Banning cop uniforms in Pride parade?
It's dumb, divisive and right on brand for San Francisco
I guess most of us have had it with conservative political naval-gazers insisting that San Francisco is “too woke” for its own good.
This is the idea that we are so fanatically politically correct that we will take up any crazy PC idea we hear — like banning Happy Meals from McDonalds. (Which we did, actually.)
It’s mostly overheated nonsense of course. This is a dead blue city, without a doubt, but they make it sound like we’re going to pave sidewalks with yoga mats.
However — you have to give us credit — there are times when you remember that we’ve become stereotyped for a reason.
There’s some truth to it.
Which is when we give you the latest news from the iconic LGBTQ Pride parade, a personification of inclusion and diversity. It has announced that although police officers have traditionally worn their uniforms in the march, this year Pride organizers want to ban law enforcement attire.
The reason, interim executive director Suzanne Ford said was, “We did not want full uniforms out of harm reduction to marginalized members of our community.”
Ford, a trans woman, suggests the cops might want to wear a nice T-shirt instead.
But firefighters, who also wear blue uniforms with official patches, have not been restricted.
So it is just the police then.
And they, understandably miffed, say they will pull out of the June 27 parade. So did LGBTQ members of the Sheriff’s Office. And Mayor London Breed, understandably miffed, also said she will not attend.
All of which manages to create a big, steaming controversy where none existed before.
It is tempting to think that this is an elaborate ruse by the folks at Fox News. Maybe they put this together as a pitch-perfect, woke, Left Coast moment. It would be a tailor-made Tucker Carlson segment.
But no. This appears to be entirely home grown. Way to stay on brand, San Francisco.
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We begin with a question this newsletter believes should be asked more often:
Who asked for this?
Is there now some compelling reason to decide to dis the police?
Not really. There were problems the last time the parade was held, back in 2019. Police and demonstrators clashed. This, it is said, is a reaction to that.
But there were lots of confrontations with the police in 2019 and 2020, all over the country. And there have been some since. Certainly, there’s nothing unusual about a demonstration in San Francisco.
But saying any uniform is too upsetting? Using that logic no cops, anywhere, should wear uniforms. Ever.
Granted, it is probably difficult for people who find police uniforms troubling, but what do they do in everyday life? What if a police car drives past? Or a beat cop unexpectedly turns a corner and pops up in front of them? They can’t stay indoors for the rest of their lives.
And finally, and most-importantly, consider what you are doing. You’re not asking the cops who are providing security for the event to stand down. You’re excluding your LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
This is a reminder that there was a time when someone who was gay or trans, had to hide that to get a job on a police force.
Now, to not only be accepted and hired, but to march with pride, in public, in full uniform, says something. It is a reminder that the LGBTQ community is all of us, all walks of life, all jobs — even ones we might traditionally not think likely.
And, by marching, to know that they are recognized and supported by this inclusive, warm-hearted city.
There’s a beautiful quote in Rachel Swan’s Chronicle story from Kathryn Winters, a trans woman, a lesbian and an SF police officer.
“The first time I got to march (at Pride) as an out trans woman in uniform was in 2019,” she said. “I got to march with my daughters. The impact it had on me when we turned the corner on Market Street and I heard cheers from the crowd — it literally brought me to tears.”
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Naw, says Ford. A police uniform is just too upsetting.
“How about this year, let’s wear some matching T-shirts?” she told Swan. “Let’s find a way to be with each other on this special day.”
Can’t you just picture her patting your little hand when she says that?
It’s the most sanctimonious San Francisco moment since archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced that because of the “grave evil” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was espousing by supporting a woman’s right to choose, he would refuse to grant her communion.
Like the police uniform ban, Cordileone’s gesture is a showboat attempt to attract attention. It is essentially meaningless and serves only to increase division, conflict and outrage.
Nice work San Francisco. I hope everyone is happy.
Contact C.W. Nevius at email@example.com. Twitter: @cwnevius