Black Lives Matter has a solid case against the police. (And I’m not even limiting that to Toronto.) Black Lives Matter Toronto is, however, full of shit on a few issues.
“Pride is political”
This motherhood statement cannot be take seriously on its face. Its sole use is to retroactively endorse any disruption of what is actually gay and lesbian pride by groups that extreme-left progressives agree with.
When Black Lives Matter was nominated Pride Toronto’s honoured group, there was a credible argument against it. Objecting to Black Lives Matter’s honoured-group status is not “racist”; it’s political dissent. The argument against the designation is simple: Black Lives Matter is not agitating for gay and lesbian interests. It isn’t even agitating for “queer and trans” interests. The best Black Lives Matter Toronto can come up with is a claim it is led by “queer and trans” people.
Well, so is Apple. By that logic, everyone who works for Tim Cook is engaging in a political act.
Again: If LGBTory or the Toronto Police gay and lesbian police group stopped the show and issued a list of demands, the same progressives who insist “Pride is political!” would fall all over themselves to call those groups fascists and denounce their existence. Actually, they already do that.
Further, what we now know as gay pride directly came into being after the 1981 bathhouse raids. (Yes, there were Gay Days on the Toronto Islands before that.) And the political struggle there involve the police against gay men. That’s why it’s gay pride, not black pride. If you’re black and gay, fine, but if you’re going to show up to the Pride parade, please try to stay on topic. (See intersectionality analysis below.)
What are the objectives of Pride Toronto?
Pride Toronto’s letters patent (1995.11.30) state that its objects are “staging in the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto an annual celebration and informational, educational and cultural festival by and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgenderal people of their sexual and gender orientation and identities, and their histories, cultures, communities, organizations, relationships, achievements and lives.” It says nothing about politics or race.
If you want Pride to be something else, fine. It already is something else. But blurting out “Pride is political!” in the Black Lives Matter context is rightly interpreted as justifying BLM’s tantrums.
When a progressive says “Pride is political,” some people react the way Black Lives Matter reacts when one says “All lives matter.”
Janaya Khan to CP24: “I think we need to look at the fact that there was never a community consensus on the involvement of the police to begin with.” And there’s never going to be a consensus, because:
Black Lives Matter will never completely concede its demands about police participation in Pride. I doubt they’ll concede to any degree. The cops aren’t going to concede either. Others in “the community” may disagree with either or both positions. That blows consensus out of the water right there.
Pride Toronto is not the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival and does not operate on consensus. It is not a lesbian potluck in 1970s upstate Vermont. Pride Toronto has a board of directors – and an executive director who, history has proven, can cause a lot of damage. (The last three certainly have.) While Pride Toronto carefully hides its bylaws (I even asked for a copy and didn’t get one), board resolutions can be passed by majority vote, I assume. Votes in opposition can be expected and are part of the process. Oppositional voices preclude consensus.
When Black Lives Matter says there was no consensus about cops in Pride, they’re unwittingly reiterating an Internet trope: They weren’t “consulted.” But in their case, what they also mean is they didn’t get a veto. Indeed they did not, and won’t.
Preventing cops from appearing in their uniforms is a complete non-starter, and Black Lives Matter knows it.
Pride Toronto is an organization that spent years going to the mat over and over again to protect the most hateful “queer” group the city has ever known (that would be QuAIA) and its putative right, first of all, to appear in Pride parades and marches but also to render the phrase “Israeli apartheid” at will. BLM surely has not forgotten that this is the issue that begat the Pride Coalition for Free Speech.
Clothing is a form of expression. Police uniforms are not seriously different from drag; Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps or Muddy York uniforms; or dudes in pup hoods. It’s also not much different from (near‑)total nudity, the right to which TNT Men also went to the mat to protect.
You couldn’t ban a cop uniform any more than you could ban kente cloth. Give that a shot and see what happens.
Cop cars are not floats in Pride Toronto’s definition. Ban cop floats and cop cars can still drive down Yonge St. as before.
“Santa Claus Parade”
A useful idiot at the press conference (2016.07.07) asked if Black Lives Matter will protest the Santa Claus Parade. This sort of toothless journalistic evasion is the norm, and you see it in cases like asking Scott Thompson if Buddy Cole was inspired by Milton Berle, or Martin Bashir asking Michael Jackson why he was transforming himself into a white “man.”
It also gave the progressive press’s most useful idiot, Goldsbie, cover to write:
Why won’t Black Lives Matter protest the Santa Claus Parade?
Because it’s a fucking stupid question.
Yeah, it is. But this one isn’t: Why won’t Black Lives Matter protest Caribana?
If “queer and trans” is indivisible from blackness,
it’s indivisible in all directions
Dennis Miller used to joke that David Spade could say hi to you and remind you he was on Saturday Night Live between the “H” and the “I.”
A “queer and trans” black activist will remind you of the intersectionality and indivisibility of zir queer and trans black identity before you even shake zir hand.
But if those identities are unitary and indivisible, they’re indivisible in all directions. That means if you show up at a “queer and trans” event to protest anti-blackness, you have to show up at a black event to protest homophobia (“and transphobia”). I’m talking about the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, which everyone still calls Caribana. (Just like everyone still calls it Gay Pride, even though gays are the undeclared enemy.)
“Queer and trans” black activists will react nearly with violence if you suggest that blacks are homophobic, or that any black person has ever been homophobic even once. (White homophobia is always worse.) That’s their cover story for the indefensible hypocrisy of protesting Gay Pride, where they were honoured guests, but not protesting “their own” Caribbean march.
(I asked the Carnival’s publicist if Black Lives Matter is a registered participant or if the Carnival had gotten any inkling that BLM would show up. No response.)
It is a complete joke to complain that Pride Toronto is suffused with “anti-blackness.”
These are the most uptight politically correct extremists in town. Like all downtown progressives, they believe racism is mankind’s gravest ill. All oppressions, especially transphobia, are manifestations of racism in another guise. (Misgender a tranny and they call you racist.) Pride Toronto is so committed to “anti-oppression” that it posts a statement to that effect at its venues (transcription).
Really, these people are the most alert to racism you could ever expect, and they find it even when it isn’t there. Then again, so does Black Lives Matter Toronto.
White boardmembers allegedly are suffused with white guilt and self-hatred, not anti-blackness. And anyway, two boardmembers are black (Alica Hall [or, as she is consistently misnamed in the press, “Alicia”] and Biko Beauttah). Previous boardmembers have been nonwhite.
Anyone can join Pride Toronto. The easiest way is to pay ten bucks. (But even if you do that, they can just refuse to accept your membership. I speak from experience.) Even after years of complaints about the intricacies, there remains a hugely complex flowchart of volunteer labour you can put in if you want to become a member without paying. Black, South Asian, and indigenous persons, and indeed anyone who signs Pride’s loyalty oath, can become a member.
And once you do that, you can run for the board. Pride uses single transferable voting in board elections, not a first-past-the-post system. That means its elections are unassailable. Nothing, at all, ever prevented Black Lives Matter activists, or any nonwhite person, or any bloc of nonwhite persons, from running for office, winning, and taking over the joint from the inside.
In fact, Black Lives Matter’s refusal to do so, and its complaints about “conversations” with Pride having gone nowhere, indicates to me it insists on doing things it knows won’t work. That way it can later position itself as having had “no choice” – an actual term shouted through a megaphone on Pride Day – but to set off smoke bombs and hijack the Pride parade.
By choosing known-ineffective actions, Black Lives Matter Toronto manufactured a pretext for its later extreme actions.
And anyway, if Pride is riven with “anti-blackness,” note that exactly the same cadre of doctrinaire ultra-leftists has been running the place for 30 years. You could basically swap out boardmembers at will from any era between then and now and not notice a difference. The left has run this place for a generation, and if Pride Toronto has systemic failings, it’s the left’s fault. (Who else’s fault might it be?)
π“The cops never apologized for the Pussy Palace raid”
Oh, but they did – and then some.
Posted: 2016.07.13 ¶ Updated: 2016.08.09