Torontonians of all stripes and types have always been proud of their Pride Parade. Originating in 1981, the parade has cheerfully acknowledged the growing acceptance of diversity in a polyglot city. Today it is one of the largest events of its kind in the world and brings more than a million visitors to the city each summer.
But there has been a hitch. We have seen a single faction put their wants ahead of the community. We have seen a hunger for power overcome the principles of inclusion. We have seen how one group can pit themselves against the needs of their own community.
We are talking about a small group of people who have taken the name of an American movement called ‘Black Lives Matter.’ The name means little as these people have taken it to mean that ‘Only Black Lives Matter.’ It is an insult to the entire community and an embarrassment for the large Toronto black community.
What annoys their own community is their assertions that Toronto cops are racist. Their grandstanding at the Pride Parade last year was an insult to Toronto, the Toronto police and the Pride events organizers. To hold up the parade with their irresponsible demands was an outrage. They were playing to the cheap seats, to the bigots who shared their shallow views and to the media for their attention. The parade marshal who signed off on their silly demands did it to get the massive parade moving again. The media gave them the attention they wanted.
But now the Pride Parade organizers are creating their own monsters. They are letting this militant group with their own agenda dictate to them. They are dividing their community into ‘us’ and ‘them.’ And how dare they do that when the overall community was so accepting?
Nobody is foolish enough to believe that there is no homophobia in the city. It has been the successful Pride events that were helping silence that ignorance. The growing success of the events made people proud. The inclusiveness made people feel good about their community.
But what did people expect the Chief of Police to do about that idiotic vote denying their participation? Nobody wants their people where they are not wanted. He appears to regret that decision more than the people benefitting the most from the inclusiveness.
Frankly, by letting those people dictate to the parade marshal last year, Pride has told the entire parade that they can do whatever they want. You have to be able to manage your parade or get out of the business.
Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry
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