Let me first preface this by saying:
Asking for seven minutes of silence is not an act of violence.
In the city of Columbus, it isn’t really all that surprising that asking for such, especially in the name of respect for Black people is used as a license for police brutality. Let’s start at the beginning the very start, Columbus has a long history of mass gentrification. So much so the PBS put out an entire documentary called “Flag Wars” out on the Weinland Park area of the city. That is one of the two neighborhoods I grew up in there. We watched as street by street houses and businesses got bought. The mostly Black people who lived there got crammed into Linden or shoved out to suburbs. Suddenly grocery stores appeared nearer to areas that have been known as food deserts, daycare’s, research centers, bike lanes in already doubled parked streets rose from the dirt. It was fairly obvious that our Portland wannabe asses only invested in these neighborhoods just as soon as they divested themselves from poor Black/Brown bodies.
For years certain members of the community fought to move the COTA bus lines off of the main streets by areas like the Short North and Downtown. As if they couldn’t stand to see the very people who work at their fancy bistros, artisan ice cream joints. Our whole city was changed into Downton Abbey, the help entering through unknown corridors and helping pale fainting ladies with nonsensical problems, that are more relaxing than even slightly meaningful. All the while prices for pretty much everything has risen, and Black queerness, already being synonymous with poverty, only became doubly so. The queer spaces that arose in this new shiny OZ became shinier and more manufactured faster than you can say Axis.
I personally avoid the drunken nexus of flaming gentrifier wealth that Columbus’s PRIDE celebrations have become, mostly because I am a queer porch troll, with anxiety. Some people, of braver constitution than myself decided to step up, and protest in the space that our Black Trans fore-mothers fought for at the Stonewall Riots, at a festival established by a bisexual, Jewish sex worker. Cause we the Brown, Black, and poor Queers of that city remember why we have PRIDE. Those individuals who stood up and asked for seven minutes of silence did so in a space that should be considered more rightfully theirs than anyone else’s. And not to scald any of my readers on the artisan brick oven pizza, asking for silence for Philando Castille was not violent. No scary Black was going to harm you, precious lily-white rainbow children, but those of you who clapped, said nothing, and then complained about a minor interruption, are as putrid as your neighbor’s bathtub kombucha. Sadly, for almost all of us in the city who are People of Color, none of this is anything new. It is hard to be shocked in a city and country who make it their profession to hide us from sight
This piece is for my four Black queer siblings, brutally arrested, and wrongfully attacked. Maybe this isn’t elegant, but I have a shit ton of social media followers, who should hear and know this: Ya’ll did the right thing. Thank you for carrying on the actual traditions of social justice that this PRIDE stands for. While the pain you have been caused was 100% unnecessary, and preventable, you have proven publicly several facts that get me scoffed at for mentioning. White Liberals don’t care about us. Black people are more than party decorations for our left leaning Bernie Bro acquaintances invite out to use as examples as to why they “aren’t racist”. You are the true icons of the future, and our community, or at least myself personally supports you.
also if you are a real ally and wanna help these folks with any legal/life fees here ya go: