Straight Pride (Boston Edition) Both Embarrassing Mess and Reminder of Broader Far-Right Links

Boston, Massachusetts, skyline. / Image via Walsarabi.

This morning, the Boston Globe began coverage of the controversial “straight pride” parade, pointing out a massive discrepancy in turnout: “a few hundred marchers” in the parade against thousands of assembled counter-protesters, “about a mile apart” in central Boston, Massachusetts.

One Instagram user posted a rather pointed clip from an interviewer of one organizer who demanded a rationale for why the march—which has triggered an enormous Boston police presence throughout the parade area—was allowed to take place at the expense of the city.

The Globe, though, fumbled a bit in framing what exactly the parade reflects – and who is actually among the organizers’ broader constituency. As the Globe’s reporting team wrote this morning,

The parade was organized by the group Super Happy Fun America, whose leaders have denied allegations of bigotry.

Protesters, however, called the parade an affront to the LBGTQ community that is intended to stoke discrimination.

“We are here to counterprotest the Straight Pride Parade that is being brought forth by white nationalists, white supremacists, racists, and we’re here out of love, to support each other within our communities to fight that hatred,” said Chastity Bowick, 33, of Boston.

While the Globe later clarifies the links between parade organizers and the so-called alt-right later in the piece, it holds the organizers and counter-protesters in equipoise, as though this were a “he said, she said”-type matter.

It’s unequivocally not. As Britain’s Independent reported months ago, the leading group of organizers—Resist Marxism—has deep ties to neo-Nazis and other, often-violent far-right groups.

Bubbling Tensions, Reports of Sporadic Violence

It’s unsurprising then that today’s march and counter-rallies, so far at least, have been both rather pathetic for the “straight pride” types and an ominous event with high tensions.

Unconfirmed reports via Twitter and various counter-protest organizers already have cited isolated outbursts of violence at the margins of today’s events, as well as the considerable police presence shown in images featured above.

The Boston Globe, again, has yet to update its coverage of today’s events in the city. Rather, a litany of quotes from “pride’ marchers weighs heavily on the reporting, undermining even the fraught “both sides” framing above. A couple quoted attendees underscore the point:

David K. Elkins, 74, from San Francisco, said he would march in the parade because “it’s become less and less PC to be straight, white, and male.”

“That’s considered the bottom of the chain,” he said. “That’s the one group you can still voice negative things about on YouTube, and there’s no punishment.”

Andrew, 27, said he designed the smiling-face logo for the parade.

The promotion of “alternative lifestyles” is denigrating the “traditional family” and heterosexuality, he said, citing what he called the effect of “big TV shows, big movies” such as “Modern Family” and “The Simpsons.”

The danger to the LGBTQ community is overstated, he said. “Anti-discrimination has been pretty much enshrined into law,” said Andrew, who declined to give his last name.

Asked whether white supremacists are connected to the parade, Andrew said, “I don’t know any white supremacists,” and ended the interview. (emphasis added)

The Globe neglected to point out the inaccuracy of “Andrew’s” statement (federal law does not widely protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination, a point repeatedly emphasized by Instinct’s recent coverage). Moreover, the extensive quote above reifies the soft take on organizers’ extremist connections, failing (again) to follow-up after “Andrew” ended the interview.

Image via Instagram.

(The organizers are less than skilled at making compelling memes. They also tell on themselves a bit with the hashtag use – linking Trumpism and MAGA to Pepe the Frog, which became a common avatar for white supremacists and related groups in recent years.)

The day is far from over, but one hopes ex post assessments by the Globe and other non-LGBTQ-focused media improve their coverage – and call things what they truly are.

(Source: Boston Globe)

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