First, a subsequent comment over at Queerty, elucidating as to the degree to which the “HRC Staffer” who played the “conspiracy theiry” card is full of shit:
HRC needs to learn that the trans community cannot and will not judge them by their words, because, let us all recall, Joe Solmonese has not a whit of shame about telling baldfaced lies in front of 1000 transpeople in a ballroom in Atlanta. Like Solmonese’ words in Atlanta, the T community doesn’t believe this anonymous staffer – they work for HRC, it’s all we need to know.
Calling the police BEFORE a demonstration IS intimidation and a not-well-veiled threat – and HRC knows that T people cannot chance an encounter with the Harris county lockup. Jails don’t deal with transpeople well, anywhere.
If any HRC-oid ever professes ignorance about this – about why any threat to set wheels in motion that could result in transsexuals ending up in one of the most notorious county jails in the nation (in Texas, probably the only one worse is Galveston County’s) – then please, irrrespective of venue, rise to your feat and yell BULLSHIT at the top of your lungs. These transphobic cesspool dwellers know exactly what they’re doing – when it comes to protecting their cashflow (as for actually accomplishing anything positive for anyone outside of DC? Ummmm…not so much.)
Now, a nice pre-protest backgrounder from Vanessa Edwards Foster:
My second HRC Banquet protest ever will be this evening (I’ll write more on that point in a later post). And again – like my first one in Washington DC – they’ve decided they need police protection from us. It’s a little unsettling as I know the Houston PD’s reputation – it’ll be a different environment than DC. Like in DC, I’m sure they’ll have someone point me out to HPD to give me the “special” attention to my every move. I plan on being dogged tonight.
This time, national activist emeritus Phyllis Frye is coordinating, so she got a taste of what we (especially the NTAC crowd) have known all along. Phyllis far from clueless about HRC, though. Once upon a time (pre-Mara) she was arguably their most vocal and consistent detractor. For her to ease back into the anti-HRC outsider set isn’t difficult at all. It’s a role she’s known well for over 15 years.
On the flipside of that, the Human Rights Campaign has worked diligently over the years to wedge and divide Houston – long known in the past for it’s unswayable trans community, and general GLBT community antipathy towards HRC. Most especially, since 2003-2004 when the NTAC star was being supplanted by NTCE, the local trans community began listening to the alternative voices: “we need to be collegial,” “we need to work collaboratively,” “they aren’t our enemy – they’re our friends,” “they’re our champion … heroes.”
Simultaneously, I backed off. Yes, I could’ve provided counter-argument (many would argue I should’ve). But I would also run the risk of beating the dead horse. Being repetitive as a broken record never appealed to me, and I’ve learned that forcing people to listen or to believe only meets resistance. So I backed off knowing that in time, considering HRC’s behavior patterns, they would reveal their true selves to all.
This week some of our local-level trans leaders decided to approach two of HRC’s board members and ask for a table to do an educational initiative on the inside.
They were rebuffed.
The excuse given was that HRC felt if they provided a table for a transgender group’s educational initiative, then they’d have to do it for all. Pretty slick, huh? They do know how to spin to cover their tracks pretty well. It’s also like the excuse they gave when it became public that HRC national called the cops on us beforehand.
The Human Right Scampaign’s new motto should be: HRC! If it ain’t transphobia, its spin!
More pre-protest analysis, this time from Phyllis Frye, from an e-mail which followed the response from “HRC Staffer”:
I was quickly contacted by local HRC which had called national HRC about my Phyllabuster.
I was told by local that national HRC said, “We were misunderstood by the Houston Police.”
IMHO, that is a load of grade A, prime crap that HRC is becoming famously consistent is issuing.
Especially so since last fall where, at the TG Southern Comfort Convention in Atlanta, the HRC President told the TG community that HRC promised to keep TG folks in the ENDA bill.
Now the HRC President denies saying that even though it was videotaped and is somewhere on u-tube or such.
I do not believe the HRC spin.
Now, a point where I slightly disagree with Phyllis:
The Houston Police did NOT try to stop our protest.
The story in my report (below) is this: WHY DID HRC EVEN BOTHER TO CALL THE HOUSTON POLICE?
As other folks reported to me about HRC calling their city’s police, IT WAS A NAKED ATTEMPT BY HRC TO INTIMIDATE!
HRC was using a political trick designed to reduce our crowd size and to minimize our effect on what HRC likes to do more that sell out its TG allies.
What HRC likes to do most is to raise $$$$$$$.
HRC got caught.
By catching and exposing this political trickery, it is obvious that “The protests are hurting HRC financially!”
HRC could not have given the TG community (AND ITS GLB AND STRAIGHT ALLIES) a higher compliment. In effect HRC is saying, “You people are making us pay for our stupidity of last fall over dropping the gender-identity-or-expression language in ENDA, thereby abandoning all TG folks and about 1/2 of GLBs who are not gender conforming.”
And so, blogger friends, let us keep to the facts please. Exposing HRC in its political trickery of calling the police to intimidate the trannies and gender-queers does not need to be stretched. The story is big enough as it is!
Assuming that Phyllis is refering to Monica’s Bilerico post, I don’t think it was a stretch to say “HRC Calls Police to Stop Houston Dinner Protest.”
No, HPD didn’t try to stop the protest by summoning the spirit of Herman Short and bashing heads in the lobby of the George Brown Convention Center, but HRC did call HPD to stop the protest…BY INTIMIDATION! It used HPD as a tool, little differently than it used the image of Gwen Araujo when talking about a non-inclusive hate crimes bill a few years back.
The goal was inded to stop the protest, though doubtfully the calculus was that total prevention of it was unlikely.
You’ve been played.
Just like everyone else who has ever thought that the Rhode Island Avenue Cesspool of Transphobia was capable of telling the truth about anything.
Reports on the protest itself will be coming here shortly. So far I’ve received one e-mail from Phyllis on it; I’m guessing some other blog posts will pop up over the course of the day.