Monday, July 25, 2016

In the News: Hoodline

Tenderloin, GLBT Museums Host Events For 50th Anniversary Of Compton's Cafeteria Riot

One evening in August 1966, the Tenderloin's transgender community had had enough. After years of being marginalized by society and harassed by the police, a riot ensued at Gene Compton's Cafeteria, a favorite late-night hangout spot at 101 Taylor St.

The exact date of the Compton's Cafeteria Riot has been lost to time, and it saw much less publicity than New York's Stonewall riots, three years later. But San Francisco's queer and transgender community has not forgotten, and the Tenderloin Museum and the GLBT Historical Society will be honoring the riot's 50th anniversary with a series of special events running now through mid-September.
One of many Gene Compton's Cafeterias locations in the Bay Area.
Photo: Source unknown
The two organizations have teamed with veterans of the riot, as well as performers, historians, filmmakers and artists. Their events will honor not just the riot itself, but how life has changed over the past few decades for queer and transgender people.
To kick off the series, the Tenderloin Museum is hosting a queer history walking tour and reception at their Eddy Street location this Thursday, from 6-8:30pm. The $5 tour, led by drag performer and Castro District tour guide Cruzin d'Loo, will focus on both the riot and overall LGBTQ history in the Tenderloin. The tour will end at 7pm, just in time to join a free public reception at the Tenderloin Museum.
Other events in the series include a discussion with Felicia Elizondo, who participated in the riot and was the Lifetime Achievement Grand Marshal of the 2015 San Francisco Pride Parade, and a screening at the Roxie Theater of Screaming Queens, an Emmy Award-winning documentary that helped elevate the forgotten riot into public consciousness.


Tenderloin Queer History Walking Tour & Kickoff ReceptionDate: 6-8:30pm Thursday, July 28thLocation: Tenderloin Museum, 398 Eddy St.Tour: $5Reception: Free and open to the public
Starting at the Tenderloin Museum at 6pm, Cruzin d'Loo (the drag alter-ego of performer Kevin Wisney) will give an hour long walking tour of the LGBTQ history of the Tenderloin, centering on the Compton's Cafeteria Riot that took place at the now-famous intersection of Turk and Taylor Streets. The tour will return to the museum at 7:00pm. for a kickoff reception. Trans historian and award-winning documentary filmmaker Susan Stryker and original "screaming queen" Felicia Elizondo will speak briefly to mark the occasion.


Cruising the Tenderloin in the 1960s: A Talk by Felicia ElizondoDate: 7-9pm Thursday, August 4thLocation: GLBT Historical Society Museum, 4127 18th St.Admission: $5; free for members
Felicia Elizondo, a self-described "Mexican spitfire, screaming queen, pioneer, legend, icon, diva, 29-year survivor of AIDS and Vietnam veteran" was one of the transgender participants in the 1966 Compton's Cafeteria Riot. In 2015, she was named Lifetime Achievement Grand Marshal of the San Francisco Pride Parade. In this special multimedia presentation, she explores San Francisco's Tenderloin District in the 1960s to explain how the Compton's Cafeteria Riot was a defining moment in the struggle by a diverse gay and trans community to claim public lives and become who they were meant to be, paving the way for future generations.

Compton's 50th Anniversary Art Launch & Artist TalkDate: 7-9pm Tuesday, August 16thAddress: GLBT Historical Society Museum, 4127 18th St.
Admission: $5; free for members
Launch party and artist conversation for Compton's 50th anniversary works by ceramic artist Nicki Green and interdisciplinary artist Chris Vargas, commissioned by the GLBT Historical Society. Green is producing a limited-edition signature coffee mug referencing both Compton's Cafeteria and the riot itself, while Vargas is hand-screening a numbered set of commemorative T-shirts from his own design. In conversation, the artists will discuss their creative processes and the relationship between trans history and art. Both works will be available for a limited time exclusively at the GLBT History Museum and the Tenderloin Museum.
Green is a trans-disciplinary artist whose work focuses on craft processes that document history and create legacy for marginalized communities. She has exhibited her work nationally, notably at the Leslie-Lohman Museum in New York City and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Vargas is an artist whose work deploys humor and performance in conjunction with mainstream idioms to explore the complex ways that queer and trans people negotiate spaces for themselves within historical and institutional memory and popular culture. Vargas also serves as executive director of MOTHA: The Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art.

Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's CafeteriaDate: 7-9pm Thursday, August 18thAddress: Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St.Tickets: $12
Cosponsored by the Tenderloin Museum and the GLBT History Museum, a special 10th anniversary showing of the Emmy Award-winning 2006 documentary Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria, followed by a Q&A with directors Susan Stryker and Victor Silverman. The film uncovered and popularized the then-forgotten 1966 riot at Compton's.

Susan Stryker is associate professor of gender and women's studies and former director of the Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona. A leader in the field of transgender studies, she is the author of many articles and several books on transgender and queer topics, most recently Transgender History (Seal Press 2008). She won a Lambda Literary Award for the anthology The Transgender Studies Reader (Routledge 2006).

Victor Silverman is an award-winning filmmaker, historian and author. His current film, Getting High, is a provocative, feature-length documentary about his family's collision with drugs and alcohol set against a backdrop of American society's bitter conflicts around the "war on drugs." Silverman's latest book, coauthored with poet Laurie Glover, is California: On the Road Histories (Interlink, 2012).


Sex Work in the Tenderloin: Then and NowDate: 7-9pm Thursday, September 1stLocation: GLBT Historical Society Museum, 4127 18th St.
Admission: $5; free for members

A panel discussion exploring how trans lives and sex work have changed in the last half-century in one of San Francisco's most dynamic neighborhoods. Speakers include Tamara Ching, a Compton's veteran and longtime advocate for trans and sex worker rights, and several advocates with St. James Infirmary, which since 1999 has provided free, confidential, nonjudgmental medical and social services for current and former sex workers of all genders.

Vanguard Revisited With Rev. Megan RohrerDate: 6-8:30pm Thursday, September 8th
Location: Tenderloin Museum, 
398 Eddy St.
Admission: Free and open to the public
In 2011, Megan Rohrer and historian Joey Plaster created a remarkable work of public history: Vanguard Revisited, which introduced the history of the 1960s radical queer-youth organization Vanguard to contemporary queer homeless youth, who created their own art and poetry zine in conversation with essays and themes from the original Vanguard newsletter. The new zine also featured archival materials, a historical narrative and writings from urban ministers and youth organizers.
For the 50th anniversary of the Compton's riots, a second issue of the Vanguard Revisited zine will be released, with new materials by the original authors and editors. For the Tenderloin Museum program, Rohrer will describe the initial process leading up to Vanguard Revisited and will discuss its legacy. Rohrer is the pastor of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in San Francisco and is a nationally recognized leader on issues of homelessness, gender, sexuality and faith.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

In the News: San Francisco Bay Times

Sister Dana sez, “Now that Pride is over, are we supposed to feel shame? Just kidding! Pride is every day!”

Sister-Dana2Sister Dana sez, “Now that Pride is over, are we supposed to feel shame? Just kidding! Pride is every day!”

Sister Dana thoroughly enjoyed being the rainbow nun in the San Francisco Bay Times contingent #099 of the Parade. Our contingent included board members and volunteers of the RAINBOW HONOR WALK organization, highlighting legendary LGBT community leaders represented in the sidewalk plaques installed in the Castro neighborhood, where Rainbow Honor Walk founder David Perry rode as well. I was on the top of the double-decker bus with the OAKLAND INTERFAITH GOSPEL CHOIR. Joining our team were city officials, such as Oakland City Councilmember at-Large and San Francisco Bay Times columnist Rebecca Kaplan and her wife, Pamela Rosin. Sister Dana loved blowing kisses to the crowd and flashing peace & love signs—and receiving the same back from those loving people! I even got four seconds of fame on the KOFY-TV broadcast!

Just before the City came to dismantle the Orlando victims’ memorial in the Castro, several of us SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE held a CLOSING RITUAL AT THE ORLANDO MEMORIAL on the corner of 18th and Castro—known back in the day as Hibernia Beach. “I hate to see it go, as we are still raw from this act of violence, but the recent accidental fire has made it necessary for it to be dismantled,” said Castro Business District executive director Andrea Aiello. The memorial went up immediately after the shooting two weeks prior, which claimed the lives of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Sister Merry Peter acted as host for the ceremony, which drew close to a hundred people. Cleansing sage and smudge were distributed by Sisters, ministers, and leaders. As the majority of the Orlando people murdered were Latinx, it was appropriate that Ruben Martinez of  INSTITUTO DE LA RAZA open the circle in Spanish, with translation following in English. Rev. Megan Rohrer from Grace Lutheran (wearing a rainbow t-shirt with the punny phrase: “This is the gay that the Lord has made” proudly emblazoned) invited the community to share from their hearts (words, song, movement). Politicians, community leaders, and ministers were all invited to join in.
The next day, several of us Sisters and our friends assembled in Pink Triangle Park in the Castro to be led by Sister Kitty Catalyst in a First Friday Darshan Parade down Market Street—offering ritual blessing, love, and peace in the gayborhood....

Thursday, June 30, 2016

In the News: Hoodline

You Have Your Own Dancing To Do': A Farewell To The Castro's Orlando Memorial

A group of about 100 people gathered at last night for a solemn, heartfelt and often emotional final farewell to the 49 LGBT people who were murdered on June 12th at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. 
Led by Sister Merry Peter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Pastor Megan Rohrer of Grace Lutheran Church, the evening culminated in the reverential removal of the dozens of flowers, photographs, votive candles, rainbow flags and other mementos that had been placed in front of the Bank of America building at 18th & Castro streets.
The memorial's removal comes after candles left at the site caused a small fire on Monday morning. While the fire was put out quickly and caused no structural damage, the Castro CBD decided the memorial needed to be taken down for safety reasons—but not before a final farewell from the community.
Sister of Perpetual Indulgence's Merry Peter beginning the blessing ceremony.
photo: steven bracco/hoodline
The service opened with an invocation from Sister Merry. "Let's have a moment of silence for Orlando, for Istanbul, for Syria and for the Bayview," the Sister said. "We are coming together as a community who built this memorial that is a focus for our grieving. It's time to open the space to joy."
"We want to make sure that before we take [the memorial] down, we get it out," Pastor Rohrer, the first openly transgender leader to be installed in a Lutheran congregation, told the assembly. "We must live our lives for remembrance—that all who wonder if their lives matter are ensured that their lives are sacred."
Rohrer held up 49 small signs, one for each of the 49 people killed in Orlando. The crowd applauded as each sign was held up one by one, and randomly handed to various attendees.
"Queer lives matter," stated one sign.
"We're here, we're queer, get used to it," said another.
"Gun control is a gay issue," stated a third.
Pastor Rohrer then invited mourners to step up and speak if they were moved to do so.
Jerry Skittles said that three of his cousins, all of whom were planning on attending SF Pride this year, had died at Pulse. "They couldn't come, and now they're up there, watching over us with Pride," he said.
"Don't judge me because the Lord made me just like he made you," said Thelma Flores.
"Be kinder to each other," said Jaime Miranda. "Have each other's back."
Volunteers and blessing attendees help clean up the memorial.
photo: steven bracco/hoodline
Openly gay District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, whose district includes the Castro, did not address the crowd. He stood quietly in the background, his eyes welling up with tears.
"This memorial was completely organic from the community," Wiener told Hoodline after the ceremony. "It's only fitting that we bless it and that we preserve it for posterity, so that we always remember Orlando."
The hour-long service concluded with a final invocation from Sister Merry, who asked the mourners to join her in a brief shout, for the purpose of letting go of anger and grief.
"I release you," the Sister said. "You have your own dancing to do."
The mourners were invited to take any mementos from the memorial which moved them. The rest were collected by the GLBT Historical Society.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

In the News: San Francisco Bay Times

Thousands Rally for Orlando Massacre Vigil in the Castro

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By Dennis McMillan

Thousands gathered in the streets and on sidewalks near the Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro in front of a stage on a flatbed truck to respond to the worst mass shooting ever in America’s history, and the worst loss of lives on our soil since 9-11. A total of 49 died and 53 patrons were wounded in the Orlando, Florida gay nightclub, Pulse, during Latin Night.

Two Drag Kings known as Momma’s Boyz opened the Castro vigil singing a mournful “Freedom” song to a tearful crowd. But the energy changed to anger and resolve when speakers took the podium. Supervisor Scott Wiener said, “We’re here today to recommit ourselves to the fight, to honor the survivors, to send good energy to the families and friends who have been left behind.”

Supervisor David Campos said, “As a gay Latino man, it is not shocking to me that the worst mass shooting in the history of this country would target the queer community.” He added, “We want our leaders to think of queer people of color not just when there’s a massacre, but every single day.” As many of the speakers stated, he emphasized opposition to Islamophobia and xenophobia. “We are all in this together. I know that targeting the Muslim community is simply wrong, and we’re going to speak out against it.”

Approximately two-thirds of the Orlando victims were Latino. Lito Sandoval, SF Latino Democratic Club president, noted, “Latino leaders were not contacted [for the vigil]. We had to reach out.” He stressed, “Acts like this don’t make me want to back down. They make me want to continue to fight.”
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Among the many Muslims speaking at the rally was a Muslim doctor from San Francisco General Hospital, Suzanne Barakat, M.D. saying, “As a physician, I see these tragedies as symptoms of a deeper illness, a disease of the soul that goes by different names.”

Former Assemblyman and former Supervisor Tom Ammiano joked that NRA was an acronym for “National Real A-holes.” He made several fun-loving ribald jokes, but ended seriously, saying, “We are still here. We are still strong. We are still fighting, and we’re not going to live in fear!”
“We’ve known gun violence before,” shouted Pastor Megan Rohrer. “Angry people of faith are not the majority. We are queer. We are transgender. We are fabulous, we are faithful. We must stand up. We must vote until everyone is safe in bathrooms, in churches, and in the … streets.”

“There’s a lot of heartache, but we are coming together to create some type of solidarity, not only in San Francisco but also beyond ourselves,” said Dyke March organizer Rosa M. Hernandez.

Sister Merry Peter and Sister Roma of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence led the crowd in a recitation call and response, asking everyone to lift up their candles and repeat each time, “We shine our light on you!”
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Mayor Ed Lee spoke through a few boos from the audience, “We’re here in unity so we can stop this violence, and San Francisco must lead the way. Hatred will not drive out hatred, and darkness will not drive out the dark.” He concluded, “This is a stark reminder that violence still threatens our LGBT community.”

Toney Chaplin, Interim Police Chief who was recently appointed after Chief Greg Suhr resigned, said, “The NRA is a powerful group, but I am staring at a more powerful group.” He added, “We need to get this legislation in place to change the gun laws in this country.” He noted that San Francisco Police have increased patrols in the Castro and elsewhere. And they promise to really step up security at the San Francisco Pride Parade and Celebration.

Members of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus closed the vigil by singing “We Are a Gentle, Angry People,” with SFGMC Director Dr. Timothy Seelig leading the crowd in the familiar Holly Near protest song. Then they sang “We Shall Overcome” and closed with an old Irish blessing ending with “May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

Following the rally in the Castro, people marched peacefully but defiantly to City Hall, which was appropriately lit in the rainbow colors. The names of murdered victims were read aloud. After the rally, many left their candles burning on a statue of Abraham Lincoln at City Hall. So appropriate, as Lincoln was murdered for civil rights.

To support the victims and their families, please go to

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

In the News: West Hawaii Today

About Town:
Event provides free health, vision services
The Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity is partnering with Project Vision Hawaii, the Kailua-Kona Lions Club and Pastor Megan Rohrer from Welcome Ministry in San Francisco to hold a Kona vision event.
Planned from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 25 at the Old Kona Airport Makaeo Events Pavilion, the event will serve homeless and low-income people. Attendees will have the opportunity to receive free vision screening, glasses, blood pressure, blood sugar, and HIV screening, free meals and haircuts. The free glasses will be ordered for attendees and later distributed by LCHT’s HERO Ministry.
Info: 329-5733,

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

In the News: Apple Daily

「沒人能奪我們閃耀的愛」 2千人街頭悼佛州死者

【王 欣儀╱舊金山報導】美國佛州同志夜店週末的喋血慘案,導致至少49人喪命槍管。兩週後即將舉辦同志大遊行的舊金山,昨夜在卡斯楚(Castro)同志區舉 辦哀悼晚會,現場許多人不禁為罹難者及LGBT社群難過落淚,誓言「以愛對抗仇恨」,繼續為自己的身份認同爭取權益。

搬 離卡斯楚區已25年的葛維達(Govinda)在哈維•米爾克廣場(Harvey Milk Plaza)的一角頻頻用衣服拭淚。44歲的他表示,奧蘭多事件讓他再次踏進同志區,滿街飄揚的彩虹旗,讓他想起那段同志被污名化的過去,所以心情十分激 動。「我想到年輕時的自己,還有昨晚那些被奪走生命的年輕人。他們不會白白地死去。願所有人以愛回應,而非怨恨。」

大方親吻彼此的德克(Dirk)和伴侶德瑞克(Derek)不認為從此以後必須小心翼翼地過日子,因為那不是解決之道。德瑞克說,「我們出來參加 各個活動,讓這個社群更加緊密」;德克也堅定地表示,「沒有人可以偷走我們閃耀的愛」。語畢,兩人相視而笑,甜蜜地親吻對方的唇。

代表卡斯楚、第8區市議員高威善(Scott Wiener),發言時痛批「恐同情節」和美國失能的槍枝管理機制。「35年前,我還是個尚未出櫃的青少年時,LGBT的族群被鎖定殺害;35年後,這種 事還是血淋淋的不斷重演。」他激動的指出,「這個國家被槍枝淹沒,而這些武器唯一的用途,就是屠殺生命。」

他和第9區市議員坎伯斯(David Campos)雖在許多議題上意見相左,但兩人昨晚一同在晚會上,誓言繼續為同志社群努力。

身為路德教派第一名變性牧師的羅勒(Megan Rohrer)希望民眾不要被高漲的情緒影響判斷。「很多聲音會企圖說服我們責怪他人,我們也可能因為恐懼和憤怒,把我們的心也關起來了,」但是他要大家 記住「我們都是有信仰的人」,而以神之名散播仇恨的人只是少數。他高聲呼籲:「我們要從教堂、廟宇、清真寺裡走出來!」



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

In the News: Mondoweiss

As San Francisco mourns Orlando, Trump pulls Clinton his way
US Politics Wilson Dizard on June 14, 2016

As San Francisco mourns Orlando, Trump pulls Clinton his way

US Politics
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 “Love” was the word I heard most often Sunday in San Francisco from people mourning the deadliest mass shooting in American history, which took the lives of at least 49 at a gay nightclub, Pulse, in Orlando early Sunday morning. In a phone call to 911, the shooter, now dead, declared allegiance to the Islamic State, police say.

“God is love,” said one man, Daniel Borysewicz, a hospice pastor.

“Muslims are about love and the sanctity of life just like Christians, just like Buddhists, all different types of people who look on the side of love. Because God is love, no matter how you wrap him up, or her or wrap them up. It’s a matter of…God is love..and the love that we share with human beings is the connection we have with God because that’s how God manifests in our lives. It is the love we share with each other.”

Another man, a Latino gay rights activist, said love was the foundation of the unity marginalized groups need to show in the face of hatred.

“Love is love,” said Salvador Tovar. “We’re going to stand united. Muslims, Christians, Catholics, Atheists, everyone here. We’re standing together for our brothers and sisters whose lives were taken. Regardless of your religion, regardless of your sexual identity, regardless if you are straight, gay, bisexual, love is love.”

I asked: “What would you say to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders right now?”

“Love is love,” he said. “We’re going to stand equal. Or they will take us one by one.”

Both men, members of the city’s LGBT community, rallied and marched with thousands of others down Market Street on Sunday night, a show of defiance and unity against anti-gay bigotry and gun violence itself. In the speeches by local politicians, activists and parents of gun violence victims, Islamophobia, homophobia and the National Rifle Association were San Francisco’s common enemy, not Islam or Muslims. Thousands cheered when David Campos, a gay city council member, said the community would not respond with bigotry towards Muslims.

The gruesome, hours long attack in Orlando, which police say was carried out by Omar Mateen, 29, an American of Afghan descent, was the work of a man who had a history of abusive behavior against his former wife and others. His father maintains that his son, who died in the attack, hated gay people and became enraged seeing two men kissing in front of his family. A security guard, his former coworkers call him unhinged, racist and sexist, NBC reports. He made disturbing statements to colleagues about Islam, but you’d probably think Mateen was a jerk no matter what religion he claimed to follow.

Eric Hubert, 94, a member of Grace Episcopal Church, said he didn’t blame Islam for this kind of killing.

“This is an American craziness,” he observed, adding that “Abraham is father to us all.”

With a history of angry outbursts, Mateen was the kind of guy who San Franciscans say should not have been able to legally purchase the semi-automatic assault weapon he used to slay dozens of people. There are already legal remedies that might stop this kind of massacre. California has started experimenting with a “Gun Violence Restraining Order,” or GVRO, that allows families or law enforcement to request courts issue GVROs on individuals who are threaten to harm themselves or others. Law enforcement then can take the weapons away.

But no such law exists in Florida, and there are minimal restrictions to gun ownership. So here I am writing about 49 people who were alive on Saturday, and had no idea they wouldn’t live to see the sun rise on Sunday.

By Monday, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Stonewall Jackson and George McClellan of American politics (both losers, in their own special ways) were duking it out in one of the first major battles of what promises to be an election season full of them. Although Clinton paid lip service to rejecting Islamophobia, her proposal for what to do about people like Mateen were similar to Trump’s.

In an interview with NPR‘s Steve Inskeep, Clinton laid out a “number of proposals to tackle this issue of self-radicalization.” They include “working with Silicon Valley to prevent online radicalization” and “creating more integrated intelligence use among all levels of law enforcement,” pulling from foreign and domestic sources, and, in her Trumpiest statement yet, the creation of a “broader database” of suspicious individuals.

Federal authorities reportedly interviewed Mateen several times about his flirtations with political violence, but never found evidence enough to charge him with anything.

Clinton’s targets for increased surveillance, and restrictions on owning a gun, would include “people who have expressed the kind of admiration and allegiance to terrorism.” Muslim communities across the United States have experienced what it’s like to be spied on, and Clinton’s proposals suggest nothing more than more surveillance. In New York City’s surveillance scheme for Muslims and mosques, a young man’s deciding not to drink was reason enough for suspicion. To Arab American leaders in the city, that kind of distrust did nothing but breed distrust with law enforcement.

Many might argue that he shouldn’t have been able to buy a gun because he was a despicable abuser of his wife. Instead of saying that, something based on known facts, Clinton is talking fluent Beltway-speak for: “We need to expand the surveillance state. There will be more money for that when I’m president.”

Trump, meanwhile, has said that we need to get “tough and smart” and that he would have a lot of “systems” to keep track of Muslims, and a total ban on Muslim coming into the United States. They’re a nightmarish cartoon drawn in childish crayon colors, but that’s just a less politically savvy way of saying what Clinton did. Expand the powers of the government and all will be well. In San Francisco, however, the emphasis was on love, not suspicion.

Mikail Ali, a Deputy Chief for Special Operations, addressed reporters about security for the next pride event. The local news reporters watched eagerly for signs that Ali might give their viewers something to worry about. Police circled Harvey Milk Plaza, named after San Francisco’s first openly gay city council member.

As the local news crews packed up and moved on, I asked Ali if they been threats against Muslims over the attack.

“We have not. We’re here and we’re also present at a mosque here in the city to make sure nothing adverse happens,” he said. “We’re passing by each one.”

I asked Ali if he was a Muslim himself.

“By coincidence, yes,” he said.

“How you and other Muslim officers dealing with this talk of surveilling Muslim communities?” I asked.

“We’re not even having that discussion right now,” he said. “We’re discussing having a discussion about supporting a community that is mourning and addressing whatever might develop as a result of this investigation.”

Meanwhile, on Twitter, Trump, who poses in pictures with cops regularly, was selling followers and potential voters on his prescient hot takes on Islam.

“Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism,” he tweeted Sunday. “I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!”

He also called on Obama to resign for not using the term “radical Islam.”

“Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!”

So that’s the Donald for you. But Clinton, in the same interview where she promised to work with Silicon Valley (translation “generous information technology contracts for lucky techies”), also lost her first verbal battle to Trump, in an election where words really matter.

Trump wants to break down the barrier he sees in political correctness run amok. Like the Environmental Protection Agency keeping lead out of your children’s blood, political correctness when practiced by politicians helps keep racial slurs out of your children’s ears. It’s a thin membrane, and it’s fraying.

Her words show that Trump himself might be able to drag her to the right.

Clinton lost when she said responded to Trump’s criticism of Obama for not saying “radical Islamic terrorism.” And she lost badly, as Trump would say.

Clinton also lost an important rhetorical battle with Trump on Sunday morning. Using the term “radical Islam” or any combination of the words

“It matters what we do, not what we say,” Clinton proclaimed.

Tell that to anyone who has ever had “raghead” shouted at them from a passing car, and they’ll tell you the words we say matter, too. They’re deeds in their own right.

“Whether you call it radical jihadism or radical Islamism, I think they mean the same thing. I’m happy to say either. But that’s not the point. The point is Trump goes way too far,” she said.

Now that Sanders is out, Clinton is free to pivot away from the party’s left and start using terms like “radical Islamism.” Trump is pushing Clinton to inch to the right, prompting her call to expand surveillance of Americans. Why not use the term “radical Islamism” or “jihadism.” But this is the language of Fox News. It’s his language. Trump has Clinton talking like Trump does, and Clinton doesn’t think that matters that much.

“I have been hitting Obama and Crooked Hillary hard on not using the term Radical Islamic Terror. Hillary just broke-said she would now use!” he tweeted Monday morning.

If Clinton and Trump are going to reap the whirlwind this year in a dramatic political war for the soul of America, while Bernie Sanders stands nearby watching, then Clinton just lost the first battle. She lost because she suggested expanding the surveillance state, just as Trump does. She also failed to grasp the importance of not sticking the words “radical” and “Islam” and “jihadist” all around a sentence. It’s that kind of thing, repeated billions of times, that fertilizes the soil of society to grow the noxious weed that is Islamophobia.

In order to really mend the Democratic party, Clinton needs to stop just talking about Muslims, but rather take a line from Sanders and start speaking to Muslims themselves. That happened naturally with Sanders, with surrogates like Linda Sarsour acting as advocates for his campaign. Clinton might have a harder time gaining their trust, after treating them as a political liability in 2000, handing back cash to Muslims after getting cold feet about whether they supported Hamas or not, Electronic Intifada reports.

The rally in the Castro district on Sunday had a prominent Muslim voice. Suzanne Barakat, a Muslim doctor living in San Francisco, spoke at the Castro street rally. In 2015, she lost her brother, Deah, then 23, and two other relatives, Yusor Abu-Salha, Razan Abu-Salha to an angry white man with a gun in North Carolina. She and other members of the Muslim community consider it an attack motivated by hatred of Muslims.

“I am a physician at San Francisco General Hospital, a Syrian American and a Muslim,” Barakat began. “I work with colleagues, family members and serve with love patients who identify as members of the LGBT community. I know from first hand the pain and alienation that many of them experience. These tragedies are coming to us far too frequently. As a physician, I see them as symptom of a deeper illness: hatred, cruelty, intolerance. The cure for it is the medicine of love, kindness and compassion.”

“We are one people, who share the values of humanity and the shared values of the sanctity of life, and the freedom to live as we see fit. We reject your hatred, and we assert our love,” she said to cheers. “I pray and hope that as a nation we follow the example set by you here today.”
Love is one weapon to defeat bigotry, but so is passion and presence in public of the maligned. One member of the Christian clergy present Sunday called the thousands gathered at Harvey Milk Plaza to become more involved in confronting hatred.

“Out of the bars and into the streets!” proclaimed Megan Rohrer, pastor of Grace Lutheran Evangelical Church in San Francisco, to loud cheers from the audience, repeating a call to march made in San Francisco by gay rights activists decades before.

Rohrer added a 2016 twist, in calling for interfaith cooperation.

“We have also come out of our churches and into the streets! Out of our temples and into the streets! Out of our mosques and into the streets!”

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