Wednesday, November 11, 2009

MGLCC’s Pride Flag Target of Vandalism

Hat tip to Brad Watkins at WTL

MGLCC’s Pride Flag Target of Vandalism

Vandals Attempt to Burn Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center’s Pride Flag

Memphis, TN, November 11, 2009: Early Wednesday morning, two vandals attempted to burn the rainbow pride flag that flies prominently in front of MGLCC’s building at 892 South Cooper. The pride flag is a recognizable symbol for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s solidarity, pride and unity.

No motive for the incident has been reported at this point.

This act of vandalism marks the second time in two months that a public symbol of the LGBT community raised by MGLCC has been destroyed or damaged. The first was a National Coming Out Day billboard on Friday, September 25 at Poplar and High.

We find this targeting of our community to be a disturbing pattern that is not limited to property but also includes the more serious attacks on our transgender members as well as bullying of LGBT youth. MGLCC takes very seriously the safety and security of our visitors and friends. We are cooperating with the Memphis Police Department who are investigating at this time. We understand that they have one suspect is in custody and are searching for the second. We sincerely appreciate the attention given to both incidents by the Memphis Police Department and wish for a speedy recovery of the officer who protected our flag.

Public incidents such as this shed light on the larger issue of intolerance and hatred that our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens face every day. Once again, attempts to silence or frighten our community will not succeed, but will make us more determined to fight for equality. We appreciate the support of the community in this struggle.

Will Batts

Executive Director




captainkona said...


Only a fool would think that this type of petty activity would change anything.
The flag of the Confederacy has been attacked in such a fashion many times in the past.
What did it accomplish? Those who identify as Southern, like myself, move closer to our identity. Even to the point of identifying when we normally wouldn't.

I advise gays to find strength from this. That's the best way to answer.

autoegocrat said...

Captainkona, I love you man, but don't you ever fly the Stars and Bars around me.

callmeishmael said...

Both the Cracker and the the Captain's points are well taken. As far as autoegrat is concerned, for many of us of Southern background, pride in our heritage is NOT a matter of "flying the Stars and Bars." It is a matter of loving our families in spite of their fight for an obscene cause, Lost or otherwise. Our families were caught in a web of circumstances they could not control and only through a superhuman effort of courage would they have been able to overcome it. In short, our families were within a social, cultural, regional and theological matrix from which they could not escape. Such recognition does NOT, however, excuse or rationalize their choice: the South defended sin and many at the time--General Lee for one--knew it. It is altogether too easy for those of us outside their context to condemn those actions as sinful without at least extending to them the grace that we would insist upon ourselves if, in 150 years, our descendants asked us how we could have possibly related to one another as we did.

captainkona said...

I understand your feelings, auto.
Now understand that I did not give the KKK or any other Nazi types permission to take a symbol of Southern Heritage and attach their hatred to it.

I have the stars and bars tattooed on my right shoulder. It's mine, not theirs.
As far as flying it around you goes, I told a skinhead in Connecticut the exact same thing.
Don't let a piece of cloth distract you from the character of the individual. Flags don't hate people, people hate people.

Most Southerners will not concede our banner to the hate mongering sub-humanity who hide behind it, or to those who despise us for it.

The flag remains, and all persons are created equal regardless of race, creed, color or religion.

I love you too, bro'.

captainkona said...

Ish, that's very well said.

The fact that slavery, Nobelist ideology etc are evil is something that had to be learned and accepted by Americans of that era. I say Americans because Delaware was not Confederacy, but they were the last state to free slaves.

Slavery was the way of the world for all of recorded history. It was always evil. Somewhere along the line we learned that and we are that much better for it.

My ancestors were "criminals" of the Reformation, sent to the Colonies for hard labor in the 1600s as it is with many Scots-Irish in the Southern Appalachians.
We understand the beauty of freedom as well as anyone with slavery in their history, indentured or otherwise.
But we're still Southern. Our families still died in that war.

The "Stars and Bars" are only a symbol of evil in the eyes of those who wish it to be.
We've been forced into an identity we would otherwise have shed by the reverse bigotry of those who hate us for the actions of people we never knew and could not control if we did.
We have no choice but to preserve the symbols and do whatever we can to attach a different meaning to them.

I don't hold African Americans responsible for the actions of the Barbary Coast Pirates, who took slaves from North America long before the Atlantic Slave Trade was established. I don't feel I should be held accountable for the actions of slave traders who happened to occupy the same region my people were banished to.
No one in my lineage ever owned a slave. But I am still Southern.
By the grace of God for that matter.

My deepest respects to you and Auto both.

captainkona said...

Now, one more and I'll shut up.

Gays should take even more pride in the fact that evil, stupid people hate them.
Every attack, from the petty vandalism seen here to the horrible violence so many gays have suffered should always be a rallying point that makes them grow stronger and quickens their collective and individual resolve.

You are what you are. We all are. Gay, Black, Southern, Christian, Muslim, Liberal....whatever.
The more they strike, the more we resist.
Our strength comes for standing together and fighting back.

My name is captainkona, I am a gay sympathizer. If anyone doesn't like it, that's too fucking bad.

Hoist your flag again. And again and again and again...