, but police barred the doors.

Standard procedure was to line up the patrons, check their identification, and have female police officers take customers dressed as women to the bathroom to verify their sex, upon which any men dressed as women would be arrested. Those dressed as women that night refused to go with the officers. Men in line began to refuse to produce their identification. The police decided to take everyone present to the police station, after separating those cross-dressing in a room in the back of the bar.

Long story short, a few patrons were released before the patrol wagons arrived to cart the rest off to jail, and those few stayed out front, attracted quite a large crowd, mostly LGBT people, and after an officer hit a woman over the head for saying her handcuffs were too tight, the crowd went into fight mode.  By this time, the police were outnumbered by some 600 people.  Garbage cans, garbage, bottles, rocks, and bricks were hurled at the building, breaking the windows.  The mob lit garbage on fire and stuffed it through the broken windows.  Police tried to use water hoses to disperse the crowd, but there was no water pressure.  Police pulled their weapons, but before they could fire them, the Tactical Patrol Force and firefighters arrived.  The crowd mocked and fought against the police, who began swinging their batons right and left, not much caring who they hit or where.

The crowd was cleared by 4:00 a.m., but the mood remained dark, and the next night, rioting resumed with thousands of people showing up at the Stonewall, blocking the streets.  Police responded, and again it was 4:00 a.m. before the mob was cleared.

There comes a point when people who are mistreated, abused, discriminated against, have had enough.  It is the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, and the police raid on the Stonewall Inn, the treatment of people who were only out to enjoy the night, was that straw.  It was a history making night, not only for the LGBTQ community, but for the nation.pride-month-stonewall.jpgWithin six months of the Stonewall riots, activists started a citywide newspaper called Gay; they considered it necessary because the most liberal publication in the city—The Village Voice—refused to print the word “gay”.  Two other newspapers were initiated within a six-week period: Come Out! and Gay Power; the readership of these three periodicals quickly climbed to between 20,000 and 25,000.  Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) was formed with a constitution that began …

“We as liberated homosexual activists demand the freedom for expression of our dignity and value as human beings.”

I think that says it all, don’t you?  ‘Dignity and value as human beings’.  It is, in my book, a crying shame that our society needs to be reminded that we are all human beings, that we all have value and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

Christopher Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970 marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots with an assembly on Christopher Street; with simultaneous Gay Pride marches in Los Angeles and Chicago, these were the first Gay Pride marches in U.S. history. The next year, Gay Pride marches took place in Boston, Dallas, Milwaukee, London, Paris, West Berlin, and Stockholm.  The Stonewall riots are considered the birth of the gay liberation movement and of gay pride on a massive scale.  The event has been likened to the Boston Tea Party, and Rosa Parks’ refusal to move to the back of the bus.  All of those were people’s way of saying, “We’ve had enough!”

2019 marked the 50-year anniversary of the Stonewall Inn raid and ensuing riots, and at long last, the New York City Police Department apologized to the LGBTQ community.  “The actions taken by the NYPD [at Stonewall] were wrong, plain and simple,” police commissioner James O’Neill said.  He also noted that the frequent harassment of LGBTQ men and women and laws that prohibited same-sex sexual relations are “discriminatory and oppressive” and apologized on behalf of the department.

President Bill Clinton first declared June to be National Pride Month in 1999, and again in 2000.  On June 1, 2001, President George W. Bush announced that the White House would not formally recognize Pride Month.  Every year that President Barack Obama was in office, he declared June to be LGBT Pride Month.  Donald Trump ignored it in throughout his tenure and blocked the display of the Pride flag at all U.S. embassies.  This year, President Biden recognized Pride Month, saying he “will not rest until full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans is finally achieved and codified into law.”

“”During LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we recognize the resilience and determination of the many individuals who are fighting to live freely and authentically. In doing so, they are opening hearts and minds, and laying the foundation for a more just and equitable America.”

Since this post turned into a history lesson, I wrote a second post to highlight some of the celebrations, the fun ways that people celebrate pride month, the people and organizations that are supporting Pride Month, and to honour the LGBTQ community, but I felt the history was important also, so … stay tuned for Part II later this afternoon!

Pride-month-4

When Religion Promotes Hatred & Violence

There are those who would say that since I am not a Christian, I have no right to comment on the religion or its adherents.  In most cases, I would agree with them, but … it seems I just cannot keep my nose out of this one.  In no way am I criticizing Christianity or its followers as a whole, but rather certain elements that are doing more harm than good to this entire nation, and that are giving Christianity overall a bad image, a reputation that Christians won’t find easy to live down.

While I find ‘evangelicals’ to be particularly narrow-minded and offputting, my current target is two specific evangelical pastors, men of the cloth who are supposed to be preaching peace, love, and all that sort of stuff, but instead are promoting hatred and violence.  I might not care if they were one-offs, if nobody much was listening and most people took their rantings with a grain of salt, but as it is, both seem to have a fairly large following and thus they have the potential to inflict great harm in this nation.  And in that, I find justification for offering my two cents worth.

The first is Pastor Mark Burns who is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina’s District 4.  Now, I have a problem with Burns’ platform, with some of his recent statements such as …

  • “We need to replace God at the center of American politics. The separation between church and state was not designed to keep the church out of the government, it was designed to keep the government out of the church.”
  • “I will fight to restore law & order, election integrity, secure our borders, protect our God-given & America 1st agenda!”
  • “Life begins at conception, marriage is defined as between one man and one woman, our right to keep and bear arms is INHERENT, given to us by God almighty — NOT by any man.”

Feeling sick yet?  This is the type of rhetoric that is often used by the Republican Party these days to rile the uninformed masses, to play to their religious beliefs, and as I said, if he only attracted a handful of people, I wouldn’t waste my time writing about him.  But he has a fairly large following and he has the support of the former guy which, sadly, counts for a lot among some fools.

Mark Burns lied through his teeth about both his military service and education, lies that were easily disproven and he later admitted to them, but used the pathetic excuse that he was attacked because he is “a black man supporting Donald Trump for president.”  Oh yeah … minor detail, he still claims to believe that the election was stolen and that Trump is the rightful president.

But what raises my hackles is that he is urging his supporters to commit violence.  Our friend Scottie did a post on this with a couple of relevant videos a week or so ago, but in summary, Mr. Burns, while speaking at a rally in Oregon, told the audience to smash the car windows of anyone they believed was ‘antifa’.  Now, I am 100% against fascism, so that makes me an antifascist, but I am not a member of any group called antifa, and from everything I’ve read, it is a very small, unorganized group that gets far more credit than it deserves.  But to the point, when a candidate running for office advises violence, he should be removed from the ballot.  When a religious ‘leader’ calls for violence, he should be thrown out on his ear.  Instead, the crowds love him.  There is something pathetic about that.

The second is Pastor Greg Locke whose message is one of hate rather than peace and love.  Locke is a white supremacist and pastor of Global Vision Bible Church in the small town of Mount Juliet, Tennessee.  He participated in the events of January 6th at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., and the Proud Boys white supremacist organization often provide security at Locke’s events, if that tells you something.  To me, it speaks volumes, but even more so are Locke’s words.  He is against the COVID vaccine, saying …

“If you’ve had the covid-19 shot, I’m telling you you’ve got poison in your veins. We call out the covid-19 vaccine out right now. Keep that demonic spirit out of you right now in the name of Jesus!”

Just words, you might say, but when words are believed, as Locke’s often are, they can cause great harm.  How many people, listening to Locke’s words, have died of COVID because they believed his spiel?  He has a large online presence … he claims millions of followers, but even if it’s only thousands, he is a dangerous firebrand.  Two months ago he held a massive book burning, throwing in copies of such beloved books as the Harry Potter series among others.  He promotes hatred against the LGBTQ community and against people with mental disabilities.

I find it disturbing that according to an article in The Washington Post

“Locke has a social media following of 4 million across multiple platforms, and attendance at Sunday services has grown from 200 before the pandemic to more than 1,000, spilling out of the church building and into an enormous climate-controlled tent, which Locke calls a ‘canvas cathedral.’”

Again, the real danger is that so many people, for whatever reason, listen to and hang on Locke’s words – words of hate, words of dissent, words that incite violence against any and all who view the world through a different lens than Pastor Locke.

I don’t know the solution to counter the hate of both of these men, Mark Burns and Greg Locke.  I only know that they are a threat to us all in one way or another.  The 1st Amendment that guarantees free speech enables them to spread their message of hatred and violence unchecked, and those without the ability to think and reason may well become their private army against the rest of us.

🏳️‍🌈 Celebrating PRIDE Month – Part I 🏳️‍🌈

My posts are usually geared toward socio-political issues such as racism & bigotry, politics, the environment, etc., but every now and then there is something that takes precedence over all those things — they will still be here tomorrow, right?  Today, I am dedicating Filosofa’s Word, as I have for the past two years, to Pride Month.  Quick question:  do you know what PRIDE stands for?  I’m ashamed to say that I did not know until a few days ago that it stands for Personal Rights In Defense and Education.  Makes perfect sense, don’t you think?  The fight to be recognized and accepted has been an ongoing battle for decades, perhaps longer, and while we have made progress, today there are states such as Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and others that have either passed or are preparing bills that would legalize discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

The following is Part I of a post I wrote for PRIDE Month in 2019 and reprised in 2020.  I don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel, and frankly when I read over this post, except for a few minor adjustments, I didn’t think I could do any better if I started over.  Part II will be on the schedule for later this afternoon.  Meanwhile, to all my friends in the LGBTQ community … I wish you a heartfelt Happy PRIDE Month!


Pride-month-3June is Pride Month, a month dedicated to recognizing the impact LGBTQ people have had in the world.  I see Pride Month in much the same way I see February’s Black History Month.  It is a way to honour or commemorate those who rarely receive the recognition they deserve, and are often discriminated against, simply because they are LGBTQ, or Black, in the case of Black History Month.  A bit of history …

The Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, was owned by the Genovese crime family, and in 1966, three members of the Genovese family invested $3,500 to turn the Stonewall Inn into a gay bar, after it had been a restaurant and a nightclub for heterosexuals. Once a week a police officer would collect envelopes of cash as a payoff, as the Stonewall Inn had no liquor license and thus was operating outside the law.  It was the only bar for gay men in New York City where dancing was allowed; dancing was its main draw since its re-opening as a gay club.

At 1:20 a.m. on Saturday, June 28, 1969, four plainclothes policemen in dark suits, two patrol officers in uniform, and Detective Charles Smythe and Deputy Inspector Seymour Pine arrived at the Stonewall Inn’s double doors and announced “Police! We’re taking the place!”  Approximately 205 people were in the bar that night. Patrons who had never experienced a police raid were confused. A few who realized what was happening began to run for doors and windows in the bathrooms, but police barred the doors.

Standard procedure was to line up the patrons, check their identification, and have female police officers take customers dressed as women to the bathroom to verify their sex, upon which any men dressed as women would be arrested. Those dressed as women that night refused to go with the officers. Men in line began to refuse to produce their identification. The police decided to take everyone present to the police station, after separating those cross-dressing in a room in the back of the bar.

Long story short, a few patrons were released before the patrol wagons arrived to cart the rest off to jail, and those few stayed out front, attracted quite a large crowd, mostly LGBT people, and after an officer hit a woman over the head for saying her handcuffs were too tight, the crowd went into fight mode.  By this time, the police were outnumbered by some 600 people.  Garbage cans, garbage, bottles, rocks, and bricks were hurled at the building, breaking the windows.  The mob lit garbage on fire and stuffed it through the broken windows.  Police tried to use water hoses to disperse the crowd, but there was no water pressure.  Police pulled their weapons, but before they could fire them, the Tactical Patrol Force and firefighters arrived.  The crowd mocked and fought against the police, who began swinging their batons right and left, not much caring who they hit or where.

The crowd was cleared by 4:00 a.m., but the mood remained dark, and the next night, rioting resumed with thousands of people showing up at the Stonewall, blocking the streets.  Police responded, and again it was 4:00 a.m. before the mob was cleared.

There comes a point when people who are mistreated, abused, discriminated against, have had enough.  It is the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, and the police raid on the Stonewall Inn, the treatment of people who were only out to enjoy the night, was that straw.  It was a history making night, not only for the LGBTQ community, but for the nation.pride-month-stonewall.jpgWithin six months of the Stonewall riots, activists started a citywide newspaper called Gay; they considered it necessary because the most liberal publication in the city—The Village Voice—refused to print the word “gay”.  Two other newspapers were initiated within a six-week period: Come Out! and Gay Power; the readership of these three periodicals quickly climbed to between 20,000 and 25,000.  Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) was formed with a constitution that began …

“We as liberated homosexual activists demand the freedom for expression of our dignity and value as human beings.”

I think that says it all, don’t you?  ‘Dignity and value as human beings’.  It is, in my book, a crying shame that our society needs to be reminded that we are all human beings, that we all have value and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

Christopher Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970 marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots with an assembly on Christopher Street; with simultaneous Gay Pride marches in Los Angeles and Chicago, these were the first Gay Pride marches in U.S. history. The next year, Gay Pride marches took place in Boston, Dallas, Milwaukee, London, Paris, West Berlin, and Stockholm.  The Stonewall riots are considered the birth of the gay liberation movement and of gay pride on a massive scale.  The event has been likened to the Boston Tea Party, and Rosa Parks’ refusal to move to the back of the bus.  All of those were people’s way of saying, “We’ve had enough!”

2019 marked the 50-year anniversary of the Stonewall Inn raid and ensuing riots, and at long last, the New York City Police Department apologized to the LGBTQ community.  “The actions taken by the NYPD [at Stonewall] were wrong, plain and simple,” police commissioner James O’Neill said.  He also noted that the frequent harassment of LGBTQ men and women and laws that prohibited same-sex sexual relations are “discriminatory and oppressive” and apologized on behalf of the department.

President Bill Clinton first declared June to be National Pride Month in 1999, and again in 2000.  On June 1, 2001, President George W. Bush announced that the White House would not formally recognize Pride Month.  Every year that President Barack Obama was in office, he declared June to be LGBT Pride Month.  Donald Trump ignored it in throughout his tenure and blocked the display of the Pride flag at all U.S. embassies.  This year, President Biden recognized Pride Month, saying he “will not rest until full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans is finally achieved and codified into law.”

“”During LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we recognize the resilience and determination of the many individuals who are fighting to live freely and authentically. In doing so, they are opening hearts and minds, and laying the foundation for a more just and equitable America.”

Since this post turned into a history lesson, I wrote a second post to highlight some of the celebrations, the fun ways that people celebrate pride month, the people and organizations that are supporting Pride Month, and to honour the LGBTQ community, but I felt the history was important also, so … stay tuned for Part II later this afternoon!

Pride-month-4

An ‘Almost’ Lynching …

Earlier today I wrote about the state of homophobia in this nation, and I asked, first of all WHY we have to legislate equality — why people cannot simply act like humans, and second of all why our government, even including the Supreme Court, are turning the clock back on the civil rights of the LGBTQ people, African-Americans, women and others.  And then, this morning I woke to this headline …

‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett attacked in Chicago by men hurling homophobic and racial slurs

It happened in Chicago, but it could have happened in any city or town in this country, or perhaps the world.  This one is particularly troubling.  According to the police report …

“Two unknown offenders approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him. The offenders began to batter the victim with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim. At some point during the incident, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck. The offenders fled the scene.”

jussie-smollettThey wrapped a rope around his neck.  That one sentence sent a chill down my spine.  In my earlier post, I suggested that it sometimes seems we are walking backward, back to a time of racial segregation, back to the days of the KKK setting fire to crosses on the lawns of homes owned by black people, back to the time … of lynchings.

Caught up as we are in the everyday detritus that is the Trump circus, and the antics of the clowns in that circus, we are allowing other news to go unnoticed.  In my book, there is not much that is more important than the attempted lynching of a young, African-American gay man.  It is far too chillingly reminiscent of the 1950s.

“Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. “Detectives are currently working to gather video, identify potential witnesses and establish an investigative timeline. The victim is fully cooperating.”

A ‘possible’ hate crime? What else could it be, since the perpetrators taunted Smollett with racial and homophobic slurs???  The victim is fully cooperating.  But what if the victim were dangling from the branch of a tree, dead?  Is that next? Are we going to turn a blind eye until finally it happens?  And will we even know when it does, or will the reporters be too busy off chasing the circus clowns to inform us?