eggwards: (Default)
[personal profile] eggwards
Not that I'm one to replay tweets here, but this morning I decided to post a little note about the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall. I did so not only to commemorate the brave men and women who stood up and decided to push back against being targeted by the police. It was a win for dignity. Sure, it wasn't anything to new to most but on Twitter I have some college friends and others who aren't as aware of gay-bear-world, so it was a good thing to mention there.

Now not more than an hour after I post that, I see a notice from the Dallas Voice that the Ft. Worth police along with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC - the states licensers of bars and has an enforcement wing) descended on the week-old Rainbow Lounge last night. They brought a paddy wagon, so they were definitely there expecting to arrest people and make a big splashy raid of the bar.

While I could say that it is possible that the Ft Worth police could be unaware of Stonewall and all that. It's not exactly taught in school. Still, here's a bar that's only been around a week, and you say that there's been enough complaints that it would warrant a raid. It seems awfully strange to me, and naturally my thoughts tend to go to the idea that the police wanted to make a statement, and not a very good one.

It's just one of those things on a day like today you want to say look how far we've come, and all the progress, even if there's still a lot more to be done. Then something comes along and takes it all back.

With Stonewall, there's always the theory that the patrons were mad that it was hot and Judy Garland had died just days before, but I really think that having to hide, and having to be afraid of the police and their raids were the real problem. The fact that getting caught could ruin your life was a factor for a big backlash. Raids were a normal thing then.

While it's an interesting thought that the people at the Rainbow lounge were getting out of the heat, and they were lamenting the deaths of Farrah Faucett and Michael Jackson, but frankly they didn't really make much of a fuss about the raid, and the police did cuff and take people out of the bar so they could charge them with being drunk in public.

Really, I don't think a riot was warranted. Today we should be able to go through the right channels to get answers and we are still waiting for the Ft. Worth police and the TBAC to give us a good reason why the bar was targeted, and why this particular weekend. We have a voice now, where as 40 years ago we didn't, and we need to get answers. If we don't get answers, then it's time to get angry.

Something's fishy here, but let's see what the full picture is, and if it's just the police trying to make a "point" they better be able to defend that point. I doubt that there's really much to stand on for them.

So 40 years from Stonewall we still have to fight and struggle for freedom from discrimination, for dignity, and for the equal rights that we are promised in the constitution. Things are much better, and I'm happy that I can live out and openly, but I know that openness can only go so far as there are not the full protections of the government for me, protections in the workplace, respect for my relationship, and the e ability to pursue happiness just like any other American.

I'm thankful for the people who threw shoes and talked back, I'm happy they got the ball rolling and made it so I could live a better life, but we need to honor them by continuing to push back and strive for true equality.

Date: 2009-06-29 02:49 am (UTC)
jkusters: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jkusters
I hope the guy who the cops beat to the floor recovers quickly and the bleeding in his brain doesn't cause any long-term damage. From what I'm reading from the Voice, this is indeed very suspicious. There had better be a damned good explanation coming soon.

If this is the start of a trend, then much like 40 years ago, a protest will happen. Hopefully non-violent, but I think that depends as much upon the attitude of law enforcement as it does the patrons of the raided bars.

Date: 2009-06-29 05:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erstexman.livejournal.com
The raid and aftermath were covered on the news tonight. One of the patrons is in ICU with a head injury from the rough treatment he received from the police. According to the reporter, 3 bars were chosen "at random".

Yeah right...

Date: 2009-06-29 06:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] furrbear.livejournal.com
While I could say that it is possible that the Ft Worth police could be unaware of Stonewall and all that. It's not exactly taught in school. Still, here's a bar that's only been around a week, and you say that there's been enough complaints that it would warrant a raid. It seems awfully strange to me, and naturally my thoughts tend to go to the idea that the police wanted to make a statement, and not a very good one.

You could say that, but it would fly in the face of the FWPD's Diversity training. They've had programs in place to work with the gay community for around 20 years.

The bar isn't exactly new. It's the old 651 Club that shut down several years ago as the owners were dumb enough to let the liquor license lapse. While it was operating, it was the most successful gay bar in town. I don't know if the new owners are related to the prior ones. Yes, one week is not enough time to collect sufficient complaints unless the agency just wanted to throw its weight around.

The TABC? The Fort Worth officers have always acted like stormtrooper thugs, but they've always been equal opportunity assholes.

Date: 2009-06-29 10:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blackwingbear.livejournal.com
40 years and we have gone nowhere... We're still in the same situation.

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