Join the Impact:
BART Killing = Gay Issue
I don't read the Join the Impact too often, which is how I managed to miss the controversy last week over this nascent gay group's call to action over the killing by a BART transit police officer of a young black man, Oscar Grant. Commentator Willow wrote:
Given the recent bruises our community and our movement has taken from the allegations of non-support by fellow communities working for civil rights, this seems like the right time to stand united against hate crime in any and every form ...
Stand in solidarity with concerned citizens of Oakland, youth, clergy and elected officials who want Justice for Oscar Grant. Not one more life.
For those outside the Oakland area I strongly encourage you to contact local community leaders to find out if there are vigils in your city being held in Oscar Grant’s name. Go! Spread the word! Get people there! We must stand together against violence and hate crimes. If there is nothing organized in your city, then please make it happen ...
A heated debate soon broke out over that message, and as of today, 27 comments have been made to that thread. I don't think Willow made anything near a strong case for how the killing of Oscar Grant is a gay-related issue, and there's nothing made public so far that the victim was gay.
Over at SFist.com, the only site I'm aware of to question Join the Impact's decision to endorse and promote recent demonstrations in Oakland, writer Brock Keeling weighed in on the matter:
In an effort to dilute itself into irrelevance, Join the Impact, a grassroots No On 8 site, has now taken on Our Patron Saint of BART Police Oppression, Oscar Grant ...
Just what the nature of Oscar's relationship with the LGBTQ community was is beyond us. If you know, let us in on it.
Anyway, this is exactly what SFist Mattymatt predicted the day after the protest. Fizzle fizzle fizzle. But the one bright side to crazy super-left-wing mouth-foaming like this? It keeps the idiots busy, so they don't bother the grownups as they go about doing serious work to overturn prop 8.
Gosh, Stonewall 2.0 lasted even less time than Web 2.0. Oh well, back to the drawing board.
Ouch, it stings to read Keeling's belief that Join the Impact is watering itself down into irrelevance, so soon after it formed with great hopes from thousands of gays, myself included. I'm not sure that Join the Impact is going down the path Keeling thinks it is, but I'd like to see the group stay gay-focused, achieve some tangible results, and when straying from a gay-specific agenda, to clearly and forcefully argue why issues such as the BART killing are of concern to gays.