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June 28, 2009

Sometimes Violence Is the Answer
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 09:13 AM *

Today is the fortieth anniversary of the raid on the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in New York City.

At 1:20 on the morning of Saturday, June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a standard tactic at the time against gay bars. This time, instead of lining up quietly and showing ID (with men in drag and women who weren’t wearing at least three pieces of feminine apparel being arrested, for in those days cross-dressing was illegal), the patrons of the bar refused; a crowd gathered, turned violent, and the police had to be rescued by their Tactical Police Force.

Rioting continued for several days.

One year later, on 28 June 1970, America’s first Gay Pride march took place. Within two years there were open gay rights groups in pretty-much every major city.

In December 1973, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the DSM.

Ten years before the Stonewall Riots, homosexual acts, even between consenting adults in private homes, were illegal in forty-nine states and the District of Columbia. (It became fifty states when Hawaii joined the Union in August of ‘59, back down to forty-nine when Illinois decriminalized sodomy in ‘61.) In those days homosexuals could be imprisoned for life in mental institutions. In seven states they could be castrated.

Now, things are different.

Comments on Sometimes Violence Is the Answer:
#1 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 10:07 AM:

There is a time to be pacifist and there is a time to stand up against hatred.

To all those who suffered in silence, who fought back at Stonewall Inn, who marched in parades and got elected to public office, to everyone who began in some way - no matter how small it may have seemed then - I remain grateful, proud, and openly lesbian.

#2 ::: will shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 10:41 AM:

Very different: Seventy-five percent of Americans in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll said gay people who are open about their sexual orientation should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military.

But I must note that Martin Luther King and Gandhi and a few other folks managed to be pacifists and stand up against hatred at the same time.

#3 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 10:41 AM:

There is a time when you have to fight.

#4 ::: will shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 10:53 AM:

A friend made an interesting point recently: the gay movement wasn't embraced by Democrats or Republicans: gays and their friends had to do it themselves. As a result, liberal gays are baffled by Log Cabin Republicans, yet Dick Cheney is in favor of gay marriage and Barack Obama, despite the public's support, won't even end "don't ask, don't tell."

#5 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 11:20 AM:

Thankfully different!

#6 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 11:28 AM:

MLK and Gandhi had a big advantage in numbers over the Stonewall rioters. I can't think of anything analogous to the bus boycott that gay New Yorkers could have done.


How did the level of public support compare? That is, there were a lot of whites (especially in the north) who were in favor of civil rights for blacks, but not to the extent of actually doing anything about it. Was there similar breadth of apathetic support for gay rights in 1973, at least for not arresting people (if not actually for, you know, civil rights)?

#7 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 11:42 AM:

I don't think the Log Cabin Republicans can claim credit for Dick Cheney supporting same sex marriage. (I'm not saying they have, BTW. It's just the juxtaposition of clauses in #4 kind of implies they deserve credit. I mean, if the Log Cabin Republicans are utterly ineffectual, then they are baffling regardless of whether Dick Cheney supports same sex marriage or not.) I think Dick Cheney's daughter may have much more to do with his support.

Surely, there must a gay relative somewhere in Obama's family tree?

#8 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 12:26 PM:

It was long thought that pictures of the event didn't exist. But then these showed up in The New York Times

#9 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 12:40 PM:

Can we loose the myth that Cheney "supports" same sex marriage? All he's said is that he's in favor of states that vote to allow it to have it, not that he's in favor of it being a federally recognized right like Loving V. Virginia did for mixed race marriages. Obama is at the same level of "support" for same sex marriage that Cheney is.

"And I think that's the way it ought to be handled today, that is, on a state-by-state basis. Different states will make different decisions. But I don't have any problem with that. I think people ought to get a shot at that," he said.

Not exactly equality, is it?

#10 ::: will shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 01:23 PM:

John Chu, I just meant those as snapshots of the situation. Didn't mean to imply causation.

Josh Jasper, Cheney said, "I think, you know, freedom means freedom for everyone. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish." Has Obama said anything comparable?

#11 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 01:36 PM:

The initial Stonewall Riot was pretty much self-defense; the patrons of the bar declined to be arrested on unjust charges. Once the police holed up in the bar, however, someone smashed the window, squirted lighter fluid around, and tossed in a lit match.

The time to engage in violence is when you've been subjected to it by your oppressors for a long time, and when they have come to regard you as safe and easy victims who will never fight back.

My gay ancestors (in a spiritual sense) were considered a way for the corrupt (as always) NYPD to make its arrest quota without taking the risk of hunting actual criminals. They would simply back a paddywagon up to the door of a gay bar and arrest everyone inside. Easy, simple, no gunfire, nobody you have to subdue by force, and if you're angry at your boss or your wife, you can knock them around as you please and no one at all will fault you.

In circumstances like that, violence is the ONLY answer. Corrupt cops won't stop randomly beating you for any reason less than fear that you'll fight back, not if there's literally NO ONE in the police hierarchy who sees any reason you shouldn't be beaten whenever someone likes, which was the situation in 1969. (In fact in the early 70s there was a judge who threw out a murder case while scoffing at the prosecutors and saying "are we prosecuting people for killing faggots now?" Honestly, wasting the court's time on that.)

One thing that should be stressed here, not least because it's starting to be denied by the post-post-Stonewall generation who've never met anyone who remembers what it was like before: It was the drag queens who started it. It was the drag queens who decided not to go quietly, and who tore up the parking meters and pelted the cops with the coins.

Some young asshole on a gay website I haunt proposed dropping the 'T' from 'GLBT' (or 'LGBT' or 'GLBTQ' or whatever), because he didn't understand why the gay/Lesbian/bisexual community should be making common cause with a bunch of trannies (he didn't seem to know the difference between transgendered and transvestite, or care). Several people in that discussion scoffed at the notion that the drag queens (eww, icky drag queens! gay guys should be MASCULINE) started the Stonewall Riot.

I wanted to beat them all with a red sequined pump. But education, not violence, is the correct answer in that case.

BTW, Jim, you don't mention that the raid on the Stonewall Inn took place the evening of Judy Garland's funeral. While the people who were there apparently deny that it was a rallying point of any kind, it may have contributed to the general mood of Enough is Enough.

#12 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 01:41 PM:

And I'd love to ask Obama if he'd feel OK about letting different states make their own rules about interracial marriage.

#13 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 01:47 PM:

Josh #9: I've commented before that Cheney's daughter probably knows where a few skeletons are buried -- in any case, alienating her too badly would have been a bad move for his political career.

As I understand things, the the reason "the gay movement" doesn't have much political swing is that gays don't vote as a bloc -- they tend to vote with whatever other groups (racial, religious, class) they belong to. (Which also explains the existence of the Log Cabin Republicans.)

Thomas #6: I'd (WA)guess that in 1970 and following, they were riding the coattails of the counterculture and "free love" movements.

With respect to the APA ruling, shrinks can be stodgy at times, but they're not oblivious to the culture around them. Also, I suspect that after Stonewall, they started comparing notes about their various experiences with patients....

#14 ::: Lynn ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 01:47 PM:

Not to mention Cheney is paying lip service now that it has no political ramifications for him.

Yet when he was in power/seeking election was more than willing *to hurt his own daughter* to court favor with the evangelicals.

#15 ::: will shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 02:04 PM:

Xopher @11, well said!

Since Gandhi and pacifism has come up, a quote that may apply: “My non-violence does not admit of running away from danger and leaving dear ones unprotected. Between violence and cowardly flight, I can only prefer violence to cowardice."

Lynn, Cheney "came out" in August of 2004: Cheney Sees Gay Marriage as State Issue. He said, "Lynne and I have a gay daughter, so it's an issue that our family is very familiar with. . . . With respect to the question of relationships, my general view is that freedom means freedom for everyone. People . . . ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to."

#16 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 02:07 PM:

Yes. I am not much impressed with people who are against my rights as long as they're in a position for their opinions and actions to be influential, and then start saying maybe it's okay not to discriminate against me once they're no longer actually making, or significantly influencing, those decisions.

It's not just no political ramifications: if Cheney had come out in favor of same-sex marriage in 2006, it still wouldn't have affected his personal chances of reelection, but it might have had some positive influence. If he'd argued for letting gay and bisexual people serve in the military in 2006, it likely would have made a difference. Now, no; it may have given him a more comfortable Father's Day, but that doesn't help us. (I say "us" because these are human rights, and because I'm bisexual, not because I specifically want to serve in the military.)

#17 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 02:10 PM:

Xopher @11:
Some young asshole on a gay website I haunt proposed dropping the 'T' from 'GLBT' (or 'LGBT' or 'GLBTQ' or whatever), because he didn't understand why the gay/Lesbian/bisexual community should be making common cause with a bunch of trannies

Thus do we cross threads with the BNP supporters of color. Sometimes the people marching in the streets for tolerance only want to be themselves tolerated, not Those Other People.

My sister is gay but very much anti-poly. It may be that she's taking this line to get on my mother's nerves (in which case it's working), but it rather trashes her credibility with the wider world.

As you say, education, education, education.

#18 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 02:23 PM:

At the moment the 5th Avenue Cam is all full of the parade. Unfortunately it's looking DOWN 5th Ave, so you see the backs of the marchers, the backs of the signs, the backs of the floats. Sigh.

#19 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 03:13 PM:

Abi @ 17:

Your sister is hardly the only one: there's a definite "we just want to live the same respectable lifestyle you do, monogamy and a home and a white picket fence and all, just with a partner of the same sex" strain within gay politics. And that's both people who really do feel that way, and some who think that it will help them win allies. The idea being that "no, I don't approve of that icky polygamy stuff either" is a politically useful answer to "slippery slope" arguments about same-sex marriage leading to legal multiple marriages. It may even be useful, in some cases. But it sounds like your sister isn't coming at this from the point of view of "nobody/nobody I know/nobody decent would want to marry two people anyhow."

And there certainly are people who have at least some emotional understanding of being gay, lesbian, or bi, but not of wanting more than one partner at the same time (or not of how it can actually work).

#20 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 03:55 PM:

Xopher, all I'm getting on the 5th Avenue webcam is the audio feed.

#21 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 04:00 PM:

Hmm, I'm still getting the video stream. I don't know, Teresa.

#22 ::: David Bilek ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 05:02 PM:

will: But I must note that Martin Luther King and Gandhi and a few other folks managed to be pacifists and stand up against hatred at the same time.

Yes, because they were backed by the credible threat of force from others. King and Gandhi presented those in power with an acceptable alternative. It wasn't "deal with pacifists or keep the status quo" it was "deal with the pacifists or deal with the violent alternative". Malcolm X and militant black groups in the USA or organized and armed nationalist groups in India, groups which had already engaged in a violent military campagin against the British Raj during World War II.

You need the carrot and the stick.

#23 ::: Angiportus ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 06:09 PM:

I don't remember Stonewall, but 3 years later I read Dr. Reuben's preposterous book on sex, and what he had to say about gays was so stupid-sounding that I could not believe it, and thus I became the 1st in the family to favor not just gay rights but gay pride. I was in my mid-teens and didn't say much, but by the same time next year, the stories of gay, feminist and black revolutionaries and movements inspired me to quietly "move" on my own. No longer was I going to feel guilty for being so different inside--more interested in things/ideas than people, and so on. It was a long struggle to get others to accept me, whatever I am, and on some fronts the battle is still going on...but I am grateful for those who inspired me. And yes, there have been times when I wish I had been able to defend myself physically against psychos, some of them in my own family. At least the ones in the family know better now. Sometimes a person can make the pacifism thing work, but when they are all alone that is another story.
I saw a bit of the parade in Seattle, but had not the endurance for all. Anyway now I've got the full set of beads... As for poly, BDSM and so on, I figured a while back that what I myself could not understand, others might and I would let them figure it all out. Just so no one gets hurt, etc.
Happy Pride Fest all!

#24 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 06:23 PM:

It's so seldom that you can identify historical turning points. This one can be pinpointed almost to the minute.

#25 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 06:28 PM:

Some young asshole on a gay website I haunt proposed dropping the 'T' from 'GLBT' (or 'LGBT' or 'GLBTQ' or whatever), because he didn't understand why the gay/Lesbian/bisexual community should be making common cause with a bunch of trannies

...but he's willing to make common cause with us quisling bisexuals? Well, that's some progress, I guess. ::sigh::

(Which reminds me, I should donate to the Massachusetts Trans. Political Coalition now that my friend has scheduled her coming-out ball, at which point her name and pronoun changes will take full social effect (though some of us have switched already). I appreciate the quality of looking-back (to Emily Post-style etiquette) under very forward-looking circumstances.)

Happy Pride, everyone!

#26 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 06:59 PM:

Trust me, Kevin, I encounter guys who think bisexuals are just gay guys who won't come out, or worse.

#27 ::: PixelFish ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 07:13 PM:

Angiportus: You're in Seattle? My bf and I were watching the Seattle parade from Westlake's balcony. (Before we found the balcony, we were down on the ground, and all we could see was an occasional balloon perambulating by over the heads of the other onlookers. Good turnout!)

#28 ::: Laramie Sasseville ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 07:30 PM:

This really brings me back.

Doric Wilson's Street Theater is a play about the Stonewall riots. (I participated in a production of it back in 1984 in Boston - understudy for both female roles.)

"Street Theater is published by TNT Press (Box 1243 Ansonia Station, New York, NY 10023); Street Theater is also included in the Don Shewey edited anthology Out Front (Grove Press), and is available at Drama Bookshop (http://www.dramabookshop.com)." (from Wilson's biography page)

#29 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 09:23 PM:

David Harmon @ 13: "I've commented before that Cheney's daughter probably knows where a few skeletons are buried -- in any case, alienating her too badly would have been a bad move for his political career."

I wouldn't entirely rule out the possibility that he simply loves her and wants her to be happy. There's a fair amount of precedent for conservatives who are doctrinaire on every issue but the one that affects someone they love--the congressman with the autistic grandson who is suddenly in favor of governmental grants to research autism, the cancer survivor who suddenly sees the importance of NIH--IIRC, Nate Silver recently did a study where he showed that politicians with daughters are more likely to support women's rights.

What makes them conservatives is their inability to generalize the case.

#30 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 09:36 PM:

David Bilek @ 22: "Yes, because they were backed by the credible threat of force from others. King and Gandhi presented those in power with an acceptable alternative."

That's very smart.

#32 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 09:39 PM:

I find myself a little surprised at the title and the comments supporting it. Somehow I have some trouble with a little vandalism being called "violence"; there were no barricades, no one killed (and no cops even seriously injured), and AFAICT everyone in the initial sweep did in fact end up in jail that night. (There was certainly none of the threat referred to above, where King could say/imply "It's me or X.") From the various radio interviews today (and accepting some fraction of the Wikipedia headline), the main difference was that within a few months there was a visible movement. This in itself was significant, because there were a lot of gays who came out of the closet, showing up all of the bullshit about gays being (e.g.) -"incapable of normal emotions"-; people could filter all their perceptions of blacks based on immediate identification, where knowing someone and \then/ finding out they were gay can rearrange perceptual sets.

#33 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 09:40 PM:

Heresiarch: I first heard the "joke" about the three Republican reasons to allow abortion sometime in the '80s--to wit, "rape, incest, and my wife or daughter."

#34 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 09:42 PM:

I'm straight.

I don't understand the urge to same-sex congress. Nor the various poly arrangements (if nothing else because I have enough trouble keeping an even keel with just one partner) But my attitude is "so what? Leave 'em alone and stop trying to f**k these people over"

Now, I cannot reliably say that that sympathetic attitude is based on "liberal tolerance," "Christian charity" or the fact that I have LGBT friends and associates, but my attitude is there, nonetheless.

I also think that the rights should be guaranteed at the *federal* level, rather than the state, because it just devolves down to a bigoted separate and unequal treatment.

I really want to see the current business-centric US Supreme Court majority have their little heads start to unscrew when they try to reconcile the settled law that treats marriage as a contract between two parties, and the need to view those contracts under the Full Faith and Credit clause. Which is already part of settled law, because "straight" marriages are already considered as valid contracts in all states.

#35 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 09:49 PM:

Xopher @26: Oh good, my faith in humanity is returned to its previous low levels. </sarcasm>

There's always another prejudice, isn't there, cf. upthread about poly. (As Teresa says, "Folly is fractal -- the closer you look at it, the more of it there is.") There's always another Other. I keep wondering if we're ever going to escape that cycle...

#36 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 09:54 PM:

Xopher at #11 writes:

> One thing that should be stressed here, not least because it's starting to be denied by the post-post-Stonewall generation who've never met anyone who remembers what it was like before: It was the drag queens who started it. It was the drag queens who decided not to go quietly, and who tore up the parking meters and pelted the cops with the coins.

That makes perfect sense to me - it's the drag queens who are already comitted to being conspicuously visibly beat-up-ably different, and that takes courage - even if it's not necessarily an aggressive sort of courage.

> Some young asshole on a gay website I haunt proposed dropping the 'T' from 'GLBT'

Is this the right or the wrong time to admit that whenever I see "GBLT" my mind translates it as "Gay, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato"? What can I say? I'm not an American and I get my Americanisms mixed up.

#37 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 10:28 PM:

TexAnne @ 33: Ha! That's it in a nutshell.

Kevin Riggle @ 35: "There's always another Other. I keep wondering if we're ever going to escape that cycle..."

There is, I think: learn to be okay with Others being other. Stop thinking about the way you do it as being the Right Way, just a right way.

#38 ::: sisuile ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 10:59 PM:

Xopher @ 26

Or getting bashed for not being lesbian enough.

A couple in my church who have been out and together for 35 years cannot understand the B or the T. Staunchly in support of gay and (esp) lesbian rights, when I talked to S about it a couple weeks ago, she went away for a bit, then came back and said, "you know, I think it's ok. Jesus loves everyone, so I guess I should too. But don't you think it's a choice?" At 67, I don't know that I'll be able to convince her just how patronizing and upsetting that was...

#39 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 11:03 PM:

CHip #32: Somehow I have some trouble with a little vandalism being called "violence";

By the time you have bricks flying through the air, by the time you have the police barricaded inside while others outside have torn up parking meters to use as battering rams in order to get at them, by the time you have the Tactical Police (the forerunner to SWAT) on the street--it's violence.

You don't need a body count. You don't need significant trauma. There was violence, and the threat of more, on that scene.

#40 ::: Angiportus ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2009, 11:06 PM:

#35. Folly, including prejudice, is indeed fractal--or something. I think that a lot of people just feel the need for a scapegoat--blacks, gays, women, introverts (now some people are trying to lump us in with the autistics.) I can only say again what I have said elsewhere, that maybe someone should try to come up with something different than the old scapegoat routine, although if pressed I could not well say just what it would be.
#37 made a good start, though, with letting others be other--add I, if you can't understand something, well, no one can understand everything, no matter how smart they are, so just leave it alone, do the best with what you do understand and maybe it'll all fall into place...
If somebody can make that incomprehensible stuff work, well, good for them.
Full disclosure, I live in Renton, and go into Seattle for bookstores, libraries, and Trader Joe's.

#42 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 12:58 AM:

Just checked 5th Ave webcam. Looks fairly quiet now :)

Wyman (#8) thanks for the NYT photo link. I'm passing it on.

#43 ::: Sharon M ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 01:29 AM:

More info, MacAllister @ 41, from the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

I saw the headline on a news aggregator site, and thought it was in commemoration. There should be some kind of they're making my state look stupid again quip here, but damn. Not funny.

#44 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 02:14 AM:

I see MacAllister and Sharon have beat me to the punch. The "Startlegram" was all over this story earlier today, but I see from the article now on their website (see Sharon's link) that their coverage has been . . . well, sanitized really isn't the word. Castrated?

I've talked to one of the guys mentioned in the article (he and his partner adopted a dog from me), and he had quite a bit to say, from having been there. He claims to have seen none of the "cop-groping" going on, and said the officers came in en masse and apparently ready to make arrests, and that they were pretty rough in dealing with the people they arrested for public intoxication (and later charged with assault).

The coverage of the rally was much pretty thorough on the DFW NBC affiliate, although you'd never guess it from the write-up on the site. Click on the video link to see the actual broadcast coverage.

I'm up way past my sane bedtime, just so pissed off that this crap is happening right here, where there's been so much progress made, and wondering what the rest of the story is.

#45 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 02:31 AM:

On the main topic, and off the Fort Worth PD's own perverted celebration of the Stonewall anniversary, CHip @ #32, there's vandalism, and there's vandalism. Under a wide enough definition, you could call the Watts Riots of 1965 mere vandalism.

Xopher and others have pretty well described the initial night of the Stonewall Rebellion (which is what I heard it referred to for many years). In the five days afterward, windows were broken out of a number of buildings in the area, city property (mostly parking meters) were damaged and used on cars and buildings, and there was open fighting, particularly against police. No, it wasn't the Cuban Revolution, and no public officials' bodies were hung on light standards. But the gay community, as it's come to be called by some, made it perfectly clear that it would no longer tolerate the treatment that had been the norm or the laws that made that treatment easy. And, as Jim Macdonald has pointed out, a movement began.

This is not to be confused with a few windows being shot with pellets, or with the tagging of a couple of underpasses.

#46 ::: jsgbs ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 05:23 AM:

The GL communities have won a lot of battles but DFW has provided another example that the confederate states are a lost cause as far as social progress is concerned.

The B, Tg, Ts, and A communities have a long way to go everywhere. Not to mention the poly folks.

#47 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 09:44 AM:

jsgbs@46: The GL communities have won a lot of battles but DFW has provided another example that the confederate states are a lost cause as far as social progress is concerned.

Thank you for your startling display of tolerance. Every progressive in the state of Texas thanks you.

#48 ::: Angiportus ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 10:27 AM:

#46 sounds less intolerant than just ill-informed, about the doings of Texas progressives.
Causes are not lost until the last do-er is dead [and maybe someone will come up with a better kind of zombie...]
Thanks for the mention of the asexual community. That one's mine.
And I'm scared of cops any more, anyway.

#49 ::: Kayjayoh ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 11:17 AM:

Steve @ 36

Is this the right or the wrong time to admit that whenever I see "GBLT" my mind translates it as "Gay, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato"? What can I say? I'm not an American and I get my Americanisms mixed up.

I do, too, although for me the G=guacamole. This is probably aided by the fact that a local restaurant makes a "GLBT Sandwich".

#50 ::: Evan ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 11:35 AM:

David @22:

Once an oppressed person decides to stop agreeing to a set of rules that denies them their freedom, the price of doing so becomes strangely unimportant, even if that price is their body or even their life.

Anybody with a toddler-age child understands this.

But seriously, to bring in a little SFnal wisdom. From Starship Troopers:

"This very personal relationship, "value", has two factors for a human being: first, what he can do with a thing, its use to him … and second, what he must do to get it, its cost to him. There is an old song which asserts that "the best things in life are free". Not true! Utterly false! This was the tragic fallacy which brought on the decadence and collapse of the democracies of the twentieth century; those noble experiments failed because the people had been led to believe that they could simply vote for whatever they wanted … and get it, without toil, without sweat, without tears."

That is the insight at the center of nonviolent AND violent protest. Actual protest, not just marching in parades--though that can be fun. (Happy Pride, everybody!)

Gandhi risked his life just as much as any soldier. MLK paid with his. It wasn't because they were backed by violence; it was because they were backed by the moral equivalent of violence -- the absolute authority that comes from anybody who is willing to give up their life to preserve their vision.

People pay attention to that. On the surface, it might seem to be about force, but underneath it's really about recognizing who is bad-ass enough to change the rules no matter what. Those people always win. And those people are always rare, be they soldiers or martyrs.

Drag queens decide every day when they leave the house: safety or freedom. That's why they led the charge, because they already knew the price.

#51 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 11:58 AM:

Yesterday, I was in San Francisco.

The Mission District was all abustle, and people, everywere seemed happy.

On my way to commune with San Francisco Bay, and a chill West Wind, I was riding the 14, which winds through the civic center. The place was hopping People walking, smiling, holding hands, carrying signs, couples everywhere (MM/FF/FM).

All sorts of people wearing stickers.

The pier was about as busy as it always is. The Rock looked as it always does. The Golden Gate Bridge was it's usualy softened late-afternoon sillhouette.

I got on the bus to meet a friend for sushi, realised I was going to have to skip it and head all the way to the Balboa Park Bart, to make the last CalTrain to Mountain View.

The gloaming was quiet. Portola and Sunset Heights were empty. Haight, and the Castro had been full of people.

The last train south was packed. Millbrae was full of people, all of them seemed to be headging home in a warm glow. It felt as the tram to the parking lot at Disneylad, happy people sated with a day of being with other happy people.

It's not my city but I love SF.

#52 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 12:31 PM:

A friend who lives in Dallas says the Dallas/Fort Worth police department(s?) are incredibly corrupt; the police do whatever they want. It's pretty clear that the raid on that bar was homophobic in intent; the "cop-groping" and so on sounds like typical cop bullshit to me.

Someone on another site recently said that the days of calling the cops for help are over. Now you only call the cops to make trouble for someone else. I think that pretty much renders them useless for most purposes.

CHip 32: I think trying to torch the bar with the cops inside counts as violence. And as for "no one killed," there was an undocumented guy who was so terrified of being deported that he climbed out the window of the police station and was impaled on the fence below; he died. Pelting the cops with coins may not have been lethal, but it was certainly violent.

Also, what Jim said at 39.

#53 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 01:18 PM:

Doyle, #47: I'm a progressive living in Texas, and I consider #46 to be only a mild exaggeration. In particular, the people in a position to set policy in the Old Confederate states tend to be... not progressive at all. And I don't see that changing any time in the foreseeable future.

Dallas is by far the worst of the major cities in Texas in that regard. I am not even remotely surprised that this is where it happened.

#54 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 01:23 PM:

What Lee said.

#55 ::: will shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 01:34 PM:

Evan @ 50, "Drag queens decide every day when they leave the house: safety or freedom. That's why they led the charge, because they already knew the price."

If there was a "like" tickybox, I would tick it. Very well said.

#56 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 01:35 PM:

Terry Karney @ 51... It's not my city but I love SF

Same here. I feel the same way every time I go there. I feel the same way everytime I see those crazy MythBusters do their thing in Alameda and there in the background is the City and the Bay Bridge.

#57 ::: will shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 01:45 PM:

If any of you haven't already done this, it's your last day to show support for Lt. Dan Choi who is facing trial tomorrow under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" rule:

Courage Campaign | Sign the Statement of Support for Lt. Dan Choi

#58 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 01:45 PM:

Serge, Terry:

It used to be my City in the sense that if you live on the Peninsula, SF is always "The City". To me, it's *still* The City, even though it's been twenty years.

(And yes, I love those MythBusters background shots.)

#59 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 02:18 PM:

joann @ 58... it's been twenty years

For me, it'll have been nine years on 9/11.

#60 ::: Sharon M ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 02:22 PM:

Lee @ 53: The raid was in Fort Worth, which is close to but not actually Dallas. (But I'm in Plano, which Dan Savage called the worst city in the US in _Skipping Towards Gomorrah_ - so what do I know.)

And I miss Molly Ivins.

I've seen posts in comment threads that busting people in bars for public intoxication is a tactic used to bring up the arrest counts for these Tarrant County officers, so the gay bars aren't the only ones where people are being arrested. But they are the only ones where people are also being assaulted, and maybe arrested while not even drunk.

#61 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 02:24 PM:

Hey, as a Dallas-area resident, I'd like to point out that this was in our more conservative, more good-old-boy-dominated sister city, Fort Worth. Dallas has more than its share of police problems, but the city population is much more progressive than almost any city in Texas but Austin. Hell, Dallas voted Democrat in both of the last two presidential elections. Lee's flat-out wrong in her statement above.

The GLBT communities in Dallas are strong, prominent, and influential, and I think similar police action in this city would cause even more of an uproar than what happened in the city next door is, and it is causing an uproar here. I mean, seriously...we elected a Lesbian Sheriff, remember?

#62 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 02:29 PM:

Heh, Hi, Sharon! Looks like we overlapped, eh? I'm in Carrollton, BTW.

#63 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 02:31 PM:

Xopher @ #52: I'll agree that the police departments in Dallas and Fort Worth are corrupt, but what big-city departments aren't? "Incredibly" might be going a bit far, if you're just comparing PDs to PDs. Up through the mid-Seventies, Dallas's police could do whatever they wanted, and knew it. The changes that have occurred since then, and the events that provoked those changes, could fill a book that I'll spare you right now. In the past 35 years, there has been usually slow but inexorable change for the better in the Dallas department. There's still wrong-doing, but hey, it's the police, right? And compared to the shenanigans on the Dallas ISD school board and, now currently in court, the city council, the PD is sparkly clean.

Fort Worth, being smaller and with a more Southwestern vibe, has maintained more of a good ol' boy network. However, one of the hallmarks of the previous chief's tenure (he died a couple years ago) was "don't rock the boat." That meant he didn't do much about the serious-and-getting-worse gang problems Fort Worth has had, but he and his also didn't go out to bother any minority groups, including the GLBT community. I had heard from politically-involved friends in Tarrant County (FtW, etc.) that the new leadership had neocon tendencies. It looks like that might be the case, esp. considering the "cop-groping" fantasies that have come out of those arrests. I notice that the article on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram website now includes the information about the skull fracture of one arrestee and resulting hospitalization, as well as the reports from several patrons of the bar that some arrests were unprovoked.

Philosophically, about calling the police, I've noticed for a number of years that the size of cities/towns in which the police department actually believes their duty is to protect and serve the citizenry is getting smaller and smaller. I think it still applies in the little burg where I live, in that the local officers doesn't follow/stop/harass the local people, might help a heavy drinker get home instead of throwing per in jail, let kids off with a lecture and a call to the parents, etc.

In most cities and towns, it's a given now that, if you call the police for any reason in the first thing they'll do is run a check on you, the complainant/victim. Usually, the second thing will be a serious questioning on why, not if, you were involved or somehow caused the problem. In 2001, when I found my brother dead in our house and called 911, the responding officer (one of the two) kicked in the door instead of waiting for me to answer, and kept me in cuffs outside for 15 minutes telling me to "shut up" until the EMTs informed him it was apparently a natural death. "Modern police work" these days seems to emphasize that it's "us against them," with us being those on the department and their interpretation of the law, and them being the rest of us. [/soapbox]

#64 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 02:33 PM:

And hereby admitting to more overlaptiness.

#65 ::: edward oleander ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 03:19 PM:

Will @ 57 -- Thanks for the link!

#66 ::: I'm Not Amber ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 03:42 PM:

My brain got stuck at "women who weren’t wearing at least three pieces of feminine apparel". In 1969? How did they define that? Did they check to see which way the buttons and zippers overlapped? Did they strip the women wearing pants to see if they were wearing bra and panties? What about a woman who was wearing only a dress, underpants, and sandals?

#67 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 03:54 PM:

"How did they define that?"

Subjectively, of course.

#68 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 04:28 PM:

LMB, just out of curiosity, was any action taken against the officer who abused you? Did you sue the department over his behavior?

#69 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 05:00 PM:

Evan @ 50 Drag queens decide every day when they leave the house: safety or freedom.

Amen. An MTF I knew back in pagandom once told me "after the first time a man's gone out on the street in a dress, there's nothing else that can scare him". (Surely a paraphrase, given my memory.)

#70 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 05:10 PM:

LMB: There's still wrong-doing, but hey, it's the police, right?

And that right there, tells us how screwed up law enforcement is in this country. :-(

#71 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 05:12 PM:

Oh, come on, David. It's not like corrupt police is somehow a uniquely American complaint.

#72 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 05:50 PM:

In most cities and towns, it's a given now that, if you call the police for any reason in the first thing they'll do is run a check on you, the complainant/victim.

Does anyone have more information about this? My interaction with police has been very minimal, but the few times I've called them and they've come out, I didn't sense any suspicion or hostility, and nothing they said made me think they'd done any kind of checking on me.

(Please note, this is "my experience is different, but I don't have enough data points to have a sense of how true the claim is overall", not "my experience is different, therefore I don't believe you".)

#73 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 06:15 PM:

I add my voice to Lexica's. I definitely believe there are horrible police, and have had a few hackle-raising moments myself. But in my most recent experience (as a murder witness), the police were prompt, professional, courteous, and quite gentle, even though they themselves were visibly shaken (and, given that a heavily armed suspect was still at large, probably scared).

I'm amazed anyone is willing to do that job, particularly at the miserable pay rate currently offered. It's a damn miracle that there are ANY good ones. (Disclosure: the head of the Northeast Georgia Police Academy is a friend of mine, though we don't discuss politics.)

#74 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 09:22 PM:

Xopher, I didn't say anything about it for a few days--I was pretty freaked out just by my brother's death and having found him. We were very, very close, had dealt with each other through addiction and recovery, and had lived together for ten years (that last time). By the time I mentioned it to the local head of EMS, who was a friend, I had already received an apology of sorts from the Justice of the Peace who acted as coroner. I don't know who told her, but my buddy, the head of EMS already knew about it, too. About three weeks later, right before Christmas, I got a call from the chief of police to come to his office, and he apologized for the incident. (NOTE: This was exactly like hearing an apology from Jabba the Hut.) I don't know what happened to the officer, but it happened that, about three months later, I hired a guy whose in-laws were friends with the cop (which is another long corrupt-small-town story). At one point, my employee told me the officer knew on no uncertain terms to stay away from me. No lawsuit. I'm not litigiously inclined.

Related to the Fort Worth incident this weekend, there's been outrage expressed by city council members, and the Star-Telegram's coverage has increased and loosened up considerably. I'm not sure if the links posted through the day here are to the same, updated story or to different iterations, but it's interesting to see how the coverage has grown, even more than the story itself has.

The Startlegram also has a "Crime Time" blog, which not only links to the story linked above, but also mentions the coverage on Daily Kos and the way the story has covered the nation on Twitter and through Todd Camp's facebook page. Camp is a former Star-Telegram reporter who's now a gay activist and was on the scene at the Rainbow Inn during the raid, thus he has some cred in the situation.

From the perspective of a resident of the area, who's lived in both Dallas and Fort Worth, but in neither since 1993, I'll say this for Fort Worth. Although it's Cow Town (a nickname it proudly claims), and was considered "where the West begins," it has a considerably greater presence of the arts for its size than Dallas, and has had a healthy and vital downtown area for 20-25 years as Dallas' downtown slowly died and became a haven for only its most dangerous elements (a situation that's been changing since around 2005).

The institutional harassment of gay residents has not been a practice in Fort Worth, while the Dallas Police Department made life very difficult for GLBT residents in the Seventies and Eighties, and prosecution for crimes against members of the community has only occurred for the past 15 years or so. Remember, Van Cliburn is a Fort Worth resident, and he's a local hero who's been out since back when Liberace would just giggle at questions about sexuality. Fort Worth does still vote mostly Republican (this is Texas); Dallas has voted solidly Democratic for the past five years, but that's just because the fascisti have moved to the suburbs. But if the city makes major changes arising from the outcry about this raid and the assaults against gay citizens by the police, it could signal a leap forward of decades, and make lots of North Texans proud.

#75 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 09:24 PM:

Looks like my comment's being held for moderation. Hopefully, it'll be passed along soon.

#76 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2009, 10:50 PM:

Having spent most of Sunday with some very pleasant police officers (I was the Police Liaison for Safety for the San Francisco Pride Parade), I've gotta say that there are some good and conscientious cops out there. It may be much more likely to find them once you're dealing with sergeants and above rather than beat officers, though.

(This was my 24th year volunteering with Safety for the Parade, 23 of them consecutive, by the way.)

#77 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2009, 01:34 AM:

You know, I really dislike when mods delete their own comments. Besides the disorienting "Wait, what? Did I see that? Where'd it go?" brain-twist, it's also a little unfair. When the rest of us make overly supercilious comments in a moment of pique, we have to live with it.

#78 ::: will shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2009, 02:01 AM:

heresiarch @ 77, yeah. A year ago, I was on the side of "always preserve the record!" Now I think it's often a kindness to delete posts--and I wish we all had that ability.

The compromise would be to leave a record of the deletion: "Post removed by moderator or author."

#79 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2009, 07:12 AM:

will shetterly @ 78: "The compromise would be to leave a record of the deletion: "Post removed by moderator or author.""

I feel that, or self-disemvoweling, would be a lot fairer. I understand why removing inflammatory posts is a good idea from a moderating perspective, but when moderators handle their own posts differently than they handle others' it shades into CYA-dom.

#80 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2009, 08:37 AM:

[Self-deleted. -- JDM]

#81 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2009, 08:38 AM:

[Self-deleted. -- JDM]

#82 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2009, 08:47 AM:

[Self-deleted. -- JDM]

#83 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2009, 08:53 AM:

[Self-deleted. -- JDM]

#84 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2009, 09:44 AM:

"Yo", James, you're supposed to be a moderator, not an aggravator! You could have got by fine with just the first sentence of #82.

Yeah, Will can be a twit sometimes, but I note that Abi seems to have no trouble smacking him down(*), and on those occasions he's offered solid apologies, even when he didn't quite know what he did wrong.

(*) Without involving third parties -- heresiarch hasn't said anything nasty in this thread! Indeed, self-disemvoweling sounds entirely reasonable for such situations, for all the reasons he gave.

#85 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2009, 09:50 AM:

[Self-deleted. -- JDM]

#86 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2009, 01:11 PM:

Jim,

Let me interrupt my lunch hour to say, "That's not you talking."

#87 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2009, 01:32 PM:

Lexica@72: Your experience is not in contradiction to the claim -- unless there's stuff in your past that their check would find which would make them treat you as a danger or a suspect.

Unless the whole system of records is so bad that it should be burned to the ground and built up from scratch, it seems to me to make very good sense for them to check any info they have on the place and person who called them. They never know what they're being called into, and sometimes it's pretty bad. Knowing more about the people involved is useful.

#88 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2009, 02:15 PM:

James: Upon consideration... What The Hell? Since when do you root for a flamewar, or toss around F-bombs like that?

"I make inflammatory comments all the time, and I'm proud of this one too" my sweet ass, this isn't like you. #80 is the last comment which actually sounds like it came from James D. MacDonald, EMT, veteran, and long-time forum moderator.

#89 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2009, 03:14 PM:

HWAET!

I value this thread and the people in it, but I'm imposing a 24-hour cooling-off period.

Hmm. I was going to say more, but on second thought, I don't think there's anything more I need to explain.

See you all here tomorrow --

Teresa

#90 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2009, 02:33 PM:

OK, the thread's back open.

One useful thing for the future peace and comfort of the thread would be if we didn't make sweeping generalities about entire swathes of people based on, for instance, geographic location. I mean, the whole damn point is that you can't do that about sexual orientation, isn't it? Let's generalize from there.

And one useful thing for the future peace and comfort of many people happened today, and is worth bringing up here: the High Court in New Delhi just overthrew India's law criminalizing gay sex.

#91 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2009, 02:53 PM:

David Dyer-Bennet #87: Unless the whole system of records is so bad that it should be burned to the ground and built up from scratch...

Some of the stories I've seen, just on Schneier's site, suggest that this may in fact be the case. Dead terrorists, temporary aliases, names from unfounded accusations, outright errors -- not to mention insanely loose matching criteria. Heck, Senator Ted Kennedy found himself on the list! (Oh yeah, did I mention vulnerability to political exploitation?)

#92 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2009, 03:13 PM:

So, discussing the outrage in Fort Worth. To get the background, please look at OT126 464, 466, and 474.

#93 ::: Sharon M ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2009, 06:18 PM:

I don't get the paper version of the paper, but as of today there's at least one article in the online Dallas Morning News.

#94 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2009, 08:53 PM:

From the article Sharon linked:

"In the coming weeks, Chief [Jeffery] Halstead will conduct meetings with TABC officials in an effort to establish clearly defined roles and responsibilities of each organization with the intent to better serve the community in conducting inspections," the police department said in a written statement.
Terrific. One homophobic jackass who has no business wearing a badge is going to meet with a whole TEAM of homophobic jackasses who have no business wearing badges. That'll help. I bet the main topic will be how to get away with it this time, and how to brutalize innocent gay citizens more deniably in the future.

#95 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2009, 09:13 PM:

A video made by a gay police officer in San Francisco about this case. He crosses a line and apologizes for it in the text-over, and it apparently was made before he found out about the distinction between FWPD and TABC, but it's otherwise pretty powerful stuff.

#96 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2009, 12:21 AM:

Sorry for being unresponsive. I put in a 12-hour day in the 106 degree heat, and I'm totally beat.

I actually liked Kennedy's statement that neither agency is apparently proud of what happened. It's as if to say, "if you did it, and now you can't point at the results, and say, 'yeah, me, I did that!' (Texanism there), then just what was the problem?" Because no matter how much Halstead wants to just cover it all with a coating of police-speak and have people get over it, he now knows beyond a shadow of doubt that he and his force have smeared themselves with their own shit, and people aren't going to put up with it. He's gotten in trouble with legislators from both state houses, as well as with several city council members, including two (not just the openly-gay one) who have called him out in public. And there's more trouble waiting in the wings, because several other political powers are biding their time, to see how Halstead handles the situation. (And that includes a state legislator whose son was at the Rainbow Inn that night.) There are other events scheduled for this weekend, as well, resulting from the growing feeling that the outrage needs to be expressed more clearly by the community (and about damn time, in my book).

Halstead is relatively new as a chief, having taken over after the long tenure of the last one. Ever the optimist, I'm hoping for him to prove he's not a scumbag. He announced a couple of initiatives today that indicate he might be teachable, if not in his own beliefs, at least in the way he runs the department. Rather than running the risk of irritating the mods, I'll let you read the articles on your own; I'm sure you can find the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on your own by now.

Xopher, I hope you know I wasn't accusing you of lumping everyone in Fort Worth or North Texas in one big slimy heap. But I've read some pretty outrageous shit about "us" on the net this week, and that informed my feelings when I read Kennedy's piece.

I'm tired of having spell-check holler at me every other word, so I'm going to bed. I'll have more time tomorrow afternoon.

#97 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2009, 12:28 AM:

Ah, one other thing. Halstead's statements about conducting meetings with TABC to clearly define roles, bullshit bullshit bullshit, is actually him taking about 50 giant steps back from any involvement with the TABC. And IIRC, this is the very first time that any local department has indicated they won't back up the TABC in their ongoing quest to harass the alkyhawl bidness. The TABC has been around for a long time, but in its current form it's yet another example of Governor Goodhair's crap creation. And let me just say one more damn time how disgusted I am that that GWB-appointed jackass could manage to be governor yet again, for four more years, after being "elected" with only 37% of the vote.

#98 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2009, 12:53 PM:

LMB McAllister (and others), on the risk of painting Texas with a broad brush:

I often find it helpful to remember what an EPA scientist from Texas pointed out to me in 2001: nearly 40% of the 2000 vote in Texas went to Al Gore.

Similarly, according to Lax and Phillips at Columbia, described on Andy Gelman's blog, nearly 30% of Texans support same-sex marriage, about 40% support same-sex civil unions, and a majority support job antidiscrimination laws and health benefits for same-sex partners.

Now, these figures are much lower than in the blue states, but it's still millions of people that are on the right side, not just a handful of liberal weirdos in Austin.

The other interesting thing about this research, relevant to the original topic, is that the law more or less tracks public opinion (or perhaps vice versa). Iowa is an outlier -- it has much less public support for same-sex marriage than the other states with same-sex marriage. New York is an outlier in the other direction -- they don't even have civil unions, which are supported by more than 60% of the population.

#99 ::: will shetterly ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2009, 01:37 PM:

Thomas @ 98, a fine example of why proportional representation makes more sense than winner-take-all. If groups had to work together more often to succeed, the US center would look far more liberal than currently. /hobbyhorse

#100 ::: Sharon M ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2009, 07:49 PM:

Fort Worth's Mayor is calling for a federal review of the raid!

- also wants US Attorney to review the police investigation of what happened
- TABC agents involved have been put on desk duty

I am (cautiously) hopeful.

#101 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2009, 08:04 PM:

Fort Worth's mayor has finally spoken publicly about the incident, and dropped a bit of a bomb. He's asked for a federal investigation. Now, his spokesman has "assured" the populace that Hizzoner's statement isn't to be interpreted that he "has a lack of confidence in the police department’s internal investigative process." But the mayor, Mike Moncrief, when asked for comment, would only say, "the statement speaks for itself." And it does, but it sure doesn't shout with confidence for Halstead's ability to conduct his own investigation.

The mayor also suggested to the TABC that they also request federal oversight for their investigation. (The TABC has such a history of sweeping things under the rug that it looks like a carpeted mountain range.) But you know how federal investigations tend to cast a big net.

The Dallas Morning News also has an article about Moncrief's statement; I haven't linked to it because the dallasnews site requires registration.

#102 ::: Sharon M ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2009, 10:26 PM:

The link @100 is the Dallas Morning News, but that article doesn't require registration - just click the 'close this ad' ('skip this ad'?) link, and you'll be taken to the article.

#103 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2009, 01:18 AM:

Chad Gibson, the man who received the head injury during the Rainbow Lounge raid, was released from the hospital on Saturday. He was interviewed by the NBC affiliate (I can't remember their call letters) and says he wants the officers involved prosecuted.

#104 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2009, 03:54 PM:

So, you know what's crazy? I know Chad...he's IT support at my company. I didn't even realize it was the same guy until I saw a picture. I've shook his hand and talked to him on the phone several times. He's a good guy, and it's completely unbelievable that he would do something like what the police/TABC claim. Very by-the-book where his work is concerned, very even demeanor...ugh. I hate that this happened so close to my home, that this is a prominent part of the image many people will have of my region. Damn.

#105 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2009, 07:12 PM:

Skwid, the outrage of the community is speaking well for it. I wouldn't worry about that aspect too much. Stupid people will think stupid things.

I do think TABC == brutal gestapo-like thug though. Probably in part because I never heard of them at all before.

#106 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2009, 01:47 PM:

There are definitely some bizarre attitudes towards alchohol in the state, but this is actually the first I've heard of TABC being a problem in this regard. Mostly, they're just really well known for undercover operations busting businesses serving/selling to underage patrons. Looks like they deserve some additional scrutiny...

#107 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2009, 04:05 PM:

Skwid: If you haven't done so already, you might direct Chad's attention to this discussion. At the very least, he might find it heartening that there's a whole 'nother community out there in the aether, wishing him well and expressing outrage at his treatment.

#108 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2009, 04:47 PM:

Skwid, I second Jacque's comment.

#109 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2009, 07:29 PM:

Yay, Al Franken sworn in!

And I third Jacque #107!

#110 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2009, 07:47 PM:

Bah, wrong topic for the link. (But I still join the "invite Chad" crew.)

#111 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2009, 01:39 PM:

As I mentioned, he's just an acquaintance, and a distant one. I think if I were going through what he's going through right now, I would be pretty sick of the deluge of distant acquaintances contacting me for whatever reason. Should I run into him in the future, though, I'll let him know about our little corner of righteous sympathy.

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