I despise parades.
June 14, 2000 11:51 AM   Subscribe

I despise parades. The author gets a bit theatrical at the end but the core of the editorial is true. I live in NYC and often these ethnic pride parades devolve into some kind of justification for violence. Last Sunday's PR Day Parade was en especially bad example of this.
posted by Nyarlathotep (23 comments total)
The instances of violence described in that article are no different than the everyday instances of violence in NYC, the reporter doesn't make the calls to find the ethnic background of the attackers, and the NYPD gets the usual bad rap thrown in for spice. Show me evidence. That circumstantial evidence is not strong enough.Scattered violence amongst a celebration is nothing new to humankind, it's been happening for centuries.Oh global westernization would be so great wouldn't it? Let the dominoes continue to fall...
posted by bluechief at 12:23 PM on June 14, 2000

These attacks are different from other "everyday instances of violence in NYC." The attacks happened in broad daylight by groups of men in crowds of people. No one helped the victims who were both men and women.

I am not sure what you mean to prove by saying it is nothing new! Forgive my rancor, but bluechief you seem to be dismissing what happened by saying, "it's been happening for centuries." While I agree it has been happening since the dawn of human history, what I fail to understand is why or how you seem to be using this fact as a dismissal of the event. If something is so prevelant, and, I would think, in most people's opinion, a pretty horrible thing to have happen in this day and age, how can it be dismissed by admitting it happens all the time over all ages?
posted by birgitte at 12:37 PM on June 14, 2000

This whole thing has left me feeling sick all day long. I saw a bit of a video of one of the attacks on the news last night, it was not standard crime & violence. The attackers were a putrid raibow of scumbags, and the woman was obviously terrified and shamed. From my vantage this is the very worst type of crime. I am quite literaly nauseous in that just watched Straw Dogs kind of way. Every one of those bastards deserves to die, if I were a woman I'd carry a gun.
Blue chief, what evidence do you need? Several women unknown to each other tell nearly identical stories of their experiences. Witnesses video taped it, the criminals taped it.
Here is another link about the attacks via SapphireBlue's page. Go read it.
posted by thirteen at 12:56 PM on June 14, 2000

Living in New York, I can say with pretty good authority that rarely are french tourists molested by large groups in public. No matter how much we all want that to be true, it just isn't.

I'm not sure if the original comment means to imply that western civilization is the cause of these molestations, or the desire to stop them.
posted by Doug at 12:58 PM on June 14, 2000

so because it 'rarely' happens you just want to sit back and do nothing, another story on the news? because it didn't happen to you, you don't care?

your comment smacks of complacency to me.
posted by maura at 1:09 PM on June 14, 2000

tagging ethnic parades as a cause of all this smacks of bigotry. the same thing happens all the time during any non-ethnic celebration (as i saw last halloween in the french quarter).

it seems strange that the author clings so vehemently to his example when he SHOULD be spending more time discussing mob mentality.
posted by patricking at 1:29 PM on June 14, 2000

Doug, sounds like a great place to live. Roving gangs of men assault women, the police are too busy to do anything about it, and you poo poo the whole thing.

> I can say with pretty good authority that rarely are
> french tourists molested by large groups in public.

Oh. Rarely. Well then. And just as rarely you care? I find you attitude disgusting.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:32 PM on June 14, 2000

I'm not dismissing it. I'm saying that I believe there is a difference between scattered violence amongst a celebration and ethnic pride parades as excuses for violence, and I believe this to be the former. When, yes, attacks do happen (though not by groups) in broad daylight. And they're horrible. My comments were, and are, about the tone of the article, which seemed to be more about the problems with ethnic parades than the violent crimes themselves. That new article that thirteen just posted is entirely about the violent crimes, and in fact you wouldn't know the two were related unless you read the first article. Please don't twist my comments into someone that approves of violence. Not many things in this world bother me more than violence and hatred.
posted by bluechief at 1:33 PM on June 14, 2000

i don't have a comment on any possible link between parades,
violence, and nyc.

but here is the abcnews.com headline for the story:

'At least 24 girls and women now say they were groped,
stripped and in some cases robbed by a mob in New York?s
Central Park. Read on, and watch video of the disturbing

abc. blurring the line between news and pr0n. thanks.


posted by lescour at 2:20 PM on June 14, 2000

Ok, I was addressing Bluechiefs post, in which he made it seem that it was a common occurance, and thus unnewsworthy. How everyone (well, let me be literal now...some of you) took stating that rarely are there molestations that I was "poo-pooing" molestations, I don't know. I was doing the opposite. Or trying to, at least.
You see, the whole thing was in response to someone saying pretty clearly that this was not a big deal because it happens all the time. It does not happen all the time. I don't think it does. This was a rare occurance. Made neither more or less horrible because of it's newsworthiness, I'm sure we'd all agree.

And as for me doing nothing....don't get that. What should I do? Get Rudy and start a posse? What is ANYBODY doing?

A very weird experience, this.
posted by Doug at 5:55 PM on June 14, 2000

Oops. Sorry. I had to reread it four times, but I now see what you meant.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:21 PM on June 14, 2000

Although I have no idea who you are, y6y6y6, I'm actually happy you don't think I'm a weird pervert. Is that weird?

Had I thought for a second that I'd get this kind of backlash I'd have tried to be a lot more clear.
posted by Doug at 6:29 PM on June 14, 2000

Doug, you should take care, just as everyone should, to be a positive influence on those around you. Examine yourself closely for any sexist/misogynist attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors and do your best to cut them out. Then go on to fight sexism and other forms of injustice in the world around you. We all have a sphere of influence, large or small. And we are all responsible, to a greater or lesser extent, for everything that happens in that sphere. Anytime you find yourself asking "what can I do?" be aware that there is an answer. There is always something you can do.
posted by sudama at 6:30 PM on June 14, 2000

To the Hall of Justice Meta-Friends!

The story made me sick. I'm not sure which part the most though, the mob or the cops?
posted by Mick at 6:43 PM on June 14, 2000

The attack on the women is horrible. Those who stood by and watched should be ashamed of themselves. It goes without saying that the perpetrators need to be rounded up and punished.

The first article seemed to blame Puerto Ricans parading down Fifth Avenue for an attack in Central Park. I found that disturbing. Either the writer was lazily combining two unrelated things (his dislike of ethnic parades and a horrible attack on women in Central Park) or he was deliberately using an atrocity by unknown men to tarnish an ethnic group - despite his protests to the contrary. Ethnic slurs in print are also an attack against humanity.

I live in New York. I've seen violence everywhere. I saw it on New Years Eve in San Francisco, a few years back. I saw it in D.C., when four men jumped out of a car and began beating another man with bats. By the time my friend and I got to the scene, the perps had split, and all we could do was call the police. Point: horror and violence are not limited to NYC, which actually has a pretty clean record these days, outrages like this one notwithstanding.

I have women friends who've survived these kinds of attacks (and worse) and the emotional damage alone is unbelieveable.

What a horror.
posted by Zeldman at 9:19 PM on June 14, 2000

>Examine yourself closely for any sexist/misogynist
>attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors and do your best to
>cut them out.

Um...why is that the only set of bigoted beliefs we should be fighting against?
posted by aaron at 10:52 PM on June 14, 2000

Aaron's dead-bang right, but right now I can barely see straight. I can't be the good liberal I want to be when it comes to rape. Now, I have already posted what I think about these bastards on my own blog (basically, I have said that if I could find them, I would kill them, which is true) but the fact is that I cannot do so.

Rape is one of the most horrifying things that can happen to a person. Notice I said person. I know whereof I speak here, so please don't assume that I don't. (I'm very touchy about this, so please forgive me if that seemed curt. I just don't want another repeat of the Prozac thread, where people assumed I didn't know what depression was like.) Rape is a violation of the body that you carry around, it's damn hard to ever get away from it. These people are not human to me anymore. They deserve as much pain and suffering as they can get. I realize this goes against several arguments I have made in the past. I know I'm contradicting myself. But every time I read about something like this I can feel my windpipe closing up and anger like a still-searing knife from a forge in my brain. I cannot be rational on this topic.

I have often wondered about how to prevent rape. I sometimes get very angry at the people who demonize masturbation and consensual sex and then say nothing about rape, which is sex twisted and deformed into violation and degredation. It says "You are nothing. You are just meat for me to use. You have as much value as a cloth I'd wipe myself off with." Even now, as proficient as I am at defending myself, I can still feel my skin crawling.

I want revenge. For every victim who has been made to feel stripped of their humanity, their dignity, their ownership of themselves. I, the same person who argued that gun control is something we should consider and that the death penalty is wrong, I suddenly become a very different animal when it comes to rape. When I worked as a bouncer, date rape and rohypnol were big concerns, and I'll be honest; a few people who made that mistake in my bar wished I'd called the cops. I did no permanent injury, I made sure my actions were legally justifable as self-defense...but I knew in my heart I was a liar, and a fraud, and I was hurting them because they were proxies. Drugging a drink is no different than using a knife, to my mind. No different at all.

This is not a man-woman issue. Not even remotely. This is entirely a human issue. And now that I've come dangerously close to saying things I shouldn't say, I will post this before I lose my nerve.
posted by Ezrael at 11:11 PM on June 14, 2000

Okay, here's why the original article bothers me. The writer is using an unrelated attack on women to justify his dislike of ethnic celebrations in NYC. (I should note that ethnicity is key to the city's character, and if he doesn't like it, why does he live here? He might as well attack skyscrapers.)

More to the point, what happened to those women was so disturbing that it turns off the critical mind. We are so distressed when we hear about the attack that we don't question the writer's logic in linking that attack to the Puerto Rican Day parade. There is really no link between the two things, and Puerto Rican people have a hard enough time in this country without taking the hit for abuses against women.

What if the article had said ... ?

I hate Hanukah. I hate those stupid, spinning dreydls. I hate Jewish people celebrating their religious holiday. I hate those high-fat potato pancakes they serve. Meanwhile, on the very day that thousands of New York Jews were celebrating that holiday, a small Catholic boy was molested in Central Park.

See what I'm sayin'? Do ya?

I think this guy has a class or racial bias against Puerto Rican people, and he's using a tragic occurence to buoy up his bias.

One horrible thing (attempted rape) doesn't justify another (racism disguised as journalism). They are both wrong. One is apparently protected by law. All we need now to close the syllogism is for an incensed bigot to beat up a Puerto Rican because of that article.
posted by Zeldman at 8:10 PM on June 15, 2000

Sure, I agree with that totally (what JZ just wrote) although I do hate all parades. All of them. They're boring, hot, and painfully dull. But if people want to have them, they should. And it isn't as if the pack predators care about what the parade was about. They just wanted to find victims, and parades are good places to do so. Sure. Absolutely. I apologize if I got overheated. It's a very difficult subject.

I mean, I saw someone get his ass beat down during the July 4th Parade in Bristol a few years ago, and nobody started protesting the Fourth, admittedly. Basically, I was so busy wanting to find and kill the rapists that I missed the whole 'Puerto Ricans are bad' subtext, which is stupid...although I do kind of feel uncomfortable with St. Patrick's Day parades as well (he does dump on that one, too) as someone of Irish descent. Basically, St, Patrick's day has become 'Let's all get drunk in public and confirm everyone's stereotypes about us' day, and I don't like it, and I steer clear of it. Having never experienced the Puerto Rico parade, I suppose I cannot comment on it.

One final note...the first article about it I read didn't even make a connection between the attack and the parade, and there's no evidence that I'm aware of that the suspects are especially Puerto Rican. The NYPD released these photos, which of course does ask us to trust that they aren't lying to us...it would be nice if I could believe them, but there's this name in the back of my head that makes it hard, of course. Starts with a 'D'. And, of course, an incident involving a Haitian man and a plunger inserted into his anal canal...these things make it hard to know who to listen to, don't they?
posted by Ezrael at 8:29 PM on June 15, 2000

Zeldman is right. I'm a survivor of rape (yes, I'm male, if that matters), and I fail to see how the fact of this happening during an ethnic parade should have absolutely *any* relevant bearing whatsoever on the matter. Sexual assault needs to be condemned to the fullest extent possible -- and, too, the exploitation of it for the purpose of tearing down other human beings -- no matter what race, gender, beliefs, etc etc., of the perpetrators and the victims, no matter the where or when or why, period; the only relevant factor is who assaulted who. I have to admit it can be a difficult struggle for those of us on the survivors' side of it; I run a support site for male survivors of sexual abuse, and many fellow survivors (including me) have had to struggle with separating a greater perception from their personal experiences (for example, someone abused by a priest fearing/hating all clergy), but it's no less unfair to condemn any group as a whole with the actions of a very few of its members, no matter which perspective/experience you come from.
posted by Noah at 9:11 PM on June 15, 2000

I dislike all parades, and have a special dislike for the Puerto Rican day and Mexician Independence day parades. In Chicago they are rogue celebrations with honking cars trailing flags the size of bedsheets. I have seen innocent people injured by poorly driven cars, and my peace disrupted by honking cars driving in front of my house for 18 hours over the course of a weekend. A few years back I had a brick thrown at me by a passing car waving flags a few years back, and di not hesitate to laugh at the jerk who fell off and cracked his skull when they rear ended a car obeying the traffic signals 1/2 a block later. Traffic backed up and disrupted for no reason. I would have no problem if the events were orderly, and held to a certain route. I did not much care for the tone of the article, but it was not entirely wrong. I don't like any other parades either, but most of them happen downtown on weekends, and I am free to opt out.
The only connection between the parade and these attacks were the day they happened and the fact that people were drawn to a central place. It could have been any parade, the parade was not to blame. The people to blame were the fucking animals who commited the crimes. I do not blame the police, but I sure as hell do not love them either. The police are not there to prevent crime, they are there to write down the details afterwords. Why didn't the men commiting the crimes fear the police? Were they all so secure that they would not be caught? The police are useless. We must protect ourselves, and unfortunately, sometimes we are un able to. It breaks my heart that it is so much easier for an evil mob to form, than a group of men to form and stop something like this.
I hope I am proved wrong, that they catch every one of the scumbags, and put them to sleep. They will never be able to suffer enough to satisfy me.

posted by thirteen at 9:58 PM on June 15, 2000

me no write good.
posted by thirteen at 9:59 PM on June 15, 2000

>Examine yourself closely for any sexist/misogynist
>attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors and do your best to
>cut them out.

Um...why is that the only set of bigoted beliefs we should be fighting against?
Come on now, did I say that? I was just trying to keep my comment in the context of this discussion.

posted by sudama at 11:57 AM on June 16, 2000

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