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Today is World Pride Day in NYC, the final day of Pride month.
From the NYT:
The month long WorldPride NYC, which marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, is coming to an end today with the biggest event, the Pride March.
The parade is the largest N.Y.C. Pride March, with an extended 2.5 mile route, double the number of marchers and dozens more floats than last year.
The Pride March starts at noon and runs down Fifth Avenue, beginning at 26th Street. It will make a turn at Eighth Street and then will head up Seventh Avenue past the Stonewall Inn, ending at 23rd Street.
This year, NYC is hosting the largest Pride celebration in the world. Check out the graphic below for the parade route and street closures. While there are no credible threats at this time, as always, we ask—if you see something, say something. #WorldPride pic.twitter.com/OQa6OJyWvw
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) June 25, 2019
Hours before it was to become a flash point in the modern gay rights movement and a landmark visited with awe and reverence half a century later as if a shrine, it was just a dark, dingy bar called the Stonewall Inn, just another Friday night in June.
A mobster named Fat Tony with the Genovese crime family had bought the place two years earlier for a song — it had been a restaurant damaged in a fire — and reopened it as a gay bar. The mob owned most of the city’s gay bars, running them as private clubs because they could not obtain liquor licenses. The bars were cash machines.
Fat Tony slapped black paint on the walls and windows and posted a man at the front door. A concrete wishing well, inherited from the restaurant, remained inside the front door. The new owner often boasted that he recouped his modest investment in the first few hours of opening night in March 1967.
There were two bars and rooms for dancing to the jukebox. Bartenders made drinks with cheap liquor served out of bottles bearing brand-name labels. Dirty glasses were dunked in dirty sinks. The drinking age was 18, and broke kids who couldn’t afford a drink held empty beer cans all night to fool the waiter.
“It was a bar for the people who were too young, too poor or just too much to get in anywhere else,” one patron would recall later in “Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution,” by David Carter (St. Martin’s Press, 2004), one of several books, including two new arrivals, “The Stonewall Riots: A Documentary History,” by Marc Stein (New York University Press, 2019), and “The Stonewall Reader,” edited by the New York Public Library (Penguin Books, 2019), that served as sources for this account.
No one inside on the night of June 27, 1969, knew that just outside the door, as Friday night rolled over into Saturday morning, trouble was arriving across the street in the triangular wedge of Christopher Park. A police team quietly waited for the go-ahead command to raid the Stonewall. The officer in charge was Deputy Inspector Seymour Pine, a World War II veteran who had fought in foxholes in Europe before he was injured by a land mine.
Inspector Pine knew the Stonewall; he had raided it just four days earlier, arresting employees and seizing liquor that Tuesday night. But as he was leaving, someone said with disdain, “We’ll be open again tomorrow.”
The ostensible reason for the raid was a crackdown on unlicensed bars selling liquor illegally. But gay New Yorkers were feeling increasing pressure and harassment in Greenwich Village and beyond, and the violent eruption at the Stonewall was a result of this mounting tension. Within days of the Stonewall uprising, the police had raided five gay bars in the Village, Mr. Carter wrote, shutting three of them — the Checkerboard, the Tel-Star and the Sewer — down for good.
“How many times can one turn the other cheek?” a then 26-year-old musician in the Stonewall that night later asked.
The music stopped, and the bright lights blinked on. “I thought, ‘Here we go again,’” recalled a 26-year-old patron, Philip Eagles, who was sipping a drink when the officers arrived.
But immediately, this raid felt different, foremost in its timing. Usually, officers arrived early in the evening, before the bars got busy. After midnight was a different story.
“Stonewall was filled that night with the usual clientele,” wrote Mark Segal, then 18 and newly arrived from Philadelphia. “Drag queens, hustlers, older men who liked younger guys, and stragglers like me — the boy next door who didn’t know what he was searching for and felt he had little to offer.”
The police corralled the employees in one area and shooed most of the clientele outside into the warm night. In past raids, those men and women hurried home, relieved they’d been spared arrest and the prospect of seeing their names in the papers.
But not on this night. The Stonewall’s patrons gathered across the street in the little park. Emboldened by the late hour and their sheer number, many customers were more belligerent than usual in a raid, “giving the cops lip,” Mr. Eagles recalled.
Inspector Pine recalled decades later, “We had a couple of the transvestites who gave us a lot of flak.” It was standard procedure in these raids that cross-dressing patrons be questioned about their clothing — they had to be wearing at least three articles considered to be gender appropriate — or, worse, subjected to anatomical inspections. But nonetheless, “There was no plan to take these people.”
The crowd outside grew as the bar continued to empty out, with loud cheers for the new arrivals. The mood started out as jovial before it shifted. “The crowd began taunting the police,” Mr. Segal wrote. “The cops started to get rough, pushing and shoving.”
A woman resisted the police and was handcuffed and, despite her struggles, manhandled into the back of a police car. She managed to get out, and the officers pushed her in again. This ratcheted up the response from the crowd, and people began throwing things — pocket change clanged off the car and struck officers.
Among those throwing change was Sylvia Rivera, whose rise as a transgender activist would take hold in the hours and days to come. “I just happened to be there when it all jumped off,” Ms. Rivera recalled later. “I said, ‘Well, great, now it’s my time.’”
A reporter for the Village Voice, Howard Smith, saw the commotion from a window nearby, and he grabbed a notebook and rushed over. By chance, he fell in beside Inspector Pine. A police wagon arrived to transport the people who had been arrested and the dozens of bottles of seized liquor.
“The crowd had grown to ten times its size,” Inspector Pine said later. “It was really frightening.”
Somebody threw a beer can at the wagon. Bottles followed. “Everyone’s restless, angry and high-spirited,” the author Edmund White, who happened upon the scene, recalled later. “No one has a slogan, no one has an attitude, but something’s brewing.”
Stonewall was the watershed event that galvanized the gay community to organize for their rights.
Four years ago, the SCOTUS ruled in favor of James Obergefell and others, requiring all states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize same-sex marriages validly performed in other jurisdictions. This established same-sex marriage throughout the United States and its territories. In a majority opinion authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court examined the nature of fundamental rights guaranteed to all by the Constitution, the harm done to individuals by delaying the implementation of such rights while the democratic process plays out, and the evolving understanding of discrimination and inequality. (borrowed from Wikipedia)
As noted yesterday, Bernie Sanders marched in several Pride parades in NH.
— Star @Denfur (@starbuttt) June 30, 2019
Related to equality, Donald Trump Jr tweeted that Kamala Harris was not black enough, being of Indian-Jamaican heritage.
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, shared another person’s tweet during the Democratic debate this week that falsely claimed Senator Kamala Harris was not black enough to be discussing the plight of black Americans. He later deleted it. https://t.co/HieF4NNu5I
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 29, 2019
Donald Trump Jr. was bashed on Twitter Saturday for boosting a type of “birtherism” campaign against Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) that surged in the wake of her breakout performance in one of the recent debates among Democratic presidential candidtates.
A right-wing operative attacked Harris on Twitter after the debate, claiming she had no right to represent American blacks because her father grew up in Jamaica. Harris, who is of Indian and Jamaican heritage, was born in Oakland, California, in 1964.
The attack went viral thanks in part to Donald Jr.’s retweet and an assist from Twitter accounts identified as bots. The onslaught echoed the “birther” campaign against Barack Obama that falsely claiming he was born in Africa and couldn’t legally be president. Donald Trump (with wife Melania ) was a leading voice among a group of conspiracy theorists that promulgated the Obama birther lie.
Dem candidates Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker and Bernie Sanders were the first to push back against the Trump family.
The attacks against @KamalaHarris are racist and ugly. We all have an obligation to speak out and say so. And it’s within the power and obligation of tech companies to stop these vile lies dead in their tracks.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 29, 2019
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) June 29, 2019
Donald Trump Jr. is a racist too. Shocker. https://t.co/cy0N6fUseX
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 29, 2019
More news, tweets, videos in the comments section. This also serves as an open thread.