Letters: In response to Nicole Murray Ramirez — ‘This aggression against protesters is problematic’Around the City, Editorial, Online Only, Top Highlights Saturday, July 8th, 2017
Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, president of San Diego Democrats for Equality, wrote this Letter to the Editor in response to Nicole Murray Ramirez’s July 6 commentary: “Will LGBT radicals shut down Pride parade?”
I am writing today in response to the commentary by City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez, a person who has been an ally and friend to me for the better part of a decade.
Recently, we have heard rather martial language used against the members of our community who might protest or cause a disruption at the San Diego LGBT Pride parade. I think this aggression against protesters is problematic.
I am drawn to a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “Riots are the language of the unheard” and when asked to condemn those riots he asked people to also look at the reasons behind why they occur. He famously asked, “What has America failed to hear?”
We are not talking about riots today, we are talking about straight-up civil rights activism in the spirit of the Montgomery Bus boycotts; in the spirit of the marches which shut down roads from Selma to Chicago to Washington, D.C.; in the spirit of the sit-ins in the diners which at the time would serve whites only. What’s even more relevant is that this is in the spirit of Stonewall.
That’s why this protest will be a test for our community.
Nicole’s words to the protesters are as much chilling as they are ironic. The idea that protesters should be arrested for shutting down a corporate sponsored private event is not something we as a movement should embrace. To the contrary, we should listen and demonstrate with a message we know well: Love trumps hate.
These protesters will be members of our community bringing to light a very important issue that Black lives matter, that Brown lives matter and that Trans lives matter, and while we may disagree whether or not this tactic is fruitful we must embrace that this tactic is the very type of activism that brought us the Civil Rights Act; that brought us the Voting Rights Act and that brought us marriage equality.
If and when these protests occur I ask all of our community to listen and ask yourself why they are occurring. What are we, as a community, failing to hear? What can we do so that our family members who now protest Pride can feel that they are being heard and that their very serious issues are being taken to heart.
If we are truly “Allied in Action” and “United for Justice” then their quest for justice is inexorably linked with the LGBT struggle.
I ask that our community hear them out and if possible extend their hand in love.
I ask that the San Diego Pride Board of Directors and Nicole Murray Ramirez oppose the arrest or any harsh treatment of protesters exercising their First Amendment right to peaceably protest.
Maybe after their demonstration we invite them to march with us because what they are doing is in the spirit of Stonewall and it’s what Pride used to be about.
San Diego Democrats for Equality
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=80986