WE ARE IN A NATIONAL STATE OF EMERGENCY! — HRC issues its first ever State of Emergency Alert for LGBTQ+ People in the U.S.
Welcome Back to the Future
The leaflet below was found on the street near a friend’s home on Long Island.
Arnie Kantrowitz, my deceased life partner, became legendary as a gay activist, mensch, humorist and student of the Holocaust who looked unflinchingly at the worst atrocities of history. He took very seriously ACT UP’s logo, based on the experience of the Holocausts of World War 2 and AIDS, of Silence = Death.
One of Arnie’s favorite gallows-humor jokes went as follows:
2 prisoners are headed into the gas chambers in a concentration camp.
So the first one says: Shouldn’t we be protesting?
The other one replies: Don’t make trouble!
Arnie’s priceless humor, what we cherished as Jewish humor, is easily updated. While Jews are yet again under growing hate siege globally — and Arnie knew far better than most the danger in underestimating the power of antisemitism to suddenly explode like wildfire beyond imaginable levels — in these times of extremism, inmates from virtually any group could be the prisoners here.
Notable among these, besides those of us in LGBTQ+ communities, are people of color, women, Jews, Asians, Muslims, other ethnic and indigenous peoples, immigrants, political prisoners and refugees, artists, journalists, teachers, writers, historians, librarians, legitimate election workers, human rights advocates, legitimate judges, attorneys, senators, congressional representatives and legitimate presidents, scholars, civic and government employees, the disabled, the poor, the homeless, the elderly, children, health care workers and refugees, the mentally ill and chemically depdendent, and those otherwise disenfranchised.
Qualified exceptions are the perpetrators — racial supremacists, war criminals and religious and political extremists who believe in, practice and/or actively or passively endorse extremist intolerance towards others.
Sometimes referred to with the soft-pedal term “populist,” they are otherwise evermore boldly “authoritarian,” another soft-pedal term. Collectively, commonly and accurately, they are what we know them to be: reactionary, bigoted assholes at best, fascists, Nazis and war criminals at their all too frequent worst.
Their freedom to continue their marches into the hells of their own choosing and making must be situationally, lawfully abided. But biding our time as they actively, mortally endanger us and the entire world, as they are now doing with malignant velocity, increases the risks to democracy and freedom and for world conflagration.
ANTI-SCIENCE AND ANTI-MINORITY LAWS AND BOOK BANNING WERE BENCHMARKS OF HITLER’S RISE TO POWER. WE ARE THERE NOW.
Resistance and leadership are not prevailing, not happening to the extent they need to happen.
By any means necessary, as the great Malcolm X and the great Larry Kramer became famous for saying, this Zombie Apocalypse must be stopped.
As for Florida and in tribute to the Late, Great GMHC and ACT UP founder Larry Kramer, Florida needs to be where “anti-woke” Ron Desantis stays to die. Not literally, of course, but figuratively, as in “Drop Fucking Dead, Asshole!”
Woke Peoples of the World, the Time to Reawaken is Now! “Don’t Make Trouble” is no longer an option.
We Are All Together In This Nightmare of Extremist Agendas.
UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL
Happy Pride, Everybody
— Dr. LARRY MASS, GMHC CO-FOUNDER AND THE FIRST TO WRITE ABOUT AIDS IN THE PRESS