Monday, June 29, 2009

Mr. Marr on the Stonewall riots

The journalist and leading member of the Sodomites’ League Mr. David Marr had an essay (not available on-line) in The Sydney Morning Herald’s Saturday Spectrum supplement entitled “Myths and lessons” on the infamous Stonewall riots of June 28, 1969. Now although Mr. Marr’s sympathies are well-known, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he can’t be objective and critical, and indeed some of what Mr. Marr reports casts the event in a far less flattering light than his fellow-travellers might have preferred. To begin with, the police weren’t raiding the Stonewall Inn in order to enforce anti-buggery laws, but rather, they were just enforcing basic law and order matters and some fairly unobjectionable standards of attire:

Police hadn’t come for a mass round-up of homosexuals. They planned to seize only the liquor, Mafia types, bar staff and anyone in breach of the 19th-century labour law requiring the citizens of New York to wear no less than three articles of clothing appropriate to their sex. The targets of the raid were women in overalls and men in frocks.
[David Marr, “Myths and lessons”, The Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum supplement, June 27-28, 2009, p. 12]
And I was horrified to read of the violence which these degenerates attempted to inflict on the police, who, once the Inn's patrons had vacated the building, had to take refuge in the same building when the mob of those patrons and their supporters threatened to overwhelm them (the police):

Celebratory accounts of Stonewall usually skate over the details of the next hour or so. About 400 people took part in the melee. Most of them were street kids. Everything was being hurled at the bar. All its windows were being smashed. Attempts were made to set it alight. An uprooted parking meter was used to batter open the bar's heavy doors. Crude molotov cocktails were thrown inside and extinguished by the police.
[my emphasis, ibid., p. 12]
Let me note, before I go any further, that Mr. Marr does not use the term “street kids” in the usual sense of the word—he uses it to denote a sub-contingent of the Sodomites’ League:

[The Stonewall Inn’s 200-odd patrons that night] were joined by street kids – the scruffiest end of the gay world – who would be the shock troops of the confrontation.
[ibid., p. 12]
And how many police officers were there initially? Mr. Marr does not say, but given that they had only a single paddy wagon with them, there had to have been a good deal fewer police than the 400 or so angry perverts arrayed against them. So we have a 400-strong mob attempting to burn to death a vastly outnumbered contingent of police whom the sodomites had already neutralised, as is clear from the fact that the police had “retreated into the club and barricaded the doors”. Now let’s try a little exercise in absurdity and consider whether the Sodomites’ League’s actions were justifiable in anyway. This requires us to suppose (preposterous though it is) that people have a ‘right’ to dress up as members of the opposite sex. Now when someone attempts to violate a right one can repel the violence with force proportionate to the threat and to the right under threat. So if one’s right to life is under threat then one can use potentially lethal force against the assailant. But if one’s property rights are being violated by, say, a pickpocket attempting to purloin one’s wallet, one can’t very well take out a knife and stab the urchin in the heart. And it’s pretty clear that trying to incinerate someone is not a proportionate response to that person’s attempt to violate one’s ‘right’ to masquerade as a member of the opposite sex. But moreover, the threat to this ‘right’ had already been neutralised, so this action was vengeful retaliation, not self-defence, the same as shooting a pickpocket to death when he’s already running off with one’s wallet. And we’re supposed to celebrate this event?! (With Mr. Obama proclaiming June 2009, during which the fortieth anniversary of this riot occurs, to be the U.S.’s official ‘LGBT Pride month’?!)

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, A.D. 2009

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