Thursday, June 24, 2010

QuAIA Victory: A Post Mortem

How surprising is it to see Pride parade officials fold like the flimsiest paper tent in the face of  "progressive" rage about a ban on the big lie--"Israeli apartheid"--at this year's event? About as surprising as it is seeing a plethora of nekkid folks with lots of tats, piercings and dangly bits at the festive gathering. In other words, no surprise at all.

That said, I think it's vital to examine what occurred here, and see if it offers lessons for the future. There are two ways of approaching it. The first is to applaud Martin Gladstone, the gay chap who spearheaded the banning of the Israeli apartheid smear. Gladstone said it had no place in the parade, and he worked tirelessly to get organizers to see his P.O.V.--with a little help from those who control the purse strings at the city level, and who made parade funding contingent on the non-existence of the smear (which, really, is only fair, given the non-existence of Israeli apartheid). However, that did not result in the queer "progressives" going gently into the good night: if there's one thing Israel-bashers are, it's relentless, and there's no way that this community, which, you should pardon the expression, "prides" itself on being "edgy" and "confrontational" and "in your face" was going to accede to the edict. Not when its "progressive" bona fides were on the line. What ensued was a hue and cry that, ironically, ended up giving greater publicity--and perhaps even greater credibility--to QuAIA. They became the powerless, embattled champions of  "free speech" (even though, clearly, they are no such thing), while Parade officials were perceived to be kowtowing to those (an insidious Zionist lobby?) who hold all the power, all the money, and all the cards. Really bad optics, wouldn't you say?

Thus the second approach--and the right one in such circumstances, I think--is to let the Israel-loathers go ahead, but to answer it with (and here I quote Alan Borovoy again) effective invective. That way, there's far less chance that the Zion-trashers will be able to claim the moral high ground by depicting themselves as the victims, the underdogs, and be handed a PR victory. And something that would have remained a little deal won't be blown up into something immense.

I think I'm on fairly solid ground here. After all, who would have even heard of David Ahenekew if we hadn't gone ahead and made a huge deal over some of his ignorant remarks?


Jim said...

OK, but what about the much talked about funding cut? Was it actually cut? Or was it reinstated when Pride agreed to ban QuAIA?

If the latter, then does this about-face simply mean that the Pride has cashed the cheques and are now laughing that their little trick worked?

scaramouche said...

Can't help you there. I have no idea what happened re the funding.

Richard K said...

What happened was there was a motion to cut funding that was sent to the City's Executive Committee, but it was withdrawn when Pride said they were going to ban "Israeli Apartheid".

So by pulling this switcheroo at the last minute, they've been effectively able to avoid the City yanking their funds. But Councillors Mamolitti and Ford and quite a few others are going to be very upset. So will some that were on Pride's side and will feel double-crossed by this.

the best thing to do now is to contact the sponsors