It was 1:20am, not the usual time for the police to arrive. Usually Stonewall (and it’s patrons) were tipped off and knew what to expect. The business was owned by the mafia after all so that sort of inside information was typical. But this time no one knew in advance plus the police weren’t arriving at the right time or behaving as usual. Everyone was unsettled and unhappy.
A crowd formed outside, mostly of LGBTQ people. Then a rumour spread that people were being beaten in the backs of the police vans and riots broke out. Of course these were gay riots so there were some chorus lines and show tunes. But there also were some bricks thrown. Back then by black transwomen and crossdressers… now the movie has whitewashed them into being pretty white men.
Fifty-one years later the in-your-face, rampant prejudice toward the LGBTQIA community has faded (but isn’t totally eliminated) and the riots have transformed into a parade of rainbows and glitter. Except for this year. A virus ate this parade, a nasty little dream killer of a virus. But the parade will be back again next year, bigger and more sparkly than ever. Which brings us to today
It was a gorgeous day on the 25th when George Floyd went into a deli to buy some groceries. He paid for them with a twenty dollar bill, which was legal tender. The cashier didn’t think it was legal and called the police. I’ve worked as a cashier in two different places and you don’t call the police. You check it and hand it back. But apparently she had loads more free time than any cashier I’ve ever met and her decision to waste time brought about someone else’s death. I hope she sleeps horribly.
Derek Chauvin, a now former police office, knelt on George’s neck for almost 9 minutes while he pleaded for help, called for his deceased mother, and slipped into silence. Derek ignored it all, killing an innocent man while he shot the breeze with his coworkers (who have also been fired).
I very strongly believe in peace and working together in harmony but sometimes something simply needs a brick or two. Right Marsha P. Johnson? I think the Black community has been trying the peaceful route for a long time. And I think the future of Black boys and girls deserves those bricks.