Harry Belafonte Speaks — On The Election

I found it interesting that just yesterday, my music post was The Banana Boat Song, arguably the song that Harry Belafonte is best known for, and then shortly thereafter I came across the following OpEd in the New York Times written by none other than the man himself.

Belafonte, now 93 years of age, is a Jamaican-American singer/songwriter/actor is also known for his activism. He was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s and was a confidant of Martin Luther King Jr. Throughout his career, he has been an advocate for political and humanitarian causes, such as the Anti-Apartheid Movement and USA for Africa.Belafonte-King

Belafonte has won three Grammy Awards (including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award), an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award. In 1989, he received the Kennedy Center Honors. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1994. In 2014, he received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Academy’s 6th Annual Governors Awards.

I was moved by his OpEd and wanted to share it with you.


Harry Belafonte: Trump Is Standing in Our Way

If the president wins again, we have so much more to lose.

Belafonte-1By Harry Belafonte

Four years ago, when Donald Trump first ran for president, he urged Black people to support him, asking us, “What have you got to lose?”

Four years later, we know exactly what we had to lose. Our lives, as we died in disproportionate numbers from the pandemic he has let flourish among us. Our wealth, as we have suffered disproportionately from the worst economic drop America has seen in 90 years. Our safety, as this president has stood behind those police who kill us in the streets and by the armies of white supremacy who march by night and scheme in the light of day.

We have learned other things from this president, too. We have learned the names that we say now, over and over again, at each protest, so that no one will forget them. The names Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and Atatiana Jefferson and Stephon Clark and so many more. Such killings did not start with Mr. Trump, of course. But he wants us to forget them.

If we do, he has offered us a “Platinum Plan” for “Black Economic Empowerment.” The name is appropriate because Mr. Trump is a man who thinks always in terms of financial transactions and deals. A “Platinum Plan,” as if he is offering to upgrade our credit card status. The plan, which at two pages is derisively brief, offers us a hodgepodge of things that he thinks we would like. He will prosecute the Ku Klux Klan — and antifa activists — as terrorists. He will make Juneteenth a national holiday and lynching a national hate crime. He will create “peaceful” urban, Black neighborhoods, replete with school choice, increased homeownership and the “highest standards” of policing. He will begin “a national clemency project” designed to “right wrongful prosecutions” and “pardon individuals who have reformed.”

In his ignorance or his indifference, or perhaps in his contempt, Mr. Trump does not seem to understand the difference between promises made and promises kept. Another Republican president, Ulysses S. Grant, first suppressed the Klan 150 years ago (and notable by its absence is any Trump promise to suppress the right-wing “militias” of Michigan, the Proud Boys or any of the others). The United States — finally, belatedly — made lynching a federal crime in the civil rights era, almost 60 years ago. Peaceful neighborhoods with affordable homes, good schools, a police force interested in protecting its citizens instead of treating them as an occupied people; safety from domestic terrorists and mob violence, economic opportunity, the celebration of our heritage, and impartial and merciful treatment under the law — these are the rights that most white people in America have long taken for granted, not some sort of concession to be offered as if we were indeed another nation.

Too often, the victories we have won have proved to be ephemeral or incomplete, and our full acceptance as Americans has once again been denied. We have learned to trust only those who will stand with us against the worst storms, who have proved themselves to be our friends not out of electoral expediency but through our shared belief in the best principles of this country and our common humanity.

The polls suggest, we are told, that Mr. Trump has made some small inroads in our vote, that a higher percentage of young Black men will vote for him in 2020 than did in 2016. I have difficulty crediting this. But if it is so, I would urge my brothers to listen better. Not just to the false promises Mr. Trump makes to us, but also at what he says when he is “alone in the room” with his white supporters, promising them at his rallies that if he is re-elected, people of color will not invade their “beautiful suburbs” from our “disgusting cities.”

Mr. Trump is too late. We are everywhere in America. We are in the bone and the blood and the root of the country. We are not going anywhere, certainly not to some fantasy of a new “separate but equal” segregation, we in “our” cities, white people in “their” suburbs.

Perhaps the president is confused by how the Rev. Dr. King Martin Luther King Jr., in his greatest speech, referred to the words of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as a “promissory note to which every American is to fall heir.” Perhaps that gave Mr. Trump the idea that this was all about money. Surely, money — the household stake, the money with which to buy a home, secure a good education, start a family — was a vital goal of the movement then, just as the need for Black people to be made whole, after all the years of slavery and Jim Crow, is still a pressing need today.

But I was there with Dr. King that day, over a half-century ago, in the shadow of Lincoln’s statue, and what he spoke of was “the riches of freedom and the security of justice.” He quoted the most fundamental promise of the Declaration, that all of us have “certain unalienable Rights” — among them “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It seems strange that we must still agitate for these basic rights, or that Mr. Trump thinks he is being magnanimous when he offers them to us again as last-minute campaign promises — so long as we stay in our place. In the past, we have turned the wheel in great bursts of energy and faith, and in between, when we stood exhausted and bloodied, there was some sliding back. That is always how it is in a democracy and a people’s movement, but now is the time to move forward again.

Four years ago, faced with the prospect of a Trump presidency, I wrote that what old men know is how quickly things can change. Well, I am still old but I am also still here, at 93, and for all the bitter lessons we have learned from Mr. Trump’s term in office, I can tell you that the wheel is turning again. That we have never had so many white allies, willing to stand together for freedom, for honor, for a justice that will free us all in the end, even those who are now most fearful and seething with denial.

We have learned exactly how much we had to lose — a lesson that has been inflicted upon Black people again and again in our history — and we will not be bought off by the empty promises of the flimflam man.

What kind of animals have we become?

Every day in this country we see examples in the news of people who seem to be without values, lacking integrity, and we ask ourselves, “What is wrong with the people of this country???” Today, Larry asks that question in response to two truly jaw-dropping events in the past week. Are we becoming a nation of fools who have no values whatsoever? Thank you, Larry, for expressing what I think the majority of people are thinking … SIGH.

Something I Missed …

I wrote about Tuesday night’s debate yesterday afternoon, and I don’t want to seem to be beleaguering the topic, but there was something I missed … something crucial, I think.  Due to having only about 10% of my hearing, I rely heavily on closed-captioning, but in live events such as the debates, the captioning is by necessity a few seconds behind and sometimes more.  This is why I rarely watch such events.  I thought I picked up on the key parts of the debate, but I missed the part where Trump said, “Proud boys, stand back and stand by.”  This morning, it was quickly brought to my attention, and even republicans are condemning Trump for this blatantly racist call for potential violence.

I would like to share with you this morning, Nicholas Kristof’s take on the implications of Trump’s statement, as well as a couple other observations.  Please take a few moments to read … I think this is very important.


Trump Calls on Extremists to ‘Stand By’

Instead of condemning violent groups, the president marshals them.

nicholas-kristof-thumblargeBy Nicholas Kristof

Opinion Columnist

President Trump didn’t hurt Joe Biden in Tuesday’s debate, but he badly damaged our country.

Trump harmed the United States in three ways, reminding us that the biggest threat to America comes not from desperate migrants, not from “socialists” seeking universal health care and not from “anarchists” in the streets — but from the White House itself.

The first way in which Trump damaged the country was in his salute to violent extremists.

“Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists?” Chris Wallace, the Fox News anchor who moderated the debate, asked Trump. Trump initially dodged the question but finally asked petulantly, “Who do you want me to condemn?”

Biden suggested the Proud Boys, a militant group that is fervently pro-Trump.

“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump declared.

Stand by?

The Proud Boys, founded in 2016, are part of what the Southern Poverty Law Center calls “a fascistic right-wing political bloc.” The Anti-Defamation League compares it to a gang. The Proud Boys’ founder once said, “I cannot recommend violence enough,” and its members have brandished guns, committed criminal assaults and engaged in rioting. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram have banned Proud Boys.

While the Proud Boys deny that they are white nationalists and the founder is suing the Southern Poverty Law Center for its descriptions of them, the group’s members identify as “Western chauvinist” and assert that “white men are not the problem.” They have longstanding links to racism, and a Proud Boy (since expelled) apparently was the organizer of the 2017 Charlottesville rally that drew neo-Nazis. An anti-Semitic podcast once estimated that if Proud Boys were pressed, “90 percent of them would tell you something along the lines of ‘Hitler was right. Gas the Jews.’”

The Proud Boys responded enthusiastically to Trump’s comments at Tuesday’s debate, celebrating them as “historic” and boasting that they were already bringing in new members.

“That’s my president,” declared the Proud Boys’ leader, Enrique Tarrio, adding, “Standing by, sir.” Some added “stand by” to the group’s logo.

After addressing the Proud Boys on Tuesday night, Trump added: “Somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left, because this is not a right-wing problem … this is a left-wing problem.”

Look, violence is a right-wing problem and a left-wing problem. A careful study by the Center for Strategic & International Studies concluded that “right-wing extremists perpetrated two-thirds of the attacks and plots in the United States in 2019.”

Biden quite properly has deplored leftist violence, but to me the biggest take away from the debate was that the president of the United States refused to condemn white supremacists and instead called on modern brownshirts to “stand by.” Under intense pressure on Wednesday, Trump claimed that he did not know who the Proud Boys were and urged them to “stand down”; disavowals of extremism never seem quite so sincere when they’re made only after public outrage.

The second way in which Trump damaged our country was by seeding further doubts about the election. He served as a mouthpiece for Russian-style propaganda about the illegitimacy of American democracy and laid the groundwork for postelection upheaval and violence. Here’s what Trump said:

“As far as the ballots are concerned, it’s a disaster …. This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen …. It’s a rigged election.”

I’ve seen postelection violence explode abroad like a volcanic eruption. In 2008 in Kenya, covering such violence, I met a man whose wife and children had been burned to death and a 16-year-old boy who had been tortured with a machete. A dazed woman arrived at the bus station with the head of her husband, decapitated by a mob; after a similar ordeal, a man showed up with his severed penis in a sock. All this had been unimaginable until an election dispute polarized society and unleashed enraged mobs on rival groups.

Americans should stand together to disavow Trump’s words and ensure we don’t ever go a step down that road.

Ominously, Trump said: “I’m urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully, because that’s what has to happen. I am urging them to do it.”

Trump refused to elaborate on what he meant. Was he calling on supporters to act as legal poll watchers? To disrupt voting? To engage in street violence? He was artfully ambiguous — but he managed both to undermine election integrity and increase the risk of mayhem.

That leads to the third way in which Trump wounded our nation: He made our country a laughingstock around the world. Trump claimed in 2016 that he would make Americans respected around the globe — but instead, we are pitied.

A Nigerian friend emailed me after the debate: “I regret to say that this is the most disgraceful public display by a leader of a developed country I have seen …. And this from the United States of Roosevelt, Kennedy, Reagan …? Good God. Sorry, Nick.”

If Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and Al Qaeda worked together, I don’t know that they could damage the United States as deeply — unraveling our social fabric, destroying our norms, devastating our global image — as Trump has. And we still have two more presidential debates.

The Violence Must Stop

Our friend Jeff has written a thoughtful post about the violence happening in Kenosha (and other places) Violence that is largely a result of Donald Trump pouring fuel on a smoldering fire. There is so much anger in this nation, that I don’t know how we stop the violence, but it plays right into Trump’s rhetoric, and if it isn’t stopped, it may be the thing that turns the upcoming election in Trump’s favour. Thank you, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

I’m fearful of November 3, 2020. The polls are starting to tighten, as expected. And they’re going to tighten even more. While things still look good for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, what’s unfolding on America’s streets as we speak, cannot continue.

Folks, it’s playing right into the current president’s playbook. He has no desire to bring this country together. The violence over the past 48 hours in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after another senseless shooting of an unarmed black man, threatens to hand this election again to the most dangerous president in American history. We cannot let that happen.

The violence has to stop. And while I wish I had a bigger platform to shout from, I’m going to say it as loud as I can. The looting, arson, assaults, and overall anarchy and mayhem are playing across American television screens and social media 24/7. And the current president is exploiting…

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It’s Time To End The Civil War …

Among my favourite columnists is Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post … he always seems able to cut through the detritus and get to the heart of the matter, to make sense out of chaos.  His column yesterday is no exception and I thought very worthy of being shared here.  I also highly recommend you check out his link to the 1619 Project, an ongoing project developed by The New York Times Magazine in 2019 with the goal of re-examining the legacy of slavery in the United States and timed for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia.


Trump might go down in history as the last president of the Confederacy

Eugene-RobinsonBy Eugene Robinson 

Columnist

June 11, 2020 at 4:27 p.m. EDT

It should have happened 155 years ago, when Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, but maybe — just maybe — the Civil War is finally coming to an end. And perhaps Donald Trump, not Jefferson Davis, will go down in history as the last president of the Confederacy.

Symbols like flags and monuments matter, because what they symbolize is our vision of ourselves as a nation: the heroes, battles, movements, sacrifices and ideals we honor. So when I see multiracial crowds toppling the statues of Confederate soldiers and politicians, when I see respected military leaders arguing that Army posts should no longer bear the names of Confederate generals, when I see NASCAR banning displays of the Confederate battle flag at its races — witnessing all of this, I let hope triumph over experience and allow myself to imagine that this may indeed be a transformational moment.

Like the Civil War itself, “Lost Cause” symbology is simply and entirely about white supremacy. It has nothing to do with “heritage” or “tradition” or any such gauzy nonsense. The heavily armed “liberate Michigan” mob that invaded the statehouse in Lansing, egged on by President Trump, had no historical reason to be waving the Confederate flag. That banner represents the knee that has been kept on the necks of African Americans not just for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the time Derek Chauvin spent crushing the life out of George Floyd, but for 401 years

Lee’s surrender ended nothing, because the nation did not even begin to grapple with white supremacy. Reconstruction was strangled in its infancy; true racial reconciliation was never even attempted. The statue of Davis in Richmond, brought down by protesters Wednesday night, was not erected until 1907. Like almost all of the Lost Cause monuments, it was built during the revanchist era, when Southern whites were celebrating their reestablished dominance over African Americans via repressive Jim Crow laws and the terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan.

Many recall that the Confederate flag at the South Carolina statehouse was taken down in 2015 following the massacre of nine African American worshipers by a white supremacist at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston. Few realize that the racist flag had been installed at the statehouse not in 1861 but a century later, in 1961, when black South Carolinians like my parents were agitating for the right to vote.

The killing of Floyd has provoked a national moment of reckoning with police violence and white supremacy. But the position of the Trump administration is that systemic racism does not even exist — that our unexamined and unaddressed racial problems all come down to a few “bad apples” here and there.

Perhaps in an attempt to gain political advantage — and perhaps, as much evidence suggests, because it’s what he truly believes — Trump has used this moment to side with Lost Cause white supremacy. His all-caps tweets for “LAW & ORDER” sound like George Wallace when he was governor of Alabama; his demand for a militarized response to the protests reminds me of Bull Connor, the Birmingham commissioner of public safety who attacked nonviolent civil rights protesters with water hoses and vicious dogs.

When it was reported that high-ranking Army officials are open to stripping the names of Confederate generals from military posts such as Fort Bragg, Fort Benning and Fort Hood, Trump reacted instantly. He tweeted Wednesday that he “will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.”

Trump claimed, ridiculously, that the names are somehow part of the nation’s “history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom.” He may be historically ignorant enough not to know that the generals in question were traitors as famous for the battles they lost as for any of their triumphs; that ultimate victory went to the Union, not the Confederacy; and that the whole point of the rebellion was to deny freedom to African Americans. Or he may know these facts but believe his political base doesn’t.

Just hours later, however, NASCAR banned the Confederate flag. If there is one sporting venue that Trump might think of as a safe space, it would be a NASCAR race — until now. Heck, I might even go watch a race when the pandemic ends.

Trump must be bewildered. Unsubtle appeals to racial animus (remember his “birther” lies) have always worked for him in the past, but now he seems to be flailing. If it turns out that the Lost Cause is finally, truly lost, then so is the president who made himself its champion.

What is White Privilege?

Jeff’s post needs no introduction from me — it speaks for itself. Thank you, Jeff.

On The Fence Voters

I’d like to share something with all of you. I’m not on Facebook, nor do I like Facebook. I think the platform is intrusive and, quite frankly, a danger to America in many ways, especially now, with the complicit Mark Zuckerberg refusing to fact check any political ads, regardless of whether they are outright lies. That’s a story for another day.

But while I’m not a participant on the platform, my wife is, and she shared a post with me that’s been getting a lot of attention. It’s very subtle and understated, but it shows the sheer volume of young black men and women who’ve lost their lives in recent years. For, quite simply, being a person of color in America and engaging in activities that many of us could never imagine might jeopardize our lives.

I do not have that problem. I’m white and have never once been stopped…

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Message to the Right: Racism is Alive and Well in America

I realize I have covered this topic already in the last day, but our friend Jeff has written such a thoughtful post, expressing himself far better than I could, that I simply had to share it. Thank you, Jeff.

On The Fence Voters

When it comes to race in this country, I sometimes hesitate to weigh in. After all, I’m a 58-year-old white male. What gives me the right to comment on the plight of African-Americans and other people of color when I haven’t experienced the kind of institutional racism they have?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t say anything, though. The rage I feel inside is real. It’s called empathy, the last time I checked. It’s putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, or at least an ability to think in that manner.

When I see a white cop with his knee on the neck of a black man screaming, “I can’t breathe!” my first instinct is to say to the white policeman, “take your goddamn knee off his neck, you’re killing him!” If that were me suffering the same fate, I’d like to think most would mouth those very same words.

It…

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A change will come

Just after I put my post about racism in the U.S. on the schedule, I saw this post by my friend Brosephus. In this post, he addresses some of the same issues I did, only from a much more up-close-and-personal view. With his permission, I am re-blogging this and hope you will take a couple of minutes to read it … his words are so very important. Thank you, Brosephus, for sharing these thoughts and words.

The Mind of Brosephus

I’m tired of seeing, hearing, and writing about unjustified police actions on the people they’ve sworn to protect and serve. It’s a never ending loop of agony and despair. I look at my family, my friends, and my coworkers and wonder when will this cycle stop? We’ve been in this loop since before the Emancipation Proclamation, and it’s time for a change in approach.

I’ve told people over the last year or so that we’re barreling towards a date with violence in America. Look at the response to the killing of George Floyd. No, rioting and looting is not the way to address his killing. However, I understand the frustration being uncorked because the residents of Minneapolis have been protesting police brutality there for a while. It’s the same all across America.

When you ignore, downplay, or dismiss peaceful protest, the end result is violence. Colin Kaepernick ended his NFL…

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A Few Mini-Rants

I am past snarky and into full-blown ranting today.  You may want to cover your ears for this one.


NO NO NO NO NO!

I read this morning that Trump’s re-election campaign plans to fly this atrocity …Trump-blimp… over swing states between May and July of this year.  I do not need to step outside and see that piece of crap flying over my house!  I momentarily considered whether it would be possible for me to buy a rocket-launcher to shoot the bloody thing out of the air, but I despise all types of firearms, and there would be people aboard, so I won’t do that.  I do hope, however, it gets grounded by the FAA or sabotaged so that it never makes it off the ground.  This is certainly an affront to humanity!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


So much ignorance …

Don Trump Junior, aka Junior, is truly a chip off the ol’ block.  As ignorant and crude as his father, he seems to feel a need to prove his ignorance on a near-daily basis.  Last week, in an interview aired on Fox News, Junior made this claim about democratic members of Congress …

“For them to try to take a pandemic and seemingly hope that it comes here and kills millions of people so that they could end Donald Trump’s streak of winning is a new level of sickness.”

Say WHAT???

Nobody in their right mind … oh wait, it’s a Trump we’re talking about … forget the ‘right mind’ part.  But, even Mike Pence showed his extreme ignorance yesterday morning when, on CNN’s State of the Union program, Jake Tapper asked Pence …

“Can we agree that neither Democrats nor Republicans want Americans to get coronavirus and die from it? I mean, that does seem like very extreme rhetoric.”

But nooooo … Pence responded that Junior’s point was “understandable” in light of the criticism that has been directed at Trump’s handling of the coronavirus.  Pence said that now is not the time for politics …

“Responding to the kind of things that have been hurled is understandable, but what the president has charged us to do…is to set the politics aside on this and to work the problem.”

Say WHAT???Trump-scientistHe’s right that this is not the time for political gamesmanship, but WHO THE SAM HELL STARTED IT???  Trump.  It was Trump who claimed the whole thing was a hoax to “bring him down”.  There is so damn much ignorance in the Trump family and their cohorts that it’s mind-boggling.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


More about the anti-Greta …

I mentioned a few days ago that the GOP has found their very own teen climate denier, Naomi Seibt.  While Greta is fighting to wake us up to what is being done to our environment, Ms. Seibt is an extreme climate denier.  She spoke at the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) on Friday, where she said …

“Today climate change science really is not science at all. The goal is to shame humanity. Climate change alarmism at its very core is a despicably anti-human ideology and we are told to look down at our achievements with guilt, with shame and disgust, and not even to take into account the many major benefits we have achieved by using fossil fuels as our main energy source.”

Seriously???  Who coached this kid?

But wait … there’s more to love hate.  She’s also an apparent white supremacist at heart.  In a variety of YouTube videos and interviews, she has expressed support for Canadian alt-right internet activist Stefan Molyneux, a “cult leader who amplifies scientific racism, eugenics and white supremacism”, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).  Molyneux has made such statements as …

“I am an empiricist, and I could not help but notice that I could have peaceful, free, easy, civilized and safe discussions in what is, essentially, an all-white country.”

When asked at CPAC whether she still supports Molyneux, she replied that he was her ‘inspiration’.

This 19-year-old actress is no Greta Thunberg, is never going to make the cover of Time Magazine as Ms. Thunberg did, and I hope will never be taken seriously.  This, in my book, is exploitation, pure and simple.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


Let’s end on a more uplifting note.  A couple of weeks ago, David sent me this video of a couple of people who have a great deal of good sense:  Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot … take a look …

Why Do We Need Bigotry?

A couple of news items crossed my path yesterday that had a common theme … bigotry.  Bigotry takes many forms – misogyny, racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, Islamophobia and more – all of it ugly.  The human species is the only one on earth that has this superiority complex, and I’ve yet to understand why.


A ‘big’ march …

Back in 2013, after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the murder of a young, unarmed black man named Trayvon Martin, a new movement came into existence:  Black Lives Matter.  In the years following, there were far too many incidences of police killing unarmed black people with little or no provocation, and the words, Black Lives Matter, sometimes shortened to BLM, became even more relevant as we came to realize that the U.S. is still very much a racist nation.

But then, some portion of the Caucasian population took umbrage at the phrase and started their own counter-movement, ‘All Lives Matter’.  They questioned why black lives mattered more than white, for they lacked understanding.  Nobody was saying that black lives mattered “more”, just that they mattered “too”.  It was a statement of equality … a life is a life, whether the person’s skin is black, white, or green.  Since the beginning of this nation, people of colour have been looked down on by society, and the time is past for us to stop that!  That is what Black Lives Matter is about … equality.

But, it isn’t only black people who are discriminated against in this country.  Jews, Muslims, Hispanics … and one of the most misunderstood groups, LGBTQ people.

Back in 1970, on June 28th in New York City, there occurred what would become known as the first “Gay Pride” march, to mark the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.  This was the birth of the Gay Pride movement … pride as opposed to shame or social stigma.  Like the Black Lives Matter movement that would come later, it was about equality.  But, just as with Black Lives Matter, bigots misunderstood the meaning.

In response to Gay Pride, or LGBT Pride, a relatively small group of people recently formed what they call “Straight Pride”.  But that “Straight Pride” movement is not about equality … not in the least.  It is a highly discriminatory movement, an anti-LGBT movement that seeks to harm.  Fortunately, the movement has not gained much momentum and doesn’t appear to be taken seriously by very many.

Last Saturday, a group calling themselves the ‘Super Happy Fun Group’, planned a ‘Straight Pride’ march in Dallas, Texas.  The group told their followers they were going to make a “mighty impact on Dallas” by marching through downtown on Saturday, “spreading the joys of straight pride” to all who would hear.  Dallas police took the threat seriously and had a dozen uniformed and plainclothes officers on hand to protect the demonstrators from counter-protesters.  The local paper, the Dallas Observer, sent a reporter to cover the event.

The turnout?  Three people showed up to march in the ‘big parade’.Dallas-straight-pridePerhaps there is hope for this nation after all?  Perhaps some people are getting tired of the hate and bigotry that is tearing this nation into bits?  Is it too much to hope for?  Yeah, probably.


A change of heart? 

I’ve mentioned before my aversion to certain businesses that engage in discriminatory practices, such as Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A.  Of late, Chick-Fil-A has come under heavy criticism for their anti-LGBT practices, including making large donations to anti-LGBT groups.  When Popeye’s came out with their chicken sandwich that is considered to be comparable to Chick’Fil-A’s famous chicken sandwich, Chick-Fil-A apparently began losing a significant amount of business.

Chick-fil-A announced Monday that it would no longer be making charitable donations to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army—two organizations with decidedly anti-LGBTQ stances.  However, in years past Chick-fil-A had claimed to have distanced itself from the anti-LGBTQ cause, but its tax returns told a different story.

Time will tell if the company has truly changed its stance.  I have my doubts.


Y’know, friends … we wouldn’t need Black Lives Matter or LGBT Pride movements if people just treated everyone with kindness, regardless of their skin colour, religion, gender preferences.  The world is a big, sometimes scary place, and life is hard sometimes for most all of us.  We’re all in this together, folks … why are there always some people who judge others based on the colour of their skin or other superficial criteria?  Isn’t there enough hate in this world without adding to it senselessly?  There is no room for this clannish, tribal mentality in today’s world.  Women’s rights, civil rights, gay rights … those should not have to be fought for, they should be the natural order of things.  Sigh.