Monday, March 29, 2010

Opinions disagree on the wisdom of Lt. Choi's behavior leading to arrest; the nature of moral indignation

Lou Chibbaro, Jr. has an important story in the March 26 DC Agenda “will arrests at White House usher new era of activism?” on 18, here. Choi, along with Pietranglo and Robin McGehee, were arrested outside the White House March 18. There is also some talk of a “schism” in the gay community related to the fact that Choi had not been asked to speak at a rally that day at Freedom Plaza that HRC had organized with comedienne Kathy Griffin; but HRC played this down, saying that differences in opinion as to strategy and tactics are normal; just read all the blogs.

On p 8 in the same issue, Chris Johnson has a story that four activists were arrested at a protest demanding action on ENDA at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, also on March 18.

And a letter writer named Tim writes in Feedback on p 23, “Funny how these rich self-congratulating queens, who do nothing for the cause themselves apart from attending $1000 a plate dinners, have the nerve to criticize those who are actually willing to put it all on the line.”

I remember the indignation from people who organized anti-war and “anti-establishment” protests back in the early 1970s. Anyone not willing to go to jail was seen as a spoiled brat. With that point of view, I must respectfully disagree. But I could sense the same tension at the March 9 health care protest, also near Dupont Circle.

I'd also check out Sean Bugg's Opinion piece on p. 21 of the March 25, 2010 Metro Weekly, "All Hands on Deck: Don't let divisions between the 'elites' and the 'grassroots' derail efforts to repeal DADT", link here. "All Hands on Deck" happens to be the name of the stirring choral climax piece of Benjamin Britten's opera "Billy Budd" which effectively anticipated today's debate with a setting in the 18th Century British Navy.

Picture: the sadness of an empty storefront where Lambda Rising bookstore (near Dupont Circle) used to live.   Too much competition from the huge chains and online?

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