Pride and Prejudice

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Craftwork morning.

Today, we went to the Pride Parade. We knew there would be a memorial corner for those lost to hate (most prominently and recently, #Orlando), so we made candles to bring along. Each of us wrote a little ‘message’ (as evidenced below) and left a candle at the site.

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Since many of the Eye Bags readers are residing in the U.S. and many of you have been hit hard by Orlando, here is some evidence of European support: it cannot bring anyone back, but you are not alone.

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Memorial Corner at the Pride Village…

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…and floats who had changed their themes at short notice.

Also, seen on Thursday in Stockholm: announcement for midday prayer for Orlando at the Cathedral in Gamla Stan (the most tourist-ridden neighborhood of the city):

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PS. Also from Stockholm: greetings to North Carolina! Single-stall, gender-neutral, no fuss.

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27 thoughts on “Pride and Prejudice”

    1. How are the reactions in Argentina, Sam (whee there are so many challenges for the community that there might hardly be energy left for much else…?)? – when is BA Orgullo this year?

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      1. the US Embassy was an active partner of the event! and gave a speech thanking the people of Berlin.. in fact the US embassy Berlin fb site’s cover photo is a a huge rainbow flag.

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        1. I just it up – “official” support is so encouraging. Not the most romantic, perhaps, but the administrative stuff can end up saving lives.

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        1. let me copy/paste part of the speech here:
          US Ambassador John Emerson’s Remarks at the Berlin for Orlando Vigil at Brandenburger Tor (18 June 2016)

          “Guten Abend. What an incredible outpouring this is.
          You know it’s very hard for me to think about where we were one year ago during Pride Month, celebrating the fact that marriage equality had become the law of the land in the United States of America and where we are tonight, honoring those who lost their lives and those who are struggling to stay alive and recover from a senseless act of violence and of hate directed at members of our collective community.

          And as an American, it is deeply moving to me to see this extraordinary outpouring of support, of people coming together, not just Americans, but Germans and many, many other nationalities who are represented here tonight to come together and support one another today, tomorrow, and what I know will be long into the future. And I really want to thank you all so much for being here. I want to thank the leadership of the LGBT community who helped put this event on. I want to thank the organizers.

          Now, that being said, I started out by mentioning the disparity between what happened a year ago and what’s happening today and why we’re here today. In point of fact, there is something that really binds together both of those events together and that is love. And that is the love that we see here tonight. And in the words of that wonderful composer and poet and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda who just won the Tony Award last week, the fact is that love and hope will always outlast hate and fear.”

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  1. I read yesterday that after Orlando sales of weapons as well as weapon producers stocks have gone up in US. Why can’t people learn and why is it apparently not possible to do anything against the weapons lobby from the politics side (also within Germany where there is weapon production as well)? It’s so very sad what happened and so hard to bear that things like that will likely happen again.

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    1. The simple, horrible answer might be that it’s people who care about making money more than about the lives of others (it starts with buying clothes at Primark, it ends with selling an unstable and violent person a semi-automatic gun…?).

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    2. People here buy guns whenever they think Congress is going to enact gun control laws. They’re afraid of not having access to guns because they think the US Government is a totalitarian state waiting to happen, and they will need to defend themselves against it. Then they vote Republican, because the Republican Party likes guns, and the Republican Party likes guns because they get a lot of financial support from gun manufacturers. What the people who buy guns and vote Republican don’t realize is that the corporate interests they support whenever they buy guns and vote Republican IS the totalitarian state they’re afraid of.

      Seriously, I work with people who think the US Government murdered 20 little kids and 6 teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School just so Obama could use the resulting public outcry to ban gun ownership. And so they characterize the public outcry as “a knee-jerk reaction”, to go along with all the other knee-jerk reactions we have every time this happens. If 20 dead 6-year-olds could not convince them that something has to be done, then nothing will ever convince them, and this will never cease.

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      1. Thank you for your account, although it is quite depressing. It is often better to hear information from people directly then to rely on the media, so very interesting to see how things are perceived by different people in the US. German politics and press like to criticise the US for their weapons policies, while often forgetting that large weapon producers in Germany deliver to whoever pays them in crisis areas and substantially support the US weapons lobby.

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        1. yes, German weapons’ exports are a huge part of the problem – just because you give the guns to others and not to your own people doesn’t really lower your perpetuating of killing. (did you catch the bit on the news these past days about investment funds buying into cluster munition???)

          I think stray is, depressingly, right – if 20 dead young children did not change the system, nothing will.

          (how does one deal with that level of violent ignorance? It’s everywhere itnernationally, of course, though less visible perhaps in other places at the moment. What is the mindset that produces such mentalities, and how could it be counteracted in a structural level? Obviously, the narrative myth of nation/ethnicity/otherness is a big part of it, but that can’t be all there is to it? And would an educative system even be able to counteract it?)

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          1. ‘Violent ignorance’, that really brings it to the point. I guess the vast majority of people indirectly (e.g. financially) involved are not violent or immoral people per se, but their ignorance and lack of readiness to acknowledge ‘uncomfortable’ information prevents the system from changing. If there is any answer, I’d think education would be a big part of it (especially humanities, often regarded as ‘inferior’ since not directly useful, but maybe able to make people leave their comfortable zone of ignorance?)

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          2. yes, education!
            (if I didn’t believe in that at least a bit any longer, I would have to do soemthing else for a living)
            The Fins are right, with the importance they put on teaching – it is so much of a structural problem in so many places, with low wages and low prestiges for preschool teachers (which are likely the most important for social formation) all the way up to university, where the first advise I got about my ‘career’ was “do only the minimum in teaching and focus on research instead, nobody will give you a professorship for being a good teacher”.
            Of course some people will do anything not to think, but perhaps at least thsoe not *wilfully* ingorant can be reached.

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  2. The Swiss are one the best, if not the best armed people in the world, but there is almost no ‘gun violence’ in Switzerland. In the US our public discourse always dwells on ‘gun violence’ while ignoring the finger on the trigger. These fingers always belong to a very small and easily defined demographic. I will not insult anyone’s intelligence by describing it. Until this demographic is targeted there will not be an end to ‘gun violence’ because its not the guns that are the problem. Now the talk is about banning assault weapons, but once again the fact is ignored that a small IED or a grenade (or several) can be used in lieu of an assault weapon. All these conversations are nonsensical unless we are willing to look at who is behind the violence, and why we use terms like ‘domestic violence’ ‘gun violence’ sexual assault’ ‘child abuse’ ‘animal abuse’ ‘hate crimes’etc etc as if these things were mere abstractions.
    Thank you for your solidarity with us as we painfully muddle our way though our feelings about Orlando. No matter how bad we feel, our connections with LGBTQ folks in other lands touch our hearts and help us heal. Though I still fell sick at the memory, I personally believe that we are here to stay, and I take courage from the belief that we have never been wiped out and never will be.

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    1. Eventually, we will be wiped out, and so far, we’re just a blip in earth history overall – but that may be a matter of perspective.

      Since last night, I have been debating with myself whether to type not as much a reply, but to add A viewpoint, which is mandated by me stemming from a different cultural mindset.

      You are right: a gun in itself does not kill. Someone kills with it, someone unhinged or unstable or mad enough.
      But if there were no gun (especially no semi-automatic gun), in the first place, we wouldn’t have to worry about that.

      If there are a 100 people who own guns, and 99 of them act responsibly, and just 1 is someone unstable or aggressive and a threat to others, then the logical conclusion for me is that those 99 say, “I renounce any right to own a gun so that the unstable one we cannot control (and can any of us truly guarantee that we will never be unstable? I don’t think so) is cut off from it, too, so that we may save lives.”

      But I fear that who has not thought this way at the news of twenty dead elementary school students, will never think this way at all.

      (Switzerland is a good point – there is a horrifying amount of unregistered firearms around, and Switzerland does have shootings – just no mass shooting so far, in part also because the national myth, the infrastructure, and the construction of masculinity and personhood)

      In this, I believe, we arrive at a similar point in looking at a cultural background – particularly toxic masculinity, entitlement, racism and homophobia – and at its playing a part in people fashioning themselves as killers.

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      1. The Democrats are staging a sit-in trying to force a gun control vote in the House of Representatives right now, broadcasting on c-span via periscope right now bc Republicans have declared a recess and shut off the cameras.

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        1. it made central German news this morning! Is it still going on? I hope it does have some effect (it may just be a small measurement proposed, but it’s better than nothing).

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      2. It is still going on, 24 hours later. The Republicans spent the small hours heckling from the back of the chamber, so that anyone speaking had to shout over them because the podium mics had been switched off. Then at 2:30 am the Republicans reconvened to pass an unrelated bill, then ended the session and recessed (two days early) until July 5. Democrats are spinning that as Republicans abandoning their responsibilities and fleeing town in the dead of night because they’re too chicken to debate the gun control issue.

        House rules say cameras can’t be on when the House isn’t in session, so we’re still on rotating cellphone feed.

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        1. Ha, German news reported it would be over since they recede with majority – clearly I need to tune back in thank you for letting me (and the other Europeans) know!

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      3. They continued till about noon ET, then finished with a press conference on the steps of the Capitol. Everybody goes back to their home districts now, and hopefully gathers their energies for a big fight after the July 4 recess. Hopefully they can keep up the momentum.

        And now we can go back to watching exit poll numbers from the UK — never a dull moment!

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        1. Somehow, the sit-in and the momentum it showed (and let’s hope it continues after the fireworks) is much more heartening to read about than the numbers from the EU referendum.

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  3. seen yesterday, downtown at the film museum café in Vienna central (next to the Albertina, more or less next to the Staatsoper): rainbow flag at half-mast.

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