Margaret Valenti writes about how Trump completely ignored the right-wing Straight Pride parade which marched in Boston for discriminatory ideals amongst a sea of Trump campaign slogans and MAGA hats.
Saturday, August 31st, 2019, saw the advent of a new type of parade, Straight Pride. The celebration paraded through the city of Boston, with more police present than counterprotesters of the event. During the parade, there was no violence reported, but afterward the event took a different turn when police refused to reopen a road. There were arrests and the spraying of tear gas on protesters by the police who were accused by the protesters of protecting Nazis. Chants popular amongst the crowd directed at the police were “shame on you” and “bottoms or tops, we all hate cops.”
The Message Of Straight Pride
The parade was controversial, but many described it as a pseudo-Trump rally. There were multiple floats with Trump’s election campaign slogans and MAGA hats worn by multiple parade goers. Many far right groups attended the parade and the parade’s grand master was controversial gay far right figure Milo Yiannopoulos and organized by a group called Super Happy Fun America. Earlier this month, when speaking about the parade, one of the straight pride organizers Don Grundman said, about his fellow paraders, that “we are a totally peaceful racist group.”
The parade brochure included statements such as “join us to celebrate ‘heterosexuality, masculinity~femininity, babies ~ born and unborn, Western Civilization, Our Wonderful Country,” and “Christianity.’” These ideals, according to the National Straight Pride Coalition, are “under unprecedented, sustained, and coordinated attack within our society, culture, and nation.” Caucasians are described as “the biological majority of the historical developers and founders of Western Civilization.” That is a concerning statement because it ignores every other group in an ever globalizing world that continues to define and contribute to “Western Civilization.”
The bottom of the website reads “we hence, seek God for all of our needs in this great endeavor, invite all people of good will to join us in the defense of our current and future generations in The War which is upon us.” That is a lie.
There is no credible evidence to prove that “The War” against straight white people, Christians, unborn babies, Western Civilization, masculinity, femininity, or the United States of America is happening or will happen as a result of people being queer, non-christian, having an abortion, or those who are not “American;” whatever “American” means to the people who organized this parade, though their words paint a pretty clear picture. There is currently no War upon current or future generations in the US.
However, the rhetoric used in connection with Straight Pride is still grotesquely similar to rhetoric used by white supremacist groups, but the Straight Pride Parade in Boston claimed to be intolerant of and against any racism.
Donald Trump is silent about his image being used throughout the parade. Not one tweet saying that he rejects the use of his image in that forum. Not one TV appearance to denounce the use of his image in association with such a parade. Instead, it seems that he played golf all weekend. Similarly to when he simply “rejected” David Dukes support instead of condemning his message of hatred. What his silence does is imply his acceptance and support.
It is one thing to say, “I do not like white supremacy or extremism of any kind,” but to disavow it, to be anti-racist or anti-extremist, requires a lot more from a person. It requires a substantial speech in public while withholding any reservations about the media or journalists. It requires a person to stand up actively to white supremacy and racism and say never again, not in this country. Not that racism, white supremacy, or discrimination of any kind will ever be truly eliminated but our leaders should be taking a stand to condemn this type of behavior as anti-American.
One thing is very clear, this parade was not about “straight pride,” that was a disguise. The parade was about discrimination — hate. How many times do we have to say no to this? How can the President not say no to this when his image was connected to multiple aspects of this parade?
To all of those who protested or were affected by the parade on Saturday, hate got a platform, but it did not deserve one. It was a long time ago that hate like this was so prevalent, so out in the open without shame knowing they had a shadow of protection from inside The White House. Almost any other responsible US leader would condemn any association with a parade of this nature. There is not one man responsible for the sins of hundreds, but there is one man who can protect them — validate them. Trump is a symptom of an underlying rage the country had for so long that is now, unfortunately, so clear. This cannot become normal.