Robyn Urback: How can Black Lives Matter claim ‘victory’ when Pride has left so many divided?

One of the better commentaries:

BLMTO’s leaders and their allies claim their interruption was a necessary reminder that social movements often work in the interests of their wealthy white members first — early feminism is an obvious example — leaving its communities of colour to pick up the slack behind. And they’re not wrong. BLMTO can claim, with some credibility, that its disruption of the parade was important, or necessary, but it will have a hard time making the case that it did more good than bad, especially as hundreds of simultaneous Facebook fights about “pinkwashing” and “anti-blackness” enter their second day. And surely it would not tolerate a similar protest by Pride Toronto members at the Toronto Caribbean Carnival parade later this month.

Ian Willms/Getty Images

The question of future police participation in subsequent Pride events has only compounded the mess, with many accusing BLMTO of undermining recent progress made between the LGBT community and Toronto police, which included an historic apology offered by Police Chief Mark Saunders last month for a string of raids made on gay bathhouses in 1981. They claim, rightfully, that to ban future police participation in Pride events would be a step in the wrong direction, and would only alienate gay members of the Toronto Police Service, including Const. Chuck Krangle who penned on open letter urging the organization to reconsider its promise to BLMTO, arguing that “exclusion does not promote inclusion.”

Indeed, the tens of thousands of onlookers who have watched Toronto’s annual Pride Parade march down Yonge Street have surely noted the diversity of its participants: there are Liberals, Conservatives, church groups, unions, Arabs and Jews, all marching to support inclusiveness, diversity and the freedom for people to love who they love. That’s what this year’s event, and all Pride events, should be about. Instead, this year’s Pride parade left supposed allies fuming from separate corners, while BLMTO’s leaders proudly claimed victory for a job well done. It’s hard to see how starting a fight between groups that are working toward the same goals is really a cause for celebration.

Source: Robyn Urback: How can Black Lives Matter claim ‘victory’ when Pride has left so many divided?

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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