Thursday, June 16, 2016

New York City’s Anti-Gay Massacre, Now Barely Remembered

In a year from now how do you think the Pulse Nightclub Massacre will be remembered? Will there be political marches for gun control? Will annual Pride celebrations become what they once were: demonstrations demanding LGBT people be free to live, work, marry, raise children without harm done to them by heinous anti-LGBT laws?

What about ten years from now? Will the Pulse Nightclub Massacre even be remembered at all or will it be forgotten like the “West Street Massacre” in New York City, 1980? The New York Times takes a look at New York City’s anti-gay massacre in the excerpt below.

New York Times:
“For all of us who were worried that the conservative backlash in this country would bring about unnamed terrible things, the future is now.”

The words appeared on the front page of a gay newspaper, heralding an article about bar patrons being gunned down where they stood. They were not written this week, but 36 years ago, describing a spasm of violence that fewer and fewer people now recall.

They were written by the reporter Andy Humm as he told readers of The New York City News on Nov. 28, 1980, what most of them already knew: that a former transit police officer had rampaged through Greenwich Village, killing two men and wounding six.

“West Street Massacre,” the headline read.

Shortly before 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19, a 38-year-old former transit police officer named Ronald K. Crumpley opened fire outside a deli at Washington and 10th Streets, cutting down Richard Huff, 30, and Rene Matute, 23.

The gunman then made his way to West Street, between 10th and Christopher Streets, a blockfront shared by the Ramrod, a popular leather bar, and Sneakers, a gay dive. READ MORE
We must learn from the past and not repeat the same mistakes. We must control the narrative of our own community. Let's not forget all those who have died before us. Let's not forget the heroes - OUR heroes - who helped pave the way for the LGBT rights that we do have.

If history has taught us anything it's that things can roll backwards. Nothing is for certain. We must nurture our community and create safe spaces for us, our families, our people. Let's not be another footnote in history under the crime column.