All parades need elephants.

It was great wrap to the Pride month the other day when Toronto’s Pride Parade made its way down Yonge Street. It was also good to see Canada’s Prime Minister taking part. The only glitch in the day’s proceedings is when a group invited to be specifically honoured by the parade got carried away with its own importance.

Until this event, the group known as “Black Lives Matter” had done a good job of making its case in Toronto. Their cause is important and while some of their claims are related more to American circumstances than Canadian, the politicians need to hear what they are saying.

But it is just too easy to blow away all the good you have done with one stupid gesture. It is hubris (self-importance) that is the downfall of so many. And as they say: ‘Pride goeth before the fall.’

And as if the Pride Parade organizers do not have enough problems without a self-important group holding it up for their ‘demands.’ And it was not as though the parade organizers did not give a rat’s ass for the particular demands. They were self evident and mostly complied with. The only exception was the foolish request to exclude Toronto police in uniform and their floats from future Pride Parades.

What those so-called activists do not realize is that the police uniform is a uniform of service to the community. If they think it is a costume of conquest, they have a problem.

For a parade that celebrates inclusion to exclude anybody is to deny the very heart and soul of the event. Excluding the police is to insult some of the very strong supporters and participants in the parade. If these black activists have a problem with the Toronto police, let them take it to the police or the politicians. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community that certainly includes blacks counts on the support of the police who keep this a safe city. They are not about to throw away years of building good relations.

Here is a tip for the parade organizers: If Black Lives Matter want to be in the parade next year, they should be at the end of the parade. You can tell them that it is the place of honour. It is the position Santa Claus gets in his parade and who is more important than Santa? And if they want to have a sit down on the parade route, leave them to it. They will find that the police will be very helpful.

The only major difference for Black Lives Matter is that each of their participants should be handed a broom, a shovel or a garbage can on wheels to push. After all, somebody has to clean up after the elephants.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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