Toronto’s legendary Pride Parade is a festival of inclusiveness – a good-natured rainbow coalition that embraces every letter of the LGBTQ alphabet. It’s so inclusive that even straight people march in it. Its message is: Loud, proud and unbowed. Nobody can bully us any more.
Well, almost nobody. The new bully on the block is Black Lives Matter, a tiny group of noisy activists who borrow their branding and their belligerence from the United States. They’ve proved they can bully just about anyone, including city hall, the mayor and the provincial Premier. The Pride Parade was a pushover.
Black Lives Matter was this year’s guest of honour at the Pride Parade. They graciously returned the favour by accusing their hosts of “anti-blackness,” and halting the parade until their demands were met.
“We are under attack,” shouted Alexandria Williams, one of the Toronto group’s co-founders. “Pride Toronto, we are calling you out!” Ms. Williams said, as reported by the Toronto Star. She accused Pride of “a historical and current culture of anti-blackness” that is “deeply embedded in the festival.”
You’d think, just weeks after the slaughter in Orlando, that they might have chosen to cede the spotlight to the dead and wounded, who really were under attack. But no. The Black Lives Matter activists are firmly convinced that they are at the very top of the pyramid of oppression. Only after the parade’s executives meekly agreed to all of their demands (basically, more money for their projects) did they allow the show to go on.
Most of these demands were harmless. But one was not. BLM insists that the Pride Parade has to kick out the police floats, which have been a popular staple for years. This is wrong, and sad, and bad. Police participation in the parade is a welcome symbol of solidarity and inclusion – and also an important message to the public that gay people exist in every walk of life. But BLM activists loathe the police, who, they believe, are racist to the core. So they have to go. (Side note, for what it’s worth: Toronto’s police chief is black.)
The short history of Black Lives Matter in Toronto proves that so long as you’re the victim group du jour, bullying and intimidation can win you obeisance from officials, to say nothing of reverential coverage in the media...