NYT Scolds Pride Organizers for Not Tolerating NYPD Abuse

What’s a “worrisome trend” to the New York Times editors wasn’t police violence towards queer people, but LGBTQ activists challenging the ability of police forces to whitewash that violence by having gay contingents in Pride parades.

 

NYTL A Misstep by the Organizers of Pride

New York Times (5/18/21): “Taking a pledge to protect and serve your city should not mean sacrificing the chance to be included in a community celebration of your identity.”

An editorial in the New York Times (5/18/21) condemning New York City Pride organizers for excluding police contingents from the annual parade is not just baffling, but extremely dangerous. In one piece, the Times editorial board disregards historical context, current affairs and the realities that queer people face today.

The piece led off by profiling a lesbian sergeant from the New York Police Department, who accused the organizers of “throwing me back in the closet” with their “devastating” decision.

Pride parades, the editors wrote, are “about the joy of belonging.” But that’s under threat because of the Pride organizers:

Today, at a time when Republican legislatures are attacking transgender rights across the country, it’s a strange moment for the LGBTQ community to be closing the door on some of its own and missing an opportunity to broaden its coalition.

The New York City Pride organizers’ decision is part of a worrisome trend in recent years of Pride organizers who have barred uniformed officers from marching in cities like Toronto and Vancouver, or have tried to do so, in places like Sacramento and St. Louis. Officers like Ms. Arboleda should be able to march in the parade and express their solidarity with the LGBTQ community, preserving the inclusive spirit of Pride celebrations.

The paper acknowledged the history of police violence against the LGBTQ community—the uprising following a 1969 NYPD raid on the Stonewall Inn is the reason the Pride parade began in the first place—and the fact that it continues to this day, with ongoing “tensions between Pride participants and police officers,” and the fact that “protesters said officers used pepper spray” against them just last year at the Queer Liberation March. (See a less sanitized description of that event here.)

Gay City: Video Footage Amps Up Outrage Over NYPD Killing of Queer Man in His Home

There is no shortage of stories like this one (Gay City News, 11/19/20) that explain why many in the LGBTQ community feel unsafe having platoons of cops marching in the Pride parade–but the New York Times doesn’t feel moved to editorialize about the NYPD abusing queer people.

But, as the editors explained, then–NYPD commissioner James P. O’Neill in 2019 “took a landmark step in apologizing for what it did during the Stonewall uprising.” So why aren’t Pride organizers welcoming the NYPD with open arms? The editors conclude:

The NYPD’s relationship with the LGBTQ community in New York has been marked by missteps and abuse at times, which have bred distrust. The long road to repairing that relationship, and ensuring the safety of the city’s gay community, isn’t made easier by deepening the divide.

In other words, the paper saw the abusive relationship here, and condemned the abused for kicking out the abuser.

As Matt Tracy of Gay City News (5/19/21) pointed out, this wasn’t some surprising announcement: The organizers of Pride have long faced criticism and calls to ban uniformed police. And that’s because the long and ongoing history of NYPD abuse against LGBTQ people can’t simply be dismissed after a police commissioner makes a long-overdue apology. The Times surely knows that since 2019, the year of O’Neill’s apology, the NYPD has been involved in a slew of anti-LGBTQ incidents.

Just to name a few: A leader of the NYPD’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity was caught posting homophobic and other hateful comments on a message board frequented by city cops; a gay Black man was killed in his own apartment by police; a transgender woman sued the NYPD for harassing and arresting her for giving them her legal name as well as her birth name; plainclothes cops forced a transgender teen into an unmarked van at a peaceful protest; and the department has continuously harassed Stonewall demonstrators.

Daily News: No pride in police? Shame on the Gay Pride Parade for excluding representatives of the NYPD

The New York Daily News (5/18/21) also published an article criticizing the queer community for its misgivings about police involvement in Pride.

These actions by the NYPD, however, didn’t merit a mention by the Times editorial board. What is labeled “devastating” in its published opinion was not transgender people being abused, arrested, and even killed by police, but an officer being denied the opportunity to march in uniform alongside other cops. What’s a “worrisome trend” to the Times editors wasn’t police violence towards queer people, but LGBTQ activists challenging the ability of police forces to whitewash that violence by having gay contingents in Pride parades.

The Times insisted:

It’s a poke in the eye at law enforcement more than a meaningful action to address police violence or foster a dialogue about law enforcement reform. These moves do nothing to celebrate and demonstrate solidarity within the LGBTQ community.

So how should NYPD violence against LGBTQ people be addressed? Don’t ask the New York Times editorial board. We searched for editorials upbraiding the NYPD for its treatment of LGBTQ people and didn’t find a single one, going back at least 40 years.


ACTION ALERT: You can send a message to the New York Times at letters@nytimes.com (Twitter: @NYTimes). Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective. Feel free to leave a copy of your communication in the comments thread.

 

 

 


This content originally appeared on FAIR and was authored by Steven Keehner.


Print Share Comment Cite Upload Translate
APA
Steven Keehner | Just another WordPress site (2021-12-05T22:52:22+00:00) » NYT Scolds Pride Organizers for Not Tolerating NYPD Abuse. Retrieved from https://www.museumpirates.com/2021/05/26/nyt-scolds-pride-organizers-for-not-tolerating-nypd-abuse/.
MLA
" » NYT Scolds Pride Organizers for Not Tolerating NYPD Abuse." Steven Keehner | Just another WordPress site - Wednesday May 26, 2021, https://www.museumpirates.com/2021/05/26/nyt-scolds-pride-organizers-for-not-tolerating-nypd-abuse/
HARVARD
Steven Keehner | Just another WordPress site Wednesday May 26, 2021 » NYT Scolds Pride Organizers for Not Tolerating NYPD Abuse., viewed 2021-12-05T22:52:22+00:00,<https://www.museumpirates.com/2021/05/26/nyt-scolds-pride-organizers-for-not-tolerating-nypd-abuse/>
VANCOUVER
Steven Keehner | Just another WordPress site - » NYT Scolds Pride Organizers for Not Tolerating NYPD Abuse. [Internet]. [Accessed 2021-12-05T22:52:22+00:00]. Available from: https://www.museumpirates.com/2021/05/26/nyt-scolds-pride-organizers-for-not-tolerating-nypd-abuse/
CHICAGO
" » NYT Scolds Pride Organizers for Not Tolerating NYPD Abuse." Steven Keehner | Just another WordPress site - Accessed 2021-12-05T22:52:22+00:00. https://www.museumpirates.com/2021/05/26/nyt-scolds-pride-organizers-for-not-tolerating-nypd-abuse/
IEEE
" » NYT Scolds Pride Organizers for Not Tolerating NYPD Abuse." Steven Keehner | Just another WordPress site [Online]. Available: https://www.museumpirates.com/2021/05/26/nyt-scolds-pride-organizers-for-not-tolerating-nypd-abuse/. [Accessed: 2021-12-05T22:52:22+00:00]
rf:citation
» NYT Scolds Pride Organizers for Not Tolerating NYPD Abuse | Steven Keehner | Just another WordPress site | https://www.museumpirates.com/2021/05/26/nyt-scolds-pride-organizers-for-not-tolerating-nypd-abuse/ | 2021-12-05T22:52:22+00:00
https://github.com/addpipe/simple-recorderjs-demo