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JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY JUDITH TIMSON IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

The only part of this piece worth reading is the way Judith Timson starts it with her and the kiddies having a gay old time at a past Pride Parade, describing it the way some suburban housewife might describe the family’s being at Disney World. She only left out Granny.

“The mood was celebratory on that early summer day as we stood shoulder to shoulder with a gay elementary-school vice-principal….”

Note the use of words like “celebratory” and “early summer day” to set a mood.

And don’t you just love the “shoulder to shoulder” bit, as though Ms. Timson were describing a World War II rally for Rosie the Riveter or describing her participation in a March on Selma Alabama in the 1950s?

This is a classic technique of the propagandist: it might be called the benign, fairy dream, and its purpose is merely to serve as a prop to be knocked over by what follows.

The insincerity here almost grips one like an unwanted waft of heavy cheap cologne.

Gay Pride’s history is not like that at all.

Anything resembling Ms. Timson’s fairy story is a very recent, rather sanitized occurrence. I lived in Toronto during the days of police raids and arbitrary arrests. And anyone knows, or should know, that the Pride Parade was early on treated in Toronto as a somewhat shameful, reluctantly-permitted event.

Much like the way Toronto always had, years ago, a grim King Billy Parade instead of a joyous St. Patrick’s Parade.

The point is that gay people have a history of fighting injustice and oppression, and many of them are still at it, and those latter are the ones who insisted on the right to express themselves on Israeli apartheid.

And I’m sorry, Ms. Timson, but the word “apartheid” is absolutely accurate. We have Nelson Mandela, Bishop Tutu and Jimmy Carter as just some of our star witnesses for the state of affairs in Israel, all honourable men with an intimate understanding of injustice and abuse, Jimmy Carter, by the way, having been labelled an anti-Semite in Israel for stating the plain truth.

Once Jews very much shared that quality we see in many gays, ready to defend the downtrodden, but today it does seem a majority of them serve as apologists for abuse and injustice and killing instead, just so long as the abuse and injustice and killing are done by Israel.

This is a shameful column, written to defend the indefensible, but I’m thankful there are a lot of others, brave gay people in Toronto, ready to stand both for free speech and against oppression.

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