Friday, December 05, 2014

Trending and Tossing a TGIF

Gays Condemning Riots: The Greatest of Hypocrisies
Editor's Note: Guest blogger Matt Comer lives in Charlotte, North Carolina where he works as editor of QNotes, the state's Charlotte-based LGBT community newspaper. Matt has been active in local, state and national LGBT and progressive educational work, journalism and advocacy since his teens.

They attacked cops, after hitting them with personal items, resisting arrest and escaping detainment. They hurled bottles and other debris through the air. One cop's eye was badly cut. Police officers were forced to barricade themselves inside a business to protect them from the unruly mob, which in turn uprooted a parking meter trying to break down the locked door and then tried to burn the business down while the cops were inside -- a business many considered their "home."
They set garbage cans on fire. They marched through the streets blocking traffic and stopping cars and busses full of people, intimidating passengers -- including a newly wedded couple -- into supporting their cause. They overturned one car and used it as a barricade against a police phalanx. They set another car on fire. They smashed the windows of at least one police cruiser.
They damaged other stores in the area and there were even some reports of looting, though protesters would blame that on outside agitators unassociated with their cause. A mob of as many as 1,000 threatened to burn down the offices of the local newspaper.
No, that's not Ferguson after the failed non-indictment of officer Darren Wilson. No, it's not New York City after the failed non-indictment of officers involved in the killing of Eric Garner. No, it's not any of the other disruptive protests that occurred in the aftermaths of both of these systemic failures of justice.

It's the Stonewall Riots -- when LGBT people took to the streets, lashed out at police and waged an all-out affront against police authority, a quintessential, dictionary case of "riot."
This photo appeared on the front page of the New York Daily News on Sunday, June 29, 1969. It's apparently the only photo taken during the first night of the Stonewall Riots. In it, street kids, including homeless youth who made the park across the street from Stonewall home, are shown getting into a fight with police.

But some gays are hypocrites: They condemn the rioting in the aftermath of extreme miscarriages of justice for black people, all the while ignoring the fact they gather once a year to openly celebrate and commemorate a riot -- a violent outburst that served as the so-called birth of their movement.
Either that, or they're completely, utterly ignorant of their own history.

Black HIV Awareness Day 2015 Ushers In New Entity

February 7, 2015 marks the 15th year for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a national HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative targeted at Blacks in the United States and the Diaspora. In conjunction with this day, emerging local community based organization, LINQ for Life ( ) will launch its "Beyond The Red Ribbon," campaign that will highlight moving forward to end HIV infections while continuing to address the increasing need to assess how those living with HIV or AIDS are navigating needed "wrap around" services. The entity has been working diligently to get its footing and making progress in securing necessary structure," said Lee Brown, Founder and CEO. "I've envisioned that this organization will be prepared to meet forthcoming opportunities that will support our mission to "create and sustain links to a greater quality of life." 

The campaign will have are three specific focal points: Get tested, Get Treated, Get Involved. From an educationally focal point, the task is to get African Americans educated about the basics of HIV/AIDS in their local communities. Since testing is at the core many initiatives including the deployment of the Arkansas Community Connectors Initiative, it is the intention of the entity to have February 7th become a annual day of programming which will include not only HIV testing opportunities but other possible screenings as well.

Entity organizers emphasize that it is vital for those who are sexually active and those at high risk of contracting HIV learn about their status. When it comes to community and organization leadership, getting Blacks involved to serve is another key focus.

"We need Black People from all walks of life, economic classes, literacy levels, shades and tones as well as communities (large and small) to get connected to the work happening on the ground in their local areas," said Cedric Gum, local activist and founding board member. He continued, "and lastly, for those living with HIV or newly testing positive for the virus, getting them connected to treatment and care services becomes paramount. We have learned that you can't lead Black people towards HIV/AIDS education, prevention, testing, leadership or treatment unless you love them. And, we can't save Black people from an epidemic unless we totally understand that dynamic."
With the Affordable Care Act now in motion, it becomes particularly important for those who are at the highest risk of contracting HIV to get tested and connected to HIV/AIDS prevention, education, testing, and treatment programs and services in their area. The organization is strategizing how to be most effective as it continues to develop its mission to "decrease HIV/AIDS and STI's while addressing other vital health disparities in marginalized communities." To learn more about the ACA and how it affects those loving with HIV/AIDS, see video below and also "Like" the LINQ for life Facebook page. Watch for more updates and links on the groups 2015 programming.
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