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Pride occupied

A Commentary

Timothy Kincaid

June 25th, 2012

Beliefs are funny things. They don’t need to be tied to reason or logic or be in any way consistent. They just need to be asserted and believed.

This past weekend a segment of our community, calling themselves “Occupride”, trotted out to the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade to protest the corporations that are supporting our community.

OccuPride, the Occupy movement for Gay Pride, temporarily blocked the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade today, effectively slowing down the route for contingents while making their presence known in a peaceful manner. An estimated hundred or so protesters intercepted annual walk up Market Street. The group chanted such gems as, “Out of the sidewalks into the streets,” “Community, not commodity,’ and “We’re here, we’re queer, we’re not going shopping.”

I think that last one was pretty self evident.

As for their objections, they seem to be angry at corporations funding pride. They aren’t upset with the Pride committee, but with the corporations for, well it’s hard to know why they are angry that they contributed. They mostly just object to their existence. (Examiner)

“I think the corporatization, the commercialization of pride has really gotten out of hand,” said Tommi Avicolli Mecca, a longtime activist and Castro district resident. “I think they’re really consciously trying to buy favor in the community.”

This year, Avicolli Mecca and other activists are organizing OccuPride, a series of protest actions inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement and loosely affiliated with Occupy San Francisco. While there have been unsanctioned protests at Pride in previous years, Avicolli Mecca said this year activists had more to be angry about.

“I don’t know why the people at Pride are taking money from banks this year,” Avicolli Mecca said, referring to Wells Fargo and Bank of America, which are listed as sponsors for the San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade and have drawn fire from the anti-Wall Street movement for foreclosing on homeowners. “I know that Pride needs money, but there’s other ways to get money.”

Well, yes of course there are. You can just pick it off the money tree.

As best I can tell, what makes evil corporations evil (other than just being part of a capitalist system) is that they fail to give back to the community, they put profits over people, and they just aren’t being responsible neighbors. So we should protest their funding of gay pride events. (Irony isn’t really their strong point.)

Instead we should rely on funds from good sources. Like, well… okay, by definition there aren’t any good people who actually have money. Because if they did, that would make them part of the evil wealthy elite.

But that doesn’t matter! That isn’t the point, the point is that these are Corporations! And that’s Bad! So let’s protest and Speak Truth to Power and Stand United and make them Go Away! And if no one funds Pride in the future (or, like Wells Fargo, gives money to oppose anti-gay amendments) we don’t want their Evil Corporate Money anyway. We’d rather lose than take their evil filthy corporate money!!

Which makes me wonder, where do I go to occupy the Occupiers?

Comments

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Ben In Oakland
June 25th, 2012 | LINK

They really need something important and relevant to “occupy” themselves.

Roy Dalgleish
June 25th, 2012 | LINK

Isn’t righteous indignation wonderful, especially when it’s not actually required to DO anything.

Let’s not worry about providing answers. It’s just sufficient to criticize…

Neon Genesis
June 25th, 2012 | LINK

Yeah, let’s ignore where they actually explain why they’re protesting the corporations like here ““I don’t know why the people at Pride are taking money from banks this year,” Avicolli Mecca said, referring to Wells Fargo and Bank of America, which are listed as sponsors for the San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade and have drawn fire from the anti-Wall Street movement for foreclosing on homeowners. ”

After all, it’s easier to argue against someone you disagree with if you pretend they have nothing to say even when they say it. When did Timothy become a covert blogger for GoProud?

Charles
June 25th, 2012 | LINK

The entire occupy movement was a bit of insanity. My guess is that these people don’t know that nearly every business enterprise with which they interact are corporations…………..along with charitable organizations.

I mock our entire government in saying that the only government approved millionaires are government lottery winners.

Charles
June 25th, 2012 | LINK

Let me congratulate Mary Cheney on her married to Heather Poe, her longtime partner.

I must also congratulate Dick Cheney in his congratulations of to his Mary and Heather. Mr. Evil Halliburton just keeps on ticking along confounding people on the left and right.

Tony
June 25th, 2012 | LINK

I’m so glad I’m not the only one who sees how ridiculous these people are. I don’t think they actually know what they’re fighting for. They are the “teabaggers” of the left, and they’re an embarrassment.

Neon Genesis
June 25th, 2012 | LINK

Again, they make it very clear in the article that they’re protesting the banks responsible for foreclosing of homeowners. You can disagree with them all you want but saying they’re not saying anything or don’t know what they’re fighting for when the article being linked to explains it is being dishonest. And can we please stop with the bogus “both sides do it too!” fallacies? The Tea Party and Occupy movement are entirely different from each other.

Muscat
June 25th, 2012 | LINK

I agree in that I don’t think the tactics they used were perhaps the wisest choice, although Occupy-affiliated groups use disruptive tactics, so nobody should really be surprised I suppose (what’s good for the goose…), and this was fairly tame in any case.

I also think you assert a legitimate counter-critique in saying, well, aside from the abolition of corporations (which I think is actually a fairly reasonable goal even if it is unlikely to be reached), if we assume corporations are going to part of the social fabric they should be participating positively in the community by doing things like supporting the LGBTQ community. (Of course, part of the Occupy counter-critique is that “sponsorship is not the same as support” – and there is truth there.)

But (apparently like Neon Genesis) I’m a bit turned off by the pose of ignorance about their goals/purpose. It’s one thing to disagree with their goals and/or their tactics, it’s another to dishonestly portray them as protesting for protest’s sake without any real goals (and also lazy, since this is an unoriginal riff on the broader – and also IMO clearly wrong – critique of the Occupy movement). From the Occupride website:
The Pride celebration has become increasingly commercialized, co-opted by corporate interests that use our struggle for liberation as a market for commodities and as a way to boost profit. These interests – the 1% – parade status quo candidates and parties for our consumption, wearing a mask of progressive LGBT equality while marginalizing and criminalizing the poor and disempowered. In doing so they seek to divide our community, catering only to those of us with money to spend; but the queer and trans communities are more than the affluent; we are also the disempowered, the homeless, the sick, the sufferers of discrimination and violence.

And:
Why [are we taking these actions]?

To confront the 1% within our movement for complete Queer and Trans Liberation!!
To celebrate our history and the lost narratives contained within that history.
To recognize, foster, and celebrate the diversity within our community.
To reignite and exercise collective queer power!
Raise awareness of issues pertinent to the LGBTQI community.

Again, you can disagree with their positions and/or tactics, but it’s dishonest to pretend there’s no substance to their critique.

Richard Rush
June 25th, 2012 | LINK

Without taking sides with respect to the Occupiers, one positive thing is that I think they will thrive or wither based on reasoned debate, because, as far as I know, no one in the Occupy movement is citing religion with claims such as, “God hates corporations,” “IPOs are sin,” or “we are called to love the corporation but hate their sin.”

StraightGrandmother
June 25th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy- Maggie Gallagher just published a new piece on David Blankenhorn.

http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/06/5759

Sorry to interrupt please continue with your regularly scheduled programming…

Charles
June 25th, 2012 | LINK

Anybody who thinks that private citizens coming together and forming corporations to do business should be outlawed is daffy in my humble opinion. Large amounts of capital are essential to run companies that produce products that we use everyday in the world of today. The computers that we are using today discussing this subject would not exist without the corporate form of business. When these corporations become successful and large, sometimes they go public and list their shares on the stock exchanges around the world and have a wide range of different owners. They are integral part of our modern economic engine and society.

Neon Genesis
June 25th, 2012 | LINK

There are other countries where LGBT groups organize pride events without even the consent of their government, let alone the aid of corporations, so I don’t buy the argument that LGBT pride parades somehow need the support of the Bank of America to have a parade.

Charles
June 25th, 2012 | LINK

Neon, I will concede that this occupy movement appears to have much more of it act together than the occupy movement of old.

What confounds myself with the mess that did occur in our financial sector several years ago, I unaware of anyone being indicted by a federal or state grand jury or anyone going to jail for breaking any law. And, then you have Jon Corzone and the missing money of MF Global, which has occurred after the mess of ’08. Accounting controls are an integral part of any large corporation. Those accounting controls were over-ridden by someone. There appears to myself that there is no interest by the authorities, Republican or Democrat, to get to the bottom of the criminal activity that went on at MF Global.

StraightGrandmother
June 25th, 2012 | LINK

Richard Rush, that was pretty funny ha-ha-ha.

Tony
June 25th, 2012 | LINK

@Neon “The Tea Party and Occupy movement are entirely different from each other.”

Actually, no they aren’t. They’re just on opposite sides of the spectrum. OWS is the tea baggers of the left. Sorry if you can’t see the comparison, but it’s there. And just because someone doesn’t hold the same extreme views as you doesn’t make them a “mouthpiece for GoProud”. There is a such thing as the rational left, just like there are rational conservatives. Stop pretending like OWS is anything more than a bunch of screaming morons that don’t have real goals. They want higher taxes on the wealthy? Higher taxes on corporations? Universal health care? More funding for public transportation, and schools? Theses are all things that normal people all the left want. The Occupy people are just a bunch of babies that want what they want, and they want it right now. They make the rest of us all look bad.

Edgar Manhattan
June 25th, 2012 | LINK

I remember some glorious parades in the ’70s, in LA and SF, that seemed to work fine without corporate sponsorship. That was back when the parades were called “Gay Freedom Day Parade”s (more west coast) and “Gay Liberation Marches” (more east coast).

And they were celebrations of freedom, at least for that weekend – in SF, we took to the streets and took over large chunks of the city, and made it ours, briefly. We weren’t there to be part of a PR campaign.

Then, of course, the more organized, more conservative gay people took over, freedom and liberation were exchanged for pride (I can be proud in a prison; I can be proud living among people who wish me great harm; can I be free in those places?).

No, we don’t need corporate sponsors – if we have the guts to take the day for ourselves, and use our massed strength to take the day and do with it as we please. As we have in the past.

Yes, we’re slowly getting nearly-equal rights in some areas of our lives, and most of the nation is much less hostile to us. It’s been at least four years since a NYPD officer called me a faggot for kissing another man in public, for instance – certainly a nice change, but perhaps it’s just because I’m old, and don’t kiss men in public as much as I once did.

But I agree with the occupiers on this one. The major parades have been largely co-opted by corporations, gay and not-gay, and in NYC, at least, the parade and the bystanders are rigidly and ostentatiously controlled by the NY Police department, who want everyone to know that they are in charge, and we “celebrate” only with their permission, and by their rules.

I find all this offensive, because it’s the antithesis of the original marches and parades – but it’s a different time, and the majority of gay people have never wanted to actually join in with the kinds of unruly folks who challenged authority forty years ago; they want assimilation much more than they want freedom or liberty. They have no heart to stand up to bullying police, and no will to take the streets for themselves – they find the very idea alien and frightening. And they are content with Pride.

Freedom and Liberty have once again become words for empty political rhetoric – I miss the days when some of us came together and made them real for a little while every year.

Lucrece
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

This is a misrepresentation of their position trying to portray them as running on platitudes.

I don’t like “queer” movements particularly myself, often because they stand for extreme leftists, and because you get the equivalents of Canada with anti-Israel groups mixed in. I don’t like that several of these groups are just thinly disguised communists.

The occupy movement is not one of them. Washington is bought and paid for, and the financial sector has run the country into the ground while those largely responsible have hardly been held accountable for the ruin they’ve foisted on the people whose money they made their fortunes with on reckless ventures.

Not all of them are lazy homeless/college students as conservatives would like us to believe. And even if some portion is homeless or college students, it doesn’t mean they’re lazy — and they’re still citizens of the US who should be just as valuable to society last time I checked.

Students have seen their tuition skyrocket due to plain greed on part of universities and cuts by Republicans to education funds. Anyone who deems our system where students come out with a second mortgage as acceptable is being callously insane.

People 39 and under are disproportionately affected by unemployment. This is not some pointless whining.

Neon Genesis
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

“Actually, no they aren’t. They’re just on opposite sides of the spectrum. OWS is the tea baggers of the left. Sorry if you can’t see the comparison, but it’s there. And just because someone doesn’t hold the same extreme views as you doesn’t make them a “mouthpiece for GoProud”. There is a such thing as the rational left, just like there are rational conservatives. Stop pretending like OWS is anything more than a bunch of screaming morons that don’t have real goals. They want higher taxes on the wealthy? Higher taxes on corporations? Universal health care? More funding for public transportation, and schools? Theses are all things that normal people all the left want. The Occupy people are just a bunch of babies that want what they want, and they want it right now. They make the rest of us all look bad.”

The Tea Party was a movement that was centered around racism and conspiracy theories and anti-government extremism. The Occupy movement is about protesting corporation corruption and promoting regulations of corporate sleazeballs. So far the only argument you’ve seem to present that they’re the same is that they’re both protestors who are angry about something, in which case you could say every protest is like the Tea Party, but that would be ridiculous.

Tony
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Actually, I’m not saying that, and you know I’m not saying that. Each side has their extremists, and OWS is the left’s. I honestly don’t know how to make it more simple for you, but then again, you support them so you probably wouldn’t understand anyway. We live in a divided country when it comes to left vs. right. There HAS to be compromise. Every time the other party wins, they just undo what the party before them did. I’m tired of it. There is nothing wrong with being in the middle and willing to listen to both sides.

Neon Genesis
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

The country isn’t divided between left versus right. That’s the convenient narrative the mainstream media like CNN wants us to believe. But all the studies and surveys shows the country is divided between moderate center left Democrats and the Republicans who are shifting further to the extreme side of conservatism on a weekly basis. Meanwhile, liberals who actually care about things like social justice and economic equality have their voices drowned out by broken campaign promises and wishy washy politicians who sacrifice their beliefs in the name of the false hope of “compromise” while getting absolutely nothing from the other side in return. Tell me one thing the conservatives and their corporate allies have been willing to compromise on their side. And for all the so-called support we’re supposedly getting from corporations, why can’t ENDA ever pass through every time someone tries to pass it?

Tony
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Did my comment completely go over your head? I never said either side was perfect. I said that we have to compromise. Your response is “they don’t do it so why should we”? You’re part of the problem.

Muscat
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

@Charles – Well of course people have to have a way of coming together and do business as a group. If you think anybody is asking for the complete inability to do those things you’re either forming a deliberate caricature or showing your own ignorance. What is meant by “corporation” in anti-corporate activism is the modern incarnation: a legal entity that enjoys almost all rights of a person and is singularly profit-driven. I think it’s pretty clear what anti-corporate activists want are things like rejection of the doctrine of corporate personhood. (This wouldn’t stop people from coming together as a group and do business together, but it would no longer be a “corporation” as we know it today.) I mean, if we want to talk about daffy thinking, how about the idea that corporate spending on elections “[does] not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.” This is an opinion held by the majority of our Supreme Court, not by supposedly wacked-out activists. I know which line of thought I find less tethered to reality.

Neon Genesis
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

“Did my comment completely go over your head? I never said either side was perfect. I said that we have to compromise. Your response is “they don’t do it so why should we”? You’re part of the problem.”

What part did I get wrong? You said the Occupy movement was the liberal version of the Tea Party and claimed we need more compromise. In response, I said the left already compromises too much and the right doesn’t compromise at all. Maybe this is compromise in whatever alternate universe you live in, but in my universe, this is cowardice.

Muscat
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

@Tony – There’s definitely something to be said for pragmatism and compromise, but false equivalence and centrism for centrism’s sake are also part of the problem. “Extremist” groups like the Tea Party and OWS help define what the “center” even is and can also help us understand when the center is askew – their content does matter beyond being at the extremes. In the case of OWS, asking that, after one of the country’s worst financial crises in modern history, the people and institutions centrally responsible be held to account and regulations be put in place (or back in place) to prevent it from happening again hardly seems irrational or extreme or embarrassing.

chiMaxx
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

The Tea Party is also largely an astro-turf movement, with rallies and bus tours and talking point focus groups and political spinmeisters underwritten by well-heeled conservative Republican organizations like Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks.

And the Occupy movement…isn”t.

Reilly
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Very well said in both posts, Muscat. While there is certainly a radical faction within Occupy, one hardly has to be a card-carrying Commie (or even a socialist) in order to find fault with an increasingly hardline right-wing worldview that characterizes as tyrannical ANY law or regulation that might have some impact on business. As individual citizens of a civilized society, we are held responsible for certain ethically blameworthy conduct that is risky or harmful to others. Why should the economic realm be exempt from this general principle?

I realize this post deals in extreme generalities and isn’t even anywhere near touching the topic of what, exactly, the rules and regulations should be. But I also think a lot of the frustration we see, and that gets expressed through political movements like Occupy, arises from the fact that large political and media institutions funded by scads of corporate money wield such influence in our discourse that we never even GET to the question of what the rules and regulations on markets should be. Fox News and their ilk have us too busy knee-jerking to the idea that we somehow come one step closer to being North Korea ANY time we make a guy in a suit behave himself.

As to the Occupy movement’s general “anti-corporate” message, yes, there probably are a few Occupiers who reflexively believe that all corporations are evil. Any social movement, after all, has its fringe dogmatists; it seems to be simply a part of human nature. But I bet there’s a lot more who aren’t against the legitimate conduct of business, and who simply mean to say that there are other ways to define ourselves than what we spend our money on, how we accessorize, and what product-based image we project. In other words, selling stuff is fine — but that doesn’t mean every human institution or event has to be, in effect, a marketplace.

Roy Dalgleish
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Neon Genesis,

thank you for what has been an extremely informative set of contributions to this discussion.

However, my point remains – all I have heard form Occupy and indeed Occupride(?) is what they don;t like and what they are protesting against.

Please, I assure you I say this with not one iota of sarcasm, if I have missed a positive demand form them somewhere, one which recommends a method by which these issues can be fixed, please tell me what it is. I have searched, perhaps not well enough, but all I can find it what they don;t like and what we must not support.

However justified, however heartfelt their objections, I’m still missing their answers for a solution to the problems.

Priya Lynn
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Roy, I think the demand is implicit in the complaint – proper regulation of the financial industry which was promised but has yet to take place thanks to the Republicans.

Susan Jordan
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Corporations ARE bad when they control our elections and political system and environmental policies. Pride used to be a political event — and yet it was fun too. Then it became corporate-ized and trivialized as cruisin’ & boozin’ parties. Bring back substance!

Charles
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

“Roy, I think the demand is implicit in the complaint – proper regulation of the financial industry which was promised but has yet to take place thanks to the Republicans.” – Priya Lynn

Is always the Republicans fault? There is a lot of regulation that is already in place. However, there has not been a single federal prosecution under the Obama Administration for financial wrongdoings. What happened at MF Global with the missing money? Jon Corine, a Democrat, was the CEO of MF Global and is still walking the streets. Someone over-rode the accounting controls at MF Global to make the money disappear…and, it appears we will never find that missing money.

Priya Lynn
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Charles, there are no regulations in place because the Republicans gutted Frank-Dodd and refused to implement 90% of its measures. There is in fact very little regulation in place beyond what was there when the U.S. got into this financial crisis. The Republicans have consistently fought for the 1% to the detriment of the 99% and have done everything they can to see nothing changes in the regulatory regime.

Muscat
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

@Roy Dalgleish

Don’t make me regret this by deciding this was an “educate me!” derailing post, but since you claim you made a good faith effort, here are two prominent documents with suggestions for solutions:
http://www.the99declaration.org/full_text
http://freenetworkmovement.org/commons/index.php?title=Liberty_Square_Blueprint

Priya Lynn
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Charles, I can’t speak to why there have been no prosecutions but I’d be VERY surprised if it weren’t because REpublicans were blocking such action.

Muscat
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

@Charles – You are right that Democrats bear part of the responsibility. After all, Bill Clinton was the one who signed the law repealing Glass-Steagall. And as you say, it’s shameful the Obama administration decided not to aggressively pursue litigation. However, let’s not pretend there’s an equivalence across the aisles. If it is true that many Democrats are bought and paid for it’s also true that almost the entire Republican Party is bought and paid for. At present, there seems to be little to say about the Republican Party’s raison d’être other than that it seeks to protect corporations and the wealthy. The same cannot be said of the Democratic Party.

Tony
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

I didn’t read every reply, but I do understand the importance of having a “left” and “right” that defines the center. Mostly what I’m getting from people here is that you’re just looking for excuses to be extreme. There can be a “left” without having communists protesting just like there can be a “right” without having facists protesting. If everyone were more reasonable and level-headed then we wouldn’t need the extremes to define anything for us. And to the person above me who wants to dismiss the Tea party as some corporate-sponsored movement to trick people: you can do that all you want, but millions of people agree with them. It doesn’t matter where the rhetoric is coming from. You’re attacking the messenger, and not the opinions they express.

Muscat
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

@Tony – If that’s really all you’re getting you’re not trying very hard.

So, you engage in name-calling, mischaracterization, and hyperbole but you’re calling for a more reasonable, level-headed discourse? Be careful or you may die from the irony.

Neon Genesis
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

I’d still like to know why the corporations won’t support the passing of ENDA and urge the political parties to pass it if they really support us.

Charles
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

“Charles, I can’t speak to why there have been no prosecutions but I’d be VERY surprised if it weren’t because REpublicans were blocking such action.” – Priya Lynn

Obviously you believe that Democrats are saintly and walking around guiltless. Barney Frank is a joke, he accepts no responsibility for anything that went wrong in the subprime loan fiasco, back when the financial institutions were encouraged/forced by the government to lend money to people to buy houses that they could not afford. And, I would suggest that you ask Eric Holder why haven’t there been any prosecutions, he is Obama’s Attorney General. Jon Corzone’s mess at MF Global is an entirely different matter. Corzone was the CEO and money went missing and no one knows where the heck it went. I suppose that no criminal activity was involved in that matter since no criminal prosecution has been pursued against anyone. Mr. Corzone is still out fund raising for Mr. Obama for his re-election.

Neon Genesis
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Do a Youtube search for Rachel Maddow’s coverage over the whole Eric Holder conspiracy nonsense.

Charles
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Neon, I guess what you are talking about is Nancy Peloski nonsensical statement that Republicans are after Holder, because he is spending most of his time working hard to forestall Republicans from attempting to suppress the vote by passing voter identification laws in some states? The woman is a loon.

Sorry, I found what Ms. Maddow had to say and the right wing loons were about just as bad. http://shredoftruth.com/home/rachel-maddow-trashes-the-rights-eric-holder-gun-nut-conspiracy-theory.html

I would suggest that you don’t visit Chicago unless you are willing to wear a bullet proof vest. In the past couple of weekends in Obama’s hometown has been racked with gun violence and deaths. Even though Chicago has some of the most strict gun control laws on the books. No one can deny that this fact is truly sad.

Charles
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

“Do a Youtube search for Rachel Maddow’s coverage over the whole Eric Holder conspiracy nonsense.” – Neon

The investigation into Fast and Furious is a valid investigation that has not been covered much by the MSM. Weapons were allowed to fall into criminal hands. Many Mexicans died and so did one U.S. Federal Agent as a result of the failed operation. Mr. Holder and his Department of Justice has been less than forthcoming on matters concerning Fast and Furious. Mr. Holder has made contradictory statements. Documents that have been requested have not been produced. My brother went through a three day divorce trial and I think he had to produce more documents than what Mr. Holder has delivered to Congress.

Lord_Byron
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

Charles,

Most people are not arguing about Holder’s statements to congress. What most people are arguing about is the fact that right-wing groups, like the NRA, have decided that fast and furious was an Obama plot to cause gun violence in Mexico in order to pass bans on assault weapons. Because as we all know Obama is secretly going to take all the guns away. Even though there has not been a single bill addressing the 2nd amendment in all of his term.

Charles
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

“Most people are not arguing about Holder’s statements to congress. What most people are arguing about is the fact that right-wing groups, like the NRA, have decided that fast and furious was an Obama plot to cause gun violence in Mexico in order to pass bans on assault weapons. Because as we all know Obama is secretly going to take all the guns away. Even though there has not been a single bill addressing the 2nd amendment in all of his term.” – Lord Byron

I can’t really you believe this BS. The current central question about Fast and Furious is who knew what and when ……… and, why has Obama resorted to employing the very rarely used power of Executive Privilege. Now everyone is asking, what is so important to hide from the committee and the public?

Neon Genesis
June 26th, 2012 | LINK

The real question is why does anyone take a conspiracy seriously that was started by Fox News and the “throw bricks into Democrats windows for passing Obamacare” guy?

Muscat
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

No, the real question is why we’re so far afield from the topic at hand. The OP is about Occupride and the Occupy movement. Discussion of the extent to which the Republicans vs Democrats are captured by corporate interests seems pretty directly relevant.

However, unless someone can demonstrate some connection to the issue of corporate interests, discussion of other alleged problems with the administration and/or congress doesn’t seem all that relevant, unless the intent is to derail the discussion.

chiMaxx
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

Tony: I don’t think many–certainly not millions–would agree with the positions of Tea Party funders and leaders, if those were actually made public.

The Tea Party leaders use focus-group tested language and issues to leverage white middle class dissatisfaction over erosion of their economic status and nativist discomfort over demographic changes and channel them toward some issues (e.g., health insurance uncertainty) and away from others (e.g., at immigrants rather than at the CEOs who outsourced most of the jobs to other countries).

Their dissatisfaction is real, but it is being channeled by people with other motives and the resources to do so.

Whatever you may say about the incoherence of some of the Occupy movement’s stances, that very incoherence indicates that this is not an astroturfed movement.

Timothy Kincaid
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

Perhaps there were different objectives and different motivations behind the spontaneous eruption of what came to be called the Tea Party. Locally, it seemed to be created by a bad economy and expressed in terms of anger over the disparity between taxes paid and services provided along with ever increasing governmental demands for conformity and paperwork.

I think it has been largely co-opted by social conservatives and wackjobs, but I don’t think that stuff was much part of the original impetus. And, at least in LA, once the Tea Party became a GOTV project for right wing Republicans, it was dead.

From my political perspective, I’m sad that no one rose up to speak for this segment of the population (though I think Ron Paul got as far as he did out of the desperation of these people to support anyone who at least pretended to listen). Instead the worst of the Republicans saw this as a means and jumped in to claim that this really was about their pet issues.

Yeah, they are white middle-class people. But so what? There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with being white or middle class or with being proud of your family and yourself. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with cherishing your culture and wanting to see it practiced in the land where your grandparents were born or passing down to your grandchildren.

These people are sick of being ignored and dismissed and reviled and publicly mocked for being white middle class people. (God, some of the blatant racism that gets dished out on progressive websites against “white males” really is revolting). They don’t much like that their culture is the subject of jokes or that they are increasing expected to always be the ones whose views and values are dismissed in the name of multi-culturalism or diversity.

I never really did live in that landscape or fit that profile exactly. And I moved out of whiteville (or, in my hometown, lightbrownville) the moment I had a chance and never moved back.

But regardless of whether you sympathize with them or hate them for being the symbol of “privilege”, I can certainly understand the anger. We all get angry when we are stereotyped and dismissed as inferior. And that is, after all, what the gay movement is all about – breaking stereotypes and demanding respect.

Neon Genesis
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

If the Tea Party was a genuine movement that was merely “hijacked” by the conservative, why did the majority of self-identified Tea Parties share exactly the same social conservative beliefs that the Religious Right have and where was the so-called original and pure Tea Party when Bush expanded government authority to wiretap American citizens in the name of the war against terrorism?

Neon Genesis
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

And is Timothy using that “liberals are reverse racists!” argument now? seriously?

chiMaxx
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

i never said there was wrong with being white and middle class. But for the decades between WWII and the turn of the century, the white middle class, as a group, had essentially been given the golden ticket. When their lot, as a group, got harder, they looked for someone to blame. Republicans have manipulated their distress by diverting the blame, fear and distress from the powerful plutocrats–who are actually responsible, through capturing a larger and larger part of the economic pie, leaving less for everyone else, and by exporting jobs though outsourcing–to immigrants and others who are even more powerless than the white middle class.

In many ways, Obama was the perfect foil for their anger–not white, foreign fathers, raised abroad for part of his childhood (and, some argued, born abroad and not genuinely Christian).

And “cherishing your culture and wanting to see it practiced in the land where your grandparents were born or passing down to your grandchildren” becomes wrong when you become resistant to any and all change, when you take offense at the fact that your doctor is from Pakistan and your cabbie from Iraq and a Korean family bought the florist and the candy shop.

chiMaxx
June 27th, 2012 | LINK

Mix a little ignorance and nativism in with that “cherishing your culture and wanting to see it practiced in the land where your grandparents were born or passing down to your grandchildren” and it quickly becomes this:

NY Times: “WASHINGTON — After years of speculation, estimates and projections, the Census Bureau has made it official: White births are no longer a majority in the United States….”

Roger Schlafly: “The NY Times liberals seek to destroy the American family of the 1950s, as symbolized by Ozzie and Harriet…. Instead, the USA is being transformed by immigrants who do not share those values, and who have high rates of illiteracy, illegitimacy, and gang crime, and they will vote Democrat when the Democrats promise them more food stamps.”

http://blog.eagleforum.org/2012/05/america-is-becoming-non-white.html

Priya Lynn
June 28th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy said “And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with cherishing your culture and wanting to see it practiced in the land where your grandparents were born or passing down to your grandchildren.”.

Cherishing your culture, fine, but wanting to have others live according to your desires is a lot like the anti-gays thinking they have a right to tell gays they shouldn’t have same sex relationships. One has no more right to see their culture practiced (beyond oneself) in the land where their grandparents were born than one has to tell gays how to live.

Timothy Kincaid
June 28th, 2012 | LINK

Chimaxx

I think that you may be placing the emphasis on race or ethnic origin when it really is more about culture and assimilation.

chiMaxx
June 28th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy:

The two are related. When we talk about “white middle class” we are talking about race as much as about culture. And from food to religion to family structure, ethnicity and culture are tightly intertwined.

And assimilation works in both directions. The newcomers make the biggest changes, but part of who they are gets picked up by the dominant group, as well. It means that your grandchildren will not be practicing your culture exactly as your grandparents did. You can either rage about that, and lament that “the USA is being transformed by immigrants who do not share [American] values” and try to isolate people, or you can be good neighbors and recognize that curries and huaraches and shawarma–and the people who bring them–are now going to be part of the neighborhood’s summer hot dish potluck, which is moving a week earlier so it doesn’t exclude the family who will be observing Ramadan.

The astroturf organizations behind the Tea Party are trying to distract people from the ways they are responsible for the erosion of economic power of the white middle class through arrogating more of the countries capital to themselves and exporting jobs overseas by riling people up and saying: You shouldn’t have to accommodate these people with their weird foods and strange religious calendars; your summer picnic should be whenever it’s always been, with only true blue American foods like chili and bratwurst with sauerkraut, and no government is going to force these changes down your throat.

Timothy Kincaid
June 28th, 2012 | LINK

chiMaxx,

True the two are related, but not the same.

chiMaxx
June 28th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy:

When the issue is immigration–a big Tea Party touchpoint–the two are so intertwined as to be indistinguishable.

Timothy Kincaid
June 28th, 2012 | LINK

Now I just don’t see that.

There’s a lot of objection to immigration in the Tea Party movement, but little of it seems to have been expressed in terms of race, or at least not that I saw. It’s definitely about “true blue Americans”, but I don’t think that race, in and of itself, plays as much in their minds as critics have claimed.

I’m sure there are a lot of anecdotes that would argue otherwie, but I think that there’s something else going on. Otherwise it’s hard to explain their adoration of Herman Cain and Marco Rubio.

I won’t try and pretend that I fully understand the Tea Party people, but i think racism is an explanation that doesn’t exactly fit. I’ll have to think more on this.

Muscat
June 29th, 2012 | LINK

According to research presented by social movement sociologist Tina Fetner at last year’s American Sociological Association, tea party organizations were likely to form in counties with:
* more big businesses
* high levels of income inequality
* high foreclosure rates
* high bankruptcy rates
* more people who voted for Bush
* _fewer_ churches
* a higher percentage of whites

Other findings were _no_ relationship with:
* higher tax burdens
* per capita govt debt
* presence of coal and oil energy companies
* percent evangelical
* hate crime rates

This suggests there is definitely both a straightforward economic and (traditional party) political component, but that despite the motto “Taxed Enough Already” the motivating impetus isn’t taxes, per se. It also suggests it wasn’t particularly originating in or supported by traditional social conservative groups (evangelicals and their churches). And it also suggests there is a racial component but that it is not connected with overt racial animus.

Muscat
June 29th, 2012 | LINK

So I guess we’re moving on to talk about other things since it’s been established Occupy/Occupride does in fact have clear goals and propose positive solutions? (And also that Republicans and Democrats are not equally captured by corporate interests?)

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Timothy Kincaid
June 29th, 2012 | LINK

Muscat,

Those indeed are interesting observations, and they can inform my thoughts, but conclusions about motivation based on correlation have very little value.

And “if I get the last word it means I won” has little purpose or respect beyond grade school.

Muscat
June 29th, 2012 | LINK

Neither does changing the subject and/or clamming up in the face of valid criticism.

Sorry if I’m tired of people making inaccurate claims and then when they get called out on it, not owning up and/or offering actual counter-evidence.

Or, as they say in grade school, “Put up or shut up.” ;)

Muscat
June 29th, 2012 | LINK

Re: the Tea Party findings. You are right that by themselves correlations don’t necessarily tell us about causes or motivations, which is why I was careful to say the findings were suggestive. However, that said, some sort of correlational evidence is a necessary step in establishing causes.

In any case, I shared the information because I think the actual evidence isn’t easily conformed to some right-wing media narratives regarding the Tea Party, nor to those of many left-wing critical narratives, such as some you responded to here in comments. I actually think the data fits pretty closely to your narrative.

Timothy Kincaid
June 29th, 2012 | LINK

Muscat,

Sometimes there simply isn’t anything to debate. I certainly don’t think that “Occupy/Occupride does in fact have clear goals and propose positive solutions”. You do.

I see that someone wrote up a declaration, but I have no indication that the Occupeople even know it exists much less are out there striving for those goals.

And the Occupride folk certainly weren’t talking about term limits or a constitutional congress; they just objected to corporate money (saying the word “corporate” as though they thought that something being corporate was enough to make it objectionable). It was actually funny that they wanted to criticize Willy Brown and so what they said to insult him was “well he’s not really a corporation but he might as well be.”

But at this point in the conversation it’s clear that we’re not going to find consensus. I’m not going to look at the list of demands and come to the conclusion that these folk are deep thinkers – okay, I think that they are knee-jerk reactionary and amazingly low in intellect. You, on the other hand, see their objectives in clear terms and concise ideology that is driven by underlying principles that are based in sound economics and centuries of political philosophy.

I guess when it comes to Occuworld, we don’t live on the same planet.

So let’s just wish each other good weather on the wacko planet that each thinks the other lives on and realize that when we don’t have a common basis for debate that there’s not much point in it.

But when it comes to the info on the Tea Party strong geographical locations, I too find them interesting. I’d love to say that they prove me right, but… dammit…

Priya Lynn
June 29th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy said “I think that they are knee-jerk reactionary and amazingly low in intellect.”.

Be they right, or be they wrong there isn’t much difference in intellect between you and them, or me for that matter. That was a pretty low class comment.

Muscat
June 29th, 2012 | LINK

@Timothy –

My comments weren’t really primarily directed at you, although I do still think you did a disservice to yourself and your readers by acting as if there’s no reason or logic to their goals or tactics.

I see that someone wrote up a declaration, but I have no indication that the Occupeople even know it exists much less are out there striving for those goals.

What exactly would be an “indication?” In any case, if we’re going to focus back on the specific Occupride case, we don’t need to go to the declaration – you can just go to the Occupride website, which at least two people have pointed to.

It was actually funny that they wanted to criticize Willy Brown and so what they said to insult him was “well he’s not really a corporation but he might as well be.”

That is pretty funny, I hadn’t read about that one. I had read, “Don’t forget Willie Brown, the Lifetime Grand Marshall, is famous for saying ’anyone who doesn’t make $50,000 a year doesn’t have a right to live in SF,” though, which seems like a pretty cogent point, if a bit exaggerated from what he actually said.

But at this point in the conversation it’s clear that we’re not going to find consensus. I’m not going to look at the list of demands and come to the conclusion that these folk are deep thinkers – okay, I think that they are knee-jerk reactionary and amazingly low in intellect. You, on the other hand, see their objectives in clear terms and concise ideology that is driven by underlying principles that are based in sound economics and centuries of political philosophy.

On the contrary, I don’t see it in such black-and-white terms, nor do I expect to reach a consensus on the motivations or intellect of the Occupiers. As I said in my very first post, I think there can be honest disagreement about the wisdom of their goals and tactics (and, in fact, pretty much agreed with your primary critique of Occupride’s position).

That said: goals that I think are dumb and reactionary can still be clear. Positive solutions can be proposed that I think are stupid. But that’s different from pretending I have no idea what these people might be going on about and that in any case no solutions have been proposed for the (incomprehensible) problems they’ve pointed out.

chiMaxx
June 29th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy:

The statement read at the SF parade and handed out in fliers hardly seems incoherent:
“The Pride celebration has become increasingly commercialized, co-opted by corporate intersts that use our struggle for liberation as a market for commodities and as a way to boost profit. These interests – the 1% – parade status quo candidates and parties for our consumption, wearing a mask of progressive LGBT equality while marginalizing and criminalizing the poor and disempowered. In doing so they seek to divide our community, catering only to those of us with money to spend; but the LBGTQI community is more than the affluent, we are also the disempowered, the homeless, the sick, the sufferers of discrimination and violence.”

It’s worth asking yourself: Did the people who took to the streets in 1969, who risked arrest and their livelihoods marching in Gay Freedom parades in the 1970s, do so so that Nabisco could sell you more Oreos? In some ways, the marketing embrace of the GLBT community is a marker of our growing social acceptance. At the same time, those commercial interests want to associate their brands with only certain aspects of our community, encouraging us to draw the curtains to hide other parts. Recognizing that reality is not in itself a solution, but there will never be a solution if we do not recognize it.

On the other hand, we have Guy Baldwin, who has argued in several controversial issues that the reason the social advances for the leather/kink community have come at lightning speed compared to the broader gay community is the unabashed capitalism at the core of the leather community, while gay leaders have always been socialistic dreamers, pursuing not just gay and lesbian rights but hitching them to a host of other causes.

In a week, I’ll be going to Denver for the quadrennial GALA Choruses festival–and there a lot of the same threads will be rubbing against one another. Traveling to GALA is an expense–one many choruses help their less fortunate members offset. It is a gathering, not a competition–and yet the biggest, most well-heeled choruses are always a huge draw. Issues of ticket pricing, fund raising, how “commercially” to program your concert season are all ongoing concerns.

If you aren’t at least occasionally asking yourself “How much are we a community and how much a commodity?” then you’ve been completely bought and sold.

Timothy Kincaid
June 29th, 2012 | LINK

muscat,

Okay. You see clear goals, I don’t. I think we can disagree over whether the listed goal are driving the protest or are a token manifesto.

I don’t see a connection between the action and the words, you do. We have different perceptions. I’m okay with that.

Timothy Kincaid
June 29th, 2012 | LINK

chiMaxx

Their statement’s pretty much boiler plate, don’t you think? It has nothing to do with Wells Fargo or Nabisco.

But I guess I come at this with different perspectives than they do.

I remember when I was on the parade committee one year, if we could have gotten Nabisco to fund the event we would have danced in delight. The objections then were that the only people willing to put up funds were alcohol and tobacco companies – selling products which were addictive and harmful (okay, maybe Oreos fit).

Now if they were protesting a corporation that had demonstrated itself to have anti-gay policies – say Exxon/Mobil – but who wanted PR, then I’d see the point.

But Wells Fargo lost a huge chunk of business about a decade ago when (I think it was) Focus on the Family led a charge to get Christians to pull out of that bank over their gay support. So yeah, in a way they are what we fought in the streets for. They sided with us – not our enemies – and they earned a place in our community.

I get that some folks don’t like the economic model that allows certain business entities to dominate the marketplace and that wealth is unfairly distributed. I even get that some people don’t like that there is a marketplace at all. And I’m all for letting them be heard. Let them Occuspeak and Occulecture at Occuberkeley if they occulike (and I reserve the right to do a little occumocking).

But don’t protest the folks who step up for us. Even if you just can’t stomach banks, try and look the other way when the bank that contributes to No On 8 comes by. Our community is not so flush with supporters that we can shun any.

Unless, of course, you really do have a money tree. And… if that’s the case… are you single?

Timothy Kincaid
June 29th, 2012 | LINK

(oh, and by “you can’t stomach banks” I meant the general “you”, not you specifically)

Neon Genesis
June 30th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, are you actually interested in what anyone who disagrees with you say or are you just going to make up your own interpretation of what we believe about the free market?

Neon Genesis
June 30th, 2012 | LINK

“I’m sure there are a lot of anecdotes that would argue otherwie, but I think that there’s something else going on. Otherwise it’s hard to explain their adoration of Herman Cain and Marco Rubio. ”

It’s not that hard to figure out. If you’re a candidate who hates gays, Muslims, and liberals as much as the Tea Party does, then they won’t mind overlooking their race, but if you’re not the right type of racial minority, then you’re the spawn of Satan for coming to America to take away Amerikan jobs. It’s a modern day Uncle Tom basically.

Timothy Kincaid
June 30th, 2012 | LINK

NG

I have no idea what you believe about the free market. But on this we agree: making up motivations for other people and then railing at them for having these imagined motivations can make one appear a fool.

chiMaxx
July 1st, 2012 | LINK

Timothy:

As is muddling someone else’s message and then attacking them for having a muddled message. In your piece that started this, you do that repeatedly. For instance, look at the last quoted passage and your analysis of it. You have two different marchers attacking two different issues.

One decries the over-commercialization of an event that originated with a kind of revolutionary zeal that no companies supported or would have. What was once about marching in the streets to claim our rights as citizens, oppose sodomy laws and police crackdowns is a big corporate party to sell us beer and Oreos. You may disagree with him over whether this change is a good one or not, but it is a real one. His point doesn’t seem to be that corporations should be banned, just that we should be aware of the changes at the event and make a space in our celebrations for those who share some of the zeal of those original revolutionaries to remind us what we are about.

A second laments that the event financially tied itself to financial institutions, and at least one of the ones she named was notoriously tied up in some of the worst abuses of the mortgage and foreclosure crisis–paying huge legal fees to our government for illegally pen-signing documents, having numerous stories in the press about foreclosing on people who hadn’t defaulted on their loans, foreclosing on people when the banks did not even possess the legally required paperwork to do so. Who cares if they’re good to their gay employees when they are responsible for such foul abuses? What she calls for is not unlike the San Francisco fetish street festivals and IML in Chicago banning producers of bareback porn: Do we want to give our imprimatur to institutions we consider destructive to the larger community by allowing them in the parade. Again, agree or disagree (I tend to disagree–both with her and the street fairs–because I think banning speech is never the answer), but her argument is neither without precedent nor incoherent.

But you moosh their two separate arguments together to “As best I can tell, what makes evil corporations evil (other than just being part of a capitalist system) is that they fail to give back to the community, they put profits over people, and they just aren’t being responsible neighbors. So we should protest their funding of gay pride events. (Irony isn’t really their strong point.)” This isn’t fair representative of what either of them said. So you argue against a strawman of your own making and then declare rhetorical and logical victory.

Imagined motives, imagined arguments: It’s not all that different, and it’s always easier to see when it is being done by someone you disagree with.

I don’t think Occupride is the answer, but I think they are raising important questions. I try not to see the Tea Party as just moneyed interests cynically trying to channel the angry and uninformed lashing out by a group distressed that the world is changing such that they and their children don’t automatically enjoy the same level of identity-based cultural privilege they once did. I don’t always succeed, but I try to recognize that, though I think that characterization is mostly true, it can lead me to false strawmen when looking at Tea Party reaction to particular issues or events (or not: Look at Rand Paul’s comments about the Constitutionality of the Supreme Court’s ACA decision).

Your defeat of the strawmen in your essay that started this conversation thread is impressive–but that’s really all it is. That you now come back and charge Neon Genesis with doing more or less the same, only from the other direction, is a delicious irony.

Timothy Kincaid
July 1st, 2012 | LINK

ChiMaxx

Evidently you found very different meaning in The statements of the Occupriders.

chiMaxx
July 1st, 2012 | LINK

Timothy: Mostly, I just didn’t moosh two separate statements together into one fanciful interpretation that doesn’t represent what either spokesman said. Neither one said that we should eschew all corporate money. Neither one said that all corporations are evil. Yet you ascribe both opinions to them.

If corporations are (like) people, then it seems self evident that they can do bad things as well as good, and we should be free to hold them responsible for the bad they do–socially even when legal prosecution fails.

Neon Genesis
July 1st, 2012 | LINK

Evidently Timothy doesn’t care what anybody says.

Timothy (TRiG)
July 5th, 2012 | LINK

Point: Pride should be for all LGBT people. All.

That means no one should have to examine their conscience before going.

That means sponsorship from ethically dodgy corporations is problematic.

How would you feel if you’d been kicked out of your home by a bank flirting with the edge of the law, and you knew a friend of yours was going to a big party sponsored by that same bank?

A friend of mine in London is avoiding World Pride because it’s sponsored by Coca Cola.

won’t be attending World Pride on Saturday as I would rather not support events which accept sponsorship from (ie, advertise) companies which use subsidiaries/suppliers who threaten trade unionists with death.

As a trade unionist I think it would be bizarre for me to do so. When it comes to a trade off between workers’ rights and LGBT rights (which Saturday unfortunately does) my priorities still lie with the former.

Having said that, I hope all those who do attend have a cracking time. Pride’s important, both as a celebration of how far we’ve come and, more importantly, as a message to those who can’t have prides that things can get better.

And that’s a reasonable point. Could World Pride not be more inclusive by not giving advertising space to ethically dodgy companies? Yes, it could. Of course, they might then have less money. There are trade offs. But it’s certainly a place where ethical disagreement is possible.

Here’s another thought, from Greta Christina. This is perhaps more relevant to the way the editorial was written.

Pretty much any time people from a marginalized group speak out about their/our marginalization, the story will get re-told in a way that omits the most pertinent details, the very details that form the foundation of the protest — thus making the protest look trivial and ridiculous.

TRiG.

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