Police Brutality

People are often far too eager to claim police brutality. I’ve seen false claims happen right in front of me. What happened yesterday in Pittsburgh appears to be one of those instances – a young woman claiming police brutality to save face.

It helps her cause that she’s a lesbian who was taking part in Pridefest. Because homophobia.

During the gay pride celebration in Pittsburgh yesterday, several Christian groups were protesting within legal parameters. Ariel Lawther was engaged in a heated argument with 36-year-old protester Eric Moure. Lawther’s age has been reported at somewhere between 19 and 22 years of age. According to Moure, Lawther became physical, shoving him – that’s when rookie officer Souroth Chatterji intervened. Both Moure and Officer Chatterji told the same story: upon the officer’s intervention, Lawther turned on him, hitting him with her fists and kicking him in the groin.

That was when things got hairy. Only ten seconds of video was recorded by a bystander. That was of Officer Chatterji pulling Lawther out of the crowd by her hair and punching her in the abdomen.

The video really doesn’t tell us much. It was captured at the end of the altercation and shows nothing of what was going on between Lawther and Moure. Officer Chatterji says he had already admonished Lawther and her friends not to engage in an argument with the protesters as it would lead to a fight. Officer Chatterji also says he clearly heard her tell Moure, “I will f—ing kill you!”

First things first. The protesters.

I do not give a damn how angry you may be at any protesters. I don’t give a damn what they are saying. Christians are going to protest outside of gay pride parades and festivals. It’s going to happen. We all know what those protesters are going to say. It is nothing new to anybody. You need to let them do what they’ll do and say what they’ll say. The instant you talk smack, issue threats, or get violent, YOU are the one in the wrong – it matters none what they have said or done. You deserve to go to jail. You are wrong and should be ashamed of yourself. I grew up in Evangelical Christianity and I know perfectly well how unpleasant those protesters can be; know now that nothing they do or say can ever excuse your boorish behavior if you refuse to control yourself.

You need to walk away and leave them alone. If they put their hands on you, attract all the attention you can before you fight back. Unless they do intend to do physical harm, you have no business at all engaging in any argument with them. WALK AWAY. That is what adults in the real world do.

Second…the arrest.

She clearly assaulted a protester and needed to be arrested. According to her own statements to officers after her arrest, she knew she was being violent and that it was wrong. She apologized to the officer and told him, “I didn’t know you were a cop.” She admits to assaulting him in that phrase. If an officer is being assaulted, he has every right to use force to subdue his attacker. Period. The teenager (yes, she was 16 years old) who took the video with a cell phone (who can be heard screaming “what are you doing?!?”) claims that she didn’t see Lawther get violent with the officer; she’s probably telling the truth. She also probably didn’t see what precipitated the moment she filmed. There was a pretty good-sized crowd there and the video shows that crowd getting in the way just before the officer throws punches.

Incidents like these do not help the cause of gay rights. They only serve to thoroughly embarrass us. Young gay people are essentially being taught that self-restraint is a thing of the past – you should express yourself regardless of how negative your emotions are.

Learn now a very important lesson, kids. Self-restraint is very important in the real world. You are going to hear people say things that offend you or otherwise hurt your feelings. No amount of offense will ever excuse losing your temper, starting an argument, or becoming physically violent in any way, shape, or form. I have had members of the Phelps clan say things far worse than anything those protesters were saying to you in Pittsburgh. I never yelled, never spit, never shoved, and never hit. You need to learn to tolerate people you don’t like…just like you’re demanding of the extremist religious types you can’t stand.

Don’t get into those kinds of altercations and you won’t have to deal with the police.

By Proclamation Of The One

Apparently, June is now GLBT Pride month. So saith President Obama, who – upon making his declaration – once again took the moment to bang on his chest about all he has done for the gay community.

Gag me.

I don’t need to go through all of the reasons why he is not our friend again. You can read what I had to say about that here. What I am going to do is pull back the blinds on an issue that irks me – one you’d think gays and lesbians in the US would be more conscientious about.

Gay rights in the Middle East.

President Obama makes grand speeches like the one he made just a few days ago, regaling us all with tales of his “partnership” with the gay community and his belief that we should be equal, but he openly ignores the plight of gays and lesbians in the Middle East. In Iran, gay men are hung publicly. In Egypt, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Qatar, and especially Saudi Arabia, gay men are beaten, starved, tortured, stoned and beheaded. What’s more, the same things are done by the supposedly peace-loving Palestinians – uneasy neighbors to Israel.

What should be heartwarming is the fact that Israel welcomes gay people. There is no legal discrimination (with the exception of a ban on gay adoptions, which can easily be circumvented there, as opposed to here). Gay pride parades can happen in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem without fear of bombings or shootings because they are protected by police and IDF. Gay tourism in Tel Aviv has grown, and this year’s pride festival drew more attendees from Israel and Europe than most US pride festivals. Tel Aviv is listed as one of the world’s most gay-friendly cities – I dare say because there are very few, if any, Palestinians there.

Go ahead, call me a hatemonger. I don’t hate them – I just don’t trust them.

I am damn proud to be an American, but I am mortified that my President will proclaim an entire month gay pride month while he throws billions of dollars in cash and weapons at nations that would see my people rounded up and slaughtered if they could get away with it (both gays and Jews). Celebrities in my country of birth claim to support my rights as a lesbian to live freely and openly while also attacking the only nation in the Middle East that allows gay people to live in the open and cares when one of us is attacked or murdered. I am disgusted that so many people of note in America are so willing to be so hypocritical and excuse themselves as somehow more “moral” than I am.

June is also cat adoption month. It has gone ignored by Obama.

You know what else it is? This is very personal for me – PTSD awareness month. This is where I come out of the closet. I have PTSD.

The details are my business, but until I was diagnosed in 2009 I struggled with depression, memories that I couldn’t get rid of, flashbacks, panic attacks – the whole nine yards. I knew something was off but I couldn’t tell what until I met a therapist who put it all together. Right now, that therapist is the only reason I’m still in the Phoenix area. I have made incredible strides toward having something resembling a normal life only to have liberals in the past few months saying publicly that I should have certain rights – particularly my Second Amendment rights – taken away because I’m somehow dangerous. June is the month set aside to bring attention to those with PTSD, and Obama all but thumbed his nose at it when he decided to declare it gay pride month.

I am insulted. I feel like I’m being slapped in the face by a government that refuses to acknowledge my right to disagree. I am being lied to by a man who claims to care about my rights as a lesbian, yet cares nothing for the gay and lesbian victims all over the Middle East who fear death every day. I refuse to accept his proclamation. As soon as Obama stops trying to pander to groups that he refuses to help protect overseas, I’ll believe he cares about my rights.