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Warriors Necessary

Black, Pink, White, Brown, Male, Female, we need them all. Humans dedicated to fighting for respect for their fellow citizens and against oppression. Warriors willing to speak out for justice. I supported Mike McGee for alderman of the 6th district because I thought he would shake things up. There was a complacency in our civic consciousness that was too accepting of the status quo in central city neighborhoods. He has not disappointed. But he has offended some good folks. Some friends of mine were included in his in-your-face rhetoric. I can’t fault him for jumping on the “Justice for Jude” (page 15) issue too quickly. Plenty of time has passed since the beating delivered to Frank Jude Jr. by off-duty police officers in the early morning hours outside of a Bay View home last October. Why did it take so long for District Attorney Michael McCann’s office and police chief Nan Hegerty to take action? McGee is asking for criminal charges against the off-duty officers involved. McGee’s language at a February 10 rally was confrontational and wandered into sexual politics when he called a cop involved a “faggot.” This unfortunate language has gotten a lot of attention from gay spokespersons who are upset at the slur. It is disingenuous to say it is only speech and he did not mean to offend all gays. Which gays did he mean to offend? There are lots of barriers between people in our city. I have seen resentment in the black community against groups that have jumped on the “rights” bandwagon – women’s rights, gay rights – as if there were somehow not enough “rights” to go around. The LGBT community has been successful at pushing for their rights in our society. They are a powerful political group. But we don’t have to look too far to find reasons why gays need protection. You don’t have to look too far to find instances of gays being beaten or persecuted merely because they are gay. After all, there are righteous religious fanatics that would send them all to hell with dispatch. The LGBT community is a group that has suffered discrimination over time. Women and homosexuals were burned at the stake during the Inquisition. Who has the greatest claim as a persecuted group? Gays? Women? African Americans? It is hard to measure persecution on a balance scale. But I do ask my kind gay friends and leaders in the gay community, as I ask the angry Ald. McGee, to cease fire at this time. We are losing sight of the original issue here. A human being was viciously beaten and those involved have not been called to account. I stand with Mike McGee in demanding justice. I ask all people, black, pink, white, brown, male, female, to stand with him. I ask Ald. McGee to make it possible to stand together with all your allied brothers and sisters as warriors fighting against injustice. “Do the right thing.” Bring us together to right this wrong.