I cannot improve on these Facebook comments by our friend Ernest Hopkins:
A giant in the Civil Rights Movement and U.S. history is gone. Mrs. Boynton Robinson's contributions were critical and immeasurable. Job very well done. R.I.P.
My initial reaction to Wednesday's horrific shooting death of a Roanoke television reporter and cameraman during a morning news broadcast, other than shock and sadness, was that we need fewer guns and better mental health care. But I like a friend's comments on Facebook:
There is a really offensive meme going around that says to "like & share if you blame [Vester Flanagan] for the Virginia shooting...not the gun." My response to the people who have posted it and it showed up in my feed:
"I blame every single person who prevents implementation of policies and procedures to keep people like him from having access to guns in the first place. I blame everyone who refuses to recognize the critical need and provide funding and help for people who suffer with mental health issues. Then I blame him. I don't blame the gun."
Mr. Flanagan was sufficiently responsible to know what he was doing...otherwise he would not have had the wherewithal to send a manifesto or liveblog his actions. He could and should have voluntarily walked into any hospital or police station and declared he was in crisis and the tragedy could have been averted.
He plainly was a troubled man. I hope his family tried to get him help. Even so, the system failed everyone in this case...same as it has before...same as it will again. Anyone who claims they are pro-life, pro-family, and a Christian, is anything but if they oppose fixing our laws and our society to prevent tragedies involving guns. It's just that simple. Stop playing along with them and they will lose their power.
Some on the right, I suppose inevitably, are blaming the shooting on #BlackLivesMatter activists, whose advocacy is nonviolent and in protest against state-sanctioned violence against black citizens. The fact that the shooter, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot, was also gay (according to a manifesto posted in his name, purportedly by him) only gives more red meat to the haters.
A few months ago, around LGBT Pride, I announced a policy of apologizing for every crime or calamity that anyone blames on gay people as a class. This of course is ridiculous, unless you are prepared to blame (say) Ted Bundy's serial murders of women on all straight guys. But reason has little to do with scapegoating of minorities, so I wish to apologize for these horrific killings. I am so sorry. What was I thinking. Please forgive me. And fuck you ignorant motherfuckers. Oh, sorry, I was temporarily channeling Samuel L. Jackson.
Seriously, we need to do something about the proliferation and glorification of guns in this country. Due to a second fatal shooting Wednesday, you couldn't bring up "the shooting" without clarifying which one you meant.
As another friend said last evening, in response to a colleague who snarkily suggested it is "peak assimilation" when a deranged shooter announces he's gay:
The fact he was gay, and his complaints around such, are irrelevant. He was severely mentally ill. If he'd been told they were out of his favorite cone at Dairy Queen, he'd have imagined some slight that was worthy of massacre.
Yes. Let's address the problem, not exploit it to score cheap points on social media.
I am happy to report that I have won third-place honors from the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association in the 2015 Excellence in Journalism Awards in the category Opinion/Editorial Writing, for my piece "Cutting Holes in the Law," published last December. Thanks to NLGJA for the honor, to the Blade for giving my work a home, and to those wonderful people out there in the dark (wait, that's Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard).
Vive la France!
Kerry visits Malaysia, raises opposition leader’s sodomy conviction http://t.co/1rvgnnofkj— Washington Blade (@WashBlade) August 6, 2015
Anwar Ibrahim's conviction on a trumped-up sodomy charge was one of the grimmer signs of the lack of democracy in Malaysia. Having loved someone from Malaysia who was heartbroken over it, I thank Secretary of State Kerry for having raised the matter. But as long as gay love is demonized, corrupt rulers will exploit it.
Garber's treasurer is former GLAA president Bob Summersgill, who told me months ago that for this reason he would be recusing himself from our candidate ratings.
A commendable sentiment, but hard to enforce amid an occupation accompanied by illegal settlements that amount to a slow annexation of the occupied territory.
The Republicans' war on women's reproductive health and freedom is not over, but their bluster and doctored videos do not give them the votes they need. I stand with my sisters.
Also: Aeyal Gross in Haaretz on Why the Israeli government’s condemnation of Jerusalem Gay Pride attack is hollow.
Mother Loses Fight To Keep Alabama From Recognizing Late Son's Marriage To Another Man http://t.co/zoJAYDVxEd— Joe Sudbay (@JoeSudbay) July 31, 2015
Thank goodness. This woman's behavior reflects standard operating procedure for many gay people's birth families over the years. Bereaved same-sex partners, at the worst possible time, have been excluded from funerals, seen their joint property stolen, their entire lives upended and defiled by people who refused to respect their supposed loved one's love. Some of those excluded and robbed in this way have killed themselves out of despair. Our collective fight for marriage equality, sustained over many years, is making a positive difference in countless lives, and thwarting intolerance and selfishness.
(Hat tip: Tim Krepp)
Bishop comes out as gay after a "lifetime of denying" the truth http://t.co/xTCHZ0SWYX— huffpostgay (@huffpostgay) July 27, 2015
Bishop Kevin Kanouse of the Evangelical Lutheran Church plans to remain married to his wife. Just a guess, but it sounds as if his coming out is not quite done. But best wishes to him and his wife.