Things That Matter

A Small Crowd Marched In Boston For ‘Straight Pride’ And AOC Had The Perfect Response

White people across the country are freaking out. Okay, let me rephrase that. Some white people with too much time on their hands are growing increasingly paranoid that non-white and non-heterosexual people are taking over this great land we call the United States. Not only are white supremacists wreaking havoc, killing innocent people, but we also have ridiculous white people parading around town, causing pure embarrassment. 

Yesterday, an estimated 200 people marched in downtown Boston for the first (and hopefully the last) “Straight Pride Parade.” 

Credit: Twitter/@cp24

Back in June, right in the beginning of Pride month, three men formed the Super Happy Fun America organization and said they too would have their own pride day to celebrate straight people everywhere. One thing they didn’t openly say is that organizers of the “Straight Pride Parade” also have affiliations with white supremacy groups. Needless to say, the concept for the “Straight Pride Parade” drew instant ridicule yet the parade went on as planned. The permit for the parade stated they were expecting around 2,000 people, but that was not the case. More than a thousand counter-protesters showed up and police report that 36 people were arrested

People on social media could not help but mock these sad individuals, but the best line came from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 

“For men who are allegedly so ‘proud’ of being straight, they seem to show real incompetence at attracting women to their event. Seems more like a ‘I-Struggle-With-Masculinity’ parade to me. ????????‍♀️ Hope they grow enough over the next year to support/join LGBTQ fam next #Pride!”

Her tweet was in response to a video of the “Straight Pride Parade” that showed people holding the American flag, others in dinosaur costumes, a majority with MAGA hats, and a huge Trump float. 

As we mentioned, 36 people were arrested, and many of those were counter-protesters. Rep. Ayanna Pressley urged people to donate to the Solidarity Against Hate Legal Defense Fund that would help contribute to the bail of the individuals arrested. 

“Join me right now in making a contribution,” Rep. Pressley tweeted. “Thank You to the allies & accomplices who stood in the gap & laid their bodies on the line today in affront #LGBT hate march. To everyone feeling unseen & vulnerable today…we got you. Equitable outrage. Our destinies & freedoms are tied.”

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez told her followers to do the same. 

“One way to support the local LGBTQ community impacted by Boston’s white supremacist parade? Contribute to the Bail Fund for the activists who put themselves on the line protecting the Boston community: (Any $ left over goes to @MassBailFund + @Boston_GLASS ).”

This is not the first time Rep. Ocasio-Cortez made a hilarious jab at the organizers and supporters of “Straight Pride Parade.”

When the initial concept was first announced, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Will ‘Straight Pride’ be a Freaky Friday type situation where all of our history books, movies, stories, media, news, etc feature mostly LGBTQ+ people & perspectives? Will people have to come out as straight? What would folks march in? Socks w/ sandals on? Dad jeans?” Well, she wasn’t far off. People were wearing weird-ass clothes and clown costumes.  

Here are some other of our favorite tweets from yesterday’s bogus parade. 

Jemain Clement from Flight of the Concords nailed it!

If this parade is so straight, why are there more men than women?

In all honesty, there was a handful of women there, but why didn’t did their girlfriends or wives come and support them? Oh, wait…never mind. 

Well, this is a good representation of the parade: sad and lonely.

That trash bin actually looks like it’s having more fun. 

Why would “normal” straight people want to be associated with this?

A shark? Really?

Maybe next year they will change the name to what it actually is. 

Why hide its real message?

By the way, these are the organizers of “Straight Pride Parade.”

Things that make you go hmm…

Now, if you really want to be confused by these odd people that put on this spectacle and refer to themselves as “Super Fun Happy America,” they proclaim to be “advocates on behalf of the straight community in order to build respect, inclusivity, equality, diversity, unity, solidarity, dignity, social mobility, empowerment, sustainability, justice, awareness, intersectionality, human rights, education, access, participation, dialogue, visibility, tolerance, and alliances with people from all walks of life. We encourage everyone to embrace our community’s diverse history, culture, and identity regardless of sexual orientation.”

We know that line is complete BS because the major of people there were white, and I didn’t see one LGBT person supporting their cause. They are the antithesis of inclusivity. 

Straight Pride is code for Trump rally. 

Perhaps a MAGA permit was more expensive so they went with “Straight Pride Parade.” 

We hope this sad display of a gathering will finally put this question to rest. 

The answer: because every day is a straight pride parade. 

READ: Boston Heteros Are Calling For A Straight Pride Parade And Twitter Is Not Having It

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Racists Caught On Video Shouting “White Lives Matter” And Giving Nazi Salute To Couple

Things That Matter

Racists Caught On Video Shouting “White Lives Matter” And Giving Nazi Salute To Couple

Izzeee.e / Instagram

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the country has been grappling with racial inequality and police brutality – trying to figure out how to move forward into a country that knows Black lives matter.

However, it also seems that racist encounters are on the rise, or at least they’re more commonly being caught on camera. Another white couple, this time in California, has gone viral for their racist attack on a couple after an alleged road rage incident. The encounter, all of which was caught on camera, was enough proof to land the racist couple behind bars on hate crime and vandalism charges.

A man gave a Nazi salute and a woman shouted “white lives matter” in an encounter with a couple in California.

A nasty racist encounter in Torrance was caught on cameras as a Black couple was abused at a red light by a white man and woman yelling “Only white lives matter!”

Itzel Lopez and her boyfriend were sitting at a red light in Torrance, CA, when a white couple stormed out of their pickup truck. That’s when Lopez started recording. In the video, a white woman can be seen standing on the passenger side, flipping dual middle fingers at Lopez and her boyfriend, who is Black. She yells “white lives matter (expletive)” and then “only white lives matter.”

The man, who was standing on the driver’s side, fluttered his hand in a wave then yelled “white power!” and made a Nazi salute. Then he grabbed a shovel and slammed it against the car as Lopez’s boyfriend backed up and sped away.

Lopez, who posted the video to Instagram, wrote: “Today on my 25th birthday I was a victim of racism and so was my boyfriend who is black. We were being harassed for miles.”

For Lopez, 25, the firsthand experience of hate was jarring. “I experience racism in a extremely traumatic way,” she wrote in the Instagram video’s caption.

“We were just in shock. We didn’t know what was going on,” Lopez told KTLA.

The racist couple have since been charged with a hate crime and vandalism of property.

Credit: Torrance Police Department

Not long after driving away, Lopez and her boyfriend found the couple’s truck outside a Starbucks and recorded the license plate. The following day they reported the incident to the Torrance Police Department. In a news release the department said the crime started as a “road rage situation.” 

And thanks to the video, the white couple, Gregory and Rachel Howell, both 29, were arrested on hate crime and vandalism charges, police said. In an interview with KTLA before the arrest, Lopez said she wanted justice.

“I don’t want them to just go freely and continue to do this to someone else,” she said.

As the U.S. confronts racial inequality, racist incidents and hate crimes have been increasingly caught on camera.

Sadly but not surprisingly, racist incidents like this are far too common across the country. And as the U.S. grapples with mass protests against racial inequality since the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, it seems that incidences like this are on the rise.

In June, a self-identified Ku Klux Klan leader was charged with a hate crime after driving through peaceful protesters in Richmond, while in Wisconsin, a school district called for hate crime charges against a white woman who spat on a Black student during a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration.

A report from the Census Bureau found these hate crimes and other racist interactions have taken a toll on the mental health of African Americans, with the rate of those reporting significant anxiety and depression jumping from 36 to 41 percent.

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Here’s Everything You Should Know About The Problematic And Racist Statues Being Torn Down Across The Country

Things That Matter

Here’s Everything You Should Know About The Problematic And Racist Statues Being Torn Down Across The Country

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

So many of the headlines about the recent protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder have been about “senseless” property destruction. But several of the damaged sites have a perfectly sensible and very visceral connection to the protester’s chief issue: anti-Black racism.

Protests have burned down buildings and toppled statutes that have stood for years as blatant reminders of the country’s history of chattel slavery, racial injustice, and the war that was fought to uphold it.

“In many cases, preserving history was not the true goal of these displays,” former Southern Poverty Law Center president Richard Cohen said of the center’s 2016 report that found at least 1,500 US government-backed tributes to the Confederacy

“Rather, many of them were part of an effort to glorify a cause that was manifestly unjust — a cause that has been whitewashed by revisionist propaganda that began almost as soon as the Civil War ended. Other displays were intended as acts of defiance by white supremacists opposed to equality for African Americans during the civil rights movement.”

So how do you remove a racist monument? This week, the world is witnessing all the satisfyingly destructive ways

All around the country, protesters are removing statutes – but who were these historical figures?

Protesters in Richmond, Virginia, toppled a statue of Jefferson Davis. Earlier in the week, they dragged one of Christopher Columbus into a pond. A bronze monument of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol, England, met a watery demise (it’s since been fished out). An Egyptologist shared step-by-step instructions for how one might pull down an obelisk with ropes and brute force. In Boston, a statue of Columbus was beheaded.

The viral removals of monuments symbolizing racial terror are a push back on a culture that values violence and embeds false narratives about history into its landscapes – especially when it comes to America’s history as a slave-owning nation.

But who or what were these statutes memorializing and why do protesters want them taken down? Below we’ll detail some of the more common statues that are being torn down across the U.S.

Juan de Oñate

Credit: Susan Montoya Bryan / Getty Images

A conquistador and the first Spanish governor of New Mexico, Oñate sought to colonize the Acoma Pueblo, and when spiritual leader Zutacapan learned of the plans, a battle ensued, killing a dozen of Oñate’s men, including his nephew.

Oñate responded by exacting a massacre, leaving 800 dead, 300 of them women and children. Twenty-four men older than 25 had their right feet chopped off, and were enslaved for 20 years, along with many other Acoma, some as young as 12.

Jefferson Davis

In Richmond, Virginia and Minneapolis, MN, statues honoring the Confederate leader, Jefferson Davis, have finally been brought down. Many know about Davis’ history as president of the Confederacy: he lead a rebellion against his own country, owned hundreds of slaves, and fought to preserve his right to do so. He’s long been a target of protesters who have worked in city after city to have monuments built to this man taken down.

Junipero Serra

Credit: David Shmalz / Getty Images

Serra was active in the Spanish Inquisition and later led the first team of Spanish missionaries to California in 1769, which contributed to the killing and enslavement of thousands of native people and stripped many more of their cultural identity.

Part of dealing with current issues of systemic racism, many advocates have said, must include confronting the country’s colonial legacy of slavery and genocide. And it begins with symbols.

Symbols of Spanish colonialism can be found throughout California, largest among them the state’s 21 missions and the many statues dedicated to those who founded them.

Ulysses Grant

Credit: Michell Eberhart / Public Domain / Army.Gov

As president, Grant broke the KKK and fought for Black voting rights with a tenacity few other presidents have rivaled. 

But Grant’s legacy also has less admirable aspects. Grant’s wife had legal ownership of several Black people when he married her, and he himself kept a person in slavery for a year before freeing him at the start of the Civil War.

As president, Grant’s policy towards Native American people could easily be described as cultural genocide. He instigated an illegal and bloody war against the Lakota people of the Black Hills, and used federal force to push Native people onto reservations and to slaughter the buffalo they relied on for food. “American Indians experienced some of the worst massacres and grossest injustices in history while Ulysses S Grant was in office,” Alysa Landry writes at Indian Country Today

Francis Scott Key

Credit: Jose Barrios / Getty Images

Francis Scott Key, the author of America’s national anthem, not only personally enslaved people but also tried to silence the free speech of abolitionists, using his position as district attorney for Washington DC in the 1830s to launch high-profile cases attacking the abolitionist movement.

In San Francisco, protesters dragged the Key statue through the grass and were going to dump it in a nearby fountain, until they were told the fountain was a memorial to the Aids epidemic and stopped, a witness tweeted.

Theodore Roosevelt

Credit: Scott Heins / Getty Images

Theodore Roosevelt is often looked upon fondly by many Americans. He advocated for the preservation of America’s national parks and worked hard to ensure economic prosperity. But to others, the former President symbolizes colonial expansion and racial discrimination.

So, in New York, the American Museum of Natural History will remove a prominent statue of Theodore Roosevelt from its entrance.

“The American Museum of Natural History has asked to remove the Theodore Roosevelt statue because it explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior,” de Blasio said in a written statement. “The City supports the Museum’s request. It is the right decision and the right time to remove this problematic statue.”

Robert Byrd

Credit: White House.gov

Robert Byrd was the longest serving U.S. Senator. But before he kicked off his long political career, he wrote a letter decrying then-President Truman’s efforts to integrate the military. He’d rather see his country crumble, he wrote, than fight “with a negro by my side.”

Perhaps this isn’t surprising from a onetime exalted cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan. Even after he supposedly renounced the Klan, he filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and was the only senator who voted against the confirmations of the country’s two black Supreme Court justices, Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas.

In his later years, he referred to same-sex marriage as “aberrant behavior” and told an interviewer in 2001, “There are white n***ers. I’ve seen a lot of white n***ers in my time.”

Christoper Columbus

Ok, sure, we all know who Christoper Columbus is and the horrific acts that he committed against Indigenous Americans. But to many, he is still the founder of the “New World” and if often praised for the “discovery” of the Americas. His expeditions are all too often seen as a great triumph as they brought great wealth and riches to Spain and other European countries – through exploiting Indigenous people.

Thankfully, more recent histories of the adventurer have focused on the slave trade in the Americas and the imported European diseases which wiped out Indigenous peoples of the Caribbean region and American continents.

Historians have credited Columbus’ “discovery” of the Americas as the beginning of the slaughter of 3 million people – and his statue in North End Park in Boston, US, was decapitated on June 10.

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