Tuesday, May 07, 2013

SF Pride don't listen to the Tammy Bruce of San Diego

As Betty Ford Roth (KPBS) pointed out last month, self-appointed voice of gay America, Sean Sala declared Bradley Manning had no business being the Grand Marshal at the San Francisco Pride Events.  Sean Sala is from San Diego.  Who  cares what he thinks?

These are San Francisco events.  Is Sean Sala unable to plan events for his own area?

The response should have been, "Thanks for your input. Let us know what Pride events you're organizing for San Diego and we'll try to help you get the word out."

Instead of standing firm, San Francisco Pride Board President Lisa L. Williams responded to Sala's calling Bradley "a traitor to the United States" and "a shame to the LGBT Military community" by immediately backing down and the new Tammy Bruce got his way?

As a resident of the area, I'm weighing in.  Should I be?  I'm not a lesbian.

But that hasn't stopped me from speaking out for gay rights for decades now.  It hasn't stopped me from marching or donating money.  (I've made clear that if the decision stands, I'm not pulling money this year but I will not be donating to next year's events.  I'm not the only one making that promise.)

Bradley's 'controversial' to the new Tammy Bruce?

Who cares?

You think it was controversial decades ago to speak up for equality?  It was controversial.  Many people would come up to me and say they would too but they didn't want people thinking they were gay.  (This included many closeted actors and actresses -- including the actress that was closeted until the '00s but spent all last summer and last fall insisting she'd always been out.)   I could've destroyed my career -- I didn't think that would happen -- but that's the fear that kept others silent and scared.

You do the right thing because it's needed.  You do the right thing because when someone's in need and you can help, you do.

Why is Bradley controversial?


Monday April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." In March, 2011, David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took place in December. At the start of this year, there was an Article 32 hearing and, February 3rd, it was announced that the government would be moving forward with a court-martial. Bradley has yet to enter a plea. The court-martial was supposed to begin before the November 2012 election but it was postponed until after the election so that Barack wouldn't have to run on a record of his actual actions.  Independent.ie adds, "A court martial is set to be held in June at Ford Meade in Maryland, with supporters treating him as a hero, but opponents describing him as a traitor."  February 28th, Bradley admitted he leaked to WikiLeaks.  And why.

Bradley Manning:   In attempting to conduct counter-terrorism or CT and counter-insurgency COIN operations we became obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and not being suspicious of and avoiding cooperation with our Host Nation partners, and ignoring the second and third order effects of accomplishing short-term goals and missions. I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A tables this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as [missed word] as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.
I also believed the detailed analysis of the data over a long period of time by different sectors of society might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to even to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the effected environment everyday.

Bradley's a Whistle Blower.

I know Tammy Bruce doesn't understand because he's so ignorant but that's what Bradley is.

He tried the New York Times and the Washington Post, no luck.  So he tried WikiLeaks.

If Tammy Bruce of San Diego has a problem with WIkiLeaks, that's a problem with WIkiLeaks.  What Bradley did was in the grand tradition of whistle blowing.  I don't care for Daniel Ellsberg today but I helped raise money for him back in the day when he was being persecuted by the government for whistle blowing.

SF Pride is supposed to be about San Francisco pride.  No offense to San Diego, they've got a great mayor, lot of nice spots, but I'd never want to live there. (Just, as I'm sure, many residents of San Diego love it and wouldn't want to live anywhere else.)  In my city, we speak out.  We overwhelmingly spoke out against the Iraq War.  Our values, so frequently ridiculed as "San Franciso values," may be 'out of touch' with some areas of the country but that's what it means to be at the forefront.  It means you lead.  It means you blaze the trail.

Pride events in San Francisco have to do the same.  Otherwise, they're not pride events for the area.  How really sad, a gay activist friend of mine who's had three yelling matches with Lisa and others on the board noted, that SF Pride is letting Tammy Bruce of San Diego force them back into the closet.

Bradley was a great decision, reflected the feelings of the gay community in San Francisco and of the community of San Francisco as a whole.

Rather than represent San Francisco, SF Pride wants to take marching orders from San Diego.

The proper response is, "Tammy Bruce, you do what you want in San Diego, but butt the hell out of our city."  In other words, let San Diego Pride burn Bradley in effegy if that's what the Latter Day Tammy Bruce wants.  I doubt he'll get away with that.  I'm told there's already a backlash brewing in San Diego.

There's one in San Francisco.  A huge one because San Francisco opposed the illegal war because it was an illegal war.  So, yes, Bradley's whistle blowing is supported. But  Bradley's not just a gay man who was targeted by the US government.  (Targeted? I'm referring to making a known gay man be naked and visible for all men and women to see as they parade through the brig.  That was done intentionally in the same way that the US military used nudity as shame and embarrassment at Abu Ghraib.)  He's a man with transgender issues.

While other areas of the country are self-congratulating over their support of marriage equality, in San Francisco the battle for equality doesn't stop with that one issue.

Lisa and the board had no idea what  a grenade they were stepping on when they stabbed the San Francisco community and Bradley in the back.

San Francisco Pride either stands with San Francisco or it needs to go in search of new city because the board has lost support.

As a rule of thumb, local events never listen to outsiders.  Your local event, if it's doesn't represent the community, will result in outcry from the community.  If you back down every time a Tammy Bruce from San Diego comes hissing, you'll never accomplish anything.

This issue is not going away.  It's heating up.

(Disclosure:  I'm actually writing this in exchange for three gay activist friends agreeing to wait until Friday to start planning Real Pride events that will strip off participation in the planned SF Pride events. I was asked for money to help with that -- one club's already going for it -- I agreed.  But I asked to them to wait until Friday to start seriously exploring this and, in exchange, I said I'd write about the issue today.)

The board does not want the nightmare they are about to face.  Tammy Bruce of San Diego needs to be told by the SF Pride board that while SF Pride welcomes all and hope all have a great time, the fact of the matter is that it is San Francisco Pride and it will reflect San Francisco values.

David Dishneau (AP) reported yesterday afternoon, "A military judge, Col. Denise Lind, has ordered what prosecutors say is an unprecedented closed hearing Wednesday at Fort Meade to help her decide how much of Manning's upcoming trial should be closed to protect national security."

The board of SF Pride better grasp real quick that Bradley is history.  Bradley will be in the history books.  The board does not want to be remembered as coming down on the wrong side of history.

The following community sites -- plus Adam Kokesh and Antiwar.com --  updated last night and this morning:

I was going to note this article by David Swanson.  I'm not.  I would prefer to comment on it.  It's needs an addition. Yeah, he e-mailed it this morning.  He's unaware of something that took place yesterday.  It would have made the snapshot but then came the Air Force scandal.  I'll try to include it the next entry, if not we'll grab it in the snapshot.  In the meantime, you can use the link to read his commentary.  (Which I'm not disagreeing with.  But he mentions something which had a shocking development yesterday and he's apparently not aware of that.)

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.

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