Last night, National Public Radio featured a story about a controversy over the Stonewall riots of 1969 that helped liberate America. Who threw the first brick? the headline asks. Throwing the brick was a heroic act. A new film that fictionalizes the riots gives that brick to a white man who finds out his lover cheated on him. But an organizer for the Gay Straight Alliance Network has started a petition against the scene because she says it whitewashes a political moment, leaving out people of color and transgender people.
“It’s a statement saying who are we going to… respect and who are we going to portray as the power minds behind this movement?” says Pat Cordova-Goff.
Well, it’s one thing to throw a brick against oppression 36 years ago in New York and another to throw a stone against oppression in Palestine.
This morning on National Public Radio, Emily Harris filed a report on the latest rules allowing Israel to shoot youths throwing stones. She said that the rules are similar to orders in the West Bank; and now they are being applied to “Israel proper.” Wait: She is talking about occupied and annexed Jerusalem. The 300,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem don’t have equal rights. Though they live in what NPR calls “Israel proper,” they can’t vote in Israeli elections unless they take Israeli citizenship, thereby legitimizing the occupation, which they don’t wish to do. Their neighborhoods are being further undermined by colonizers. Their property is routinely stolen, their views ignored by those who govern them. Some youths are throwing stones. NPR should be talking to these people.
The double standard is an expression of PEP. Progressive Except Palestine. From Bernie Sanders to NPR to the Berkeley human welfare commission, our progressives celebrate American civil rights advances while accepting the persecution of millions in Palestine on the basis of their ethnicity. It’s not right; and the hypocrisy is so patent that it will not escape young, well-informed people. (As I hope the new generation of young diverse anchors on NPR, Audie Cornish, Kelly McEvers, Ari Shapiro, Arun Rath, appreciates).