The Occupride NYC, a group of queer activists with ties to Occupy Wall Street, has dedicated this worldwide Occupy The Pride action to CeCe McDonald.
On the surface it seems strange or even distracting in the face of all the “progress” the “GLBT community” appears to be making during the past year. Why focus on just one person? Why should anyone rock the boat over a seemingly trivial, isolated, anecdotal case involving someone who does not represent the “mainstream GLBT interests”?
On the contrary, CeCe McDonald represents the profound systemic failures — she is the symbol of what is wrong in the “Gay Rights” movement and its dialectical narratives. As the white, middle-class, college-educated, professional gay men and lesbians in monogamous commitment to the institution of nuclear family became more politically acceptable (and less risky) for the Democrats and even some Republicans alike to openly embrace, there is a growing rift between the world of the commercialized, mainstreamed “GLBT community” and the still marginalized queer people without privileges.
Yes, it looks as though “Free CeCe” does not sound “important enough” in comparison with other slogans. Yet, CeCe’s plight represents a crosshair between racism, classism, misogyny, homophobia, police state oppression of the marginalized, unjust and corrupt judicial system, inadequate due process for the accused, unbalanced application of law, punitive and opportunistic prosecution and correctional institutions, gross negligence of even the most fundamental human rights for prisoners (and the significant percentage of Black people in the U.S. are prisoners at some points in their lives), and campaigns of misinformation waged by the mainstream corporate media.
This time, CeCe became the convenient victim of the American imperialism steeped in racism and classism, and the mainstream “GLBT community”, completely owned by the One Percent corporate interests and manipulated by the Democratic Party operatives, did little if any.
CeCe is like Trayvon Martin, yet there has been less pronounced national outrage (or media coverage). Why?
CeCe was first and foremost a victim of the hate crime. Yet she was convicted of manslaughter (originally charged with murder) for an act of self-defense.
Like a yet-another-business-as-usual police raid on the Stonewall Inn became a historic moment when a group of queer folks stood up, spoke out, and fought back, this yet-another-business-as-usual conviction and imprisonment of yet another Black person should serve as a rallying point and a spark to change the history further, demanding true justice, true equality, universal human rights, human dignity, and everyone’s right to self-determination regardless of where they were born, who their parents and ancestors were, or how much money they make.
Occupy The Pride is a reminder to stay connected to the roots of the Stonewall, and remind the so-called “GLBT community” of this day to remember that unless everyone is free, no one is. As it has been said, an injury to one is an injury to all. Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. The choice is yours whether to stand in solidarity or “celebrate the Pride” in the comfort of your middle-class, Corporate America-induced stupor, with a plastic glass of beer in your hand.