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Demonstrations … Yes! Shut down Pride … No!

Commentary: Conversations with the Mayor of Hillcrest

Nicole Murray Ramirez picketing in 1974.

As a Latino and gay activist for over 45 years who has organized, led and participated in demonstrations, sit-ins, marches etc., and one who has been beaten and arrested by police in the 1960s and 70s, it is indeed upsetting to see my last column so misrepresented.

As I stated, as the 2017 Grand Marshal of the Washington, D.C. Pride parade, I witnessed first-hand the attempts of some LGBT activists to “shut down” and end this parade which resulted in the parade being stopped for almost two hours and being rerouted, thus causing a lot of turmoil and anger within their own community.  As a co-founder of San Diego’s first Pride march (1974) and organizer of the first Cesar Chavez parade and the first LGBT contingent in the Martin Luther King parade, I would not also support the shutting down of these parades.

As an activist who worked with both Harvey Milk and Cesar Chavez in the 1970s and worked hard to get the first African American and Latino elected to public office and has written a weekly column since 1973 advocating social justice and equality for women, people of color, the poor, immigrants, trans people, veterans, etc. all my life, now to be called “racist” by some is yes, personally hurtful.

But to be honest, it’s not too surprising as lately some LGBT activists have become like “cannibals” and are eating their own and viciously attacking fellow activists and LGBT organizations.  Recently, I have witnessed a trans police office called a “pig,” and a 71-year-old lesbian activist and founder of our AIDS Walk being called a “fascist” and threatened because she is a Republican.

When it comes to police issues, I know that “Stonewall” was about a riot against police harassment and violence against our community, and yes, I know that racism, violence, homophobia still exists within many police departments and officer across this country.  Jess Jessop and I led demonstrations against police entrapment against gays (May Company arrests).  I organized demonstrations outside the police department and court buildings against violence toward the LGBT community, the black and brown communities and city ordinances against the “cross dressing law.”  But I also established and was the first chair of the police and sheriff’s LGBT Advisory Board, which resulted among other things in police sensitivity training, better treatment, a change of protocols for trans inmates in county jails and the appointment of the first openly gay chaplain.  The relationship between the police department and LGBT community has changed greatly since the 1960s and yes, I worked hard to get the first woman, lesbian and Jew elected as our District Attorney.

During the AIDS crisis I organized many of the demonstrations including one taking funeral crosses and Stars of David and piling over 400 on the steps of City Hall with over 3,000 demonstrators.  I have worked with both Democrats and Republicans on civils rights issues and legislation and am proud to be a past state chair of Equality California.

The San Diego LGBT community knows me, has heard me speak at rallies and read my columns as I have for decades fought for equality and civil rights for all people.  I have not been the perfect activist and have made my mistakes, but will not stand by and let my opinions and record be misrepresented.

The enemies of our LGBT community are “outside” not inside and, yes, while I support non-violent demonstrations and sit-ins, I do not support LGBT activists trying to completely shut down Pride parades or marches.

By the way, I attended and supported a Black Lives Matter demonstration in front of the San Diego Federal Courthouse downtown, and yes, I also attended a memorial for over 30 San Diego police officers killed in the line of duty last month.

And as for those attacking me as being a part of the political establishment, you are probably right. All my life I have said two major things: “A community, indeed a movement that does not know where it came from does not know where it’s going;” and “We are the last civil rights movement of the 21st century and must continue to be in the streets and in the suites of political power.”

Thank you for listening, God bless our community, country and all of you.  Happy Pride!

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=81074

Posted by on Jul 12, 2017. Filed under Commentary, Conversations with the Mayor of Hillcrest, Online Only, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

9 Comments for “Demonstrations … Yes! Shut down Pride … No!”

  1. Nicole you’re a sellout. Sawshay away……

  2. WOOSH!!! -the whole point just went flying over Nicole’s bald head!

  3. Zachary Hansen

    Much better letter!!! Loved every word!

  4. This latest crowd of malcontents is not satisfied with simply demonstrating, they want to vandalize events, and throw other nonconstructive temper tantrums.

    They don’t give a damned about MLK’s idea of demonstration in a peaceful manner. They would rather defecate on his grave.

    Liz W

  5. Again, the entire article is about Nicole and how she/he/it was an activist, been there, did that, is so great, accomplished so much, etc. The facts are that the only times Nicole got arrested was for prostitution or lewd behavior. If someone wants Nicole’s endorsement, just buy him/her/it lunch or dinner. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen someone in their twilight years attempt to stay in the limelight of self-promotion, greed, and dishonesty as our very own mean girl Nicole. I just hope her/his/it’s scooter blows a tire while at the parade. And trust me, he/she/it will be there, implants, fake smile, fake lips, fake causes just to seek the attention he/she/it so requires. What an embarrassment to our community. And he/she/it has been an embarrassment since I came out in the 70’s. Some things never change except Nicole’s weight, looks, and his/her/it’s hatred intensifies.

    • This post says nothing to the issue but proves Nichole is still good for business, and gathers plenty of page views.

      It doesn’t get any more American than that.

      Liz W

  6. Instead of blaming Nichole for your issues, try being mature and work for your cause constructively. Happy Pride!

  7. Dear Mayor in your own mind,
    Of course Ms. Jester is a Lesbian Republican and has the right to her political opinions and choices as we all do, but the public is being misled.
    What is an outrage to the entire community is not the fact that she is a Republican, but that the San Diego Pride Organization has intentionally left out of her Bio on the official SD Pride website any mention whatsoever of her past involvement as the head of the local Log Cabin Republicans for years, or her work as a Campaign Consultant to Republican candidates.
    If our community wishes to celebrate her accomplishments, why would the Pride organization purposely withhold those historical facts from the public?
    It can certainly not be that they mistakenly overlooked these activities in her years of community service which they generously lavish upon her.
    It appears to this observer that in a year when a highly controversial and disliked Republican President and his party seek to amongstnmany other things, gut healthcare to Women by defunding Planned Parenthood, which provides Breast and Cervical Cancer screening services in addition to Family Planning, that the SD Pride organization, and or Ms. Jester herself, have chosen not to inform not only the San Diego LGBT community, but any and all who chose to celebrate Pride in San Diego, of her direct connection to a political party that seeks to undermine many of the Rights we have achieved and chose to celebrate with the Pride event itself.
    This omission by the Pride organization, in addition to its pandering to some Corporate sponsors who only seek our money in their “support” of our community is the height of disingenuousness and hypocrisy.
    Yes the SD Pride organization under its new leader have become sellouts to the mainstream, and the event no longer represents a statement of protest or resistance against oppression, but an accommodation to the lowest common denominator, and commercial interests.
    For lying to the public about someone foisted onto us as a hero alone, I chose not to have anything to do with an event I am not proud about at all.
    John Thurston

  8. Now that Pride is being taken over by spoiled brat “social justice warriors”, will it please move somewhere else?

    Anywhere besides Hillcrest, where I live.

    Thank you.

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