This date is another ethics milestone in American culture. On June 28, 1969, a police raid of the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay club located on New York City’s Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, sparked a violent protest among the club’s patrons and supporters of gay rights. It was a set of facts resembling the George Floyd rioting in which an event unrelated to the matter being protested proved to be a cultural catalyst. The club was illegally serving liquor without a license among other its other violations, so the police were legitimately enforcing the law, but the gay community had been harassed by law enforcement for too long, and for whatever reason, the anger and resentment boiled over. The crowd became a mob and began throwing bottles at the police as the demonstration spilled over into the neighboring streets. New York’s riot police quelled the uprising before dawn. Next came several days of demonstrations in the city, followed by the formation of the Gay Liberation Front as and other gay, lesbian and bisexual civil rights organizations. In 1970, New York’s first official gay pride parade was organized, and the gay rights movement became inexorable.
Sometimes riots work.
1. More evidence that #MeToo has lost all coherence and integrity. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer finished fifth in the voting for New York mayor last week after at one point being regarded as one of the front-runners. His campaign was derailed by an ambush accusation by a woman, Jean Kim, who accused him of touching her without her consent in the back of taxis more than two decades ago. She admitted that she was moved to reveal her allegations now in order to discourage voters from favoring him in the primary. Her story did not include any contemporaneous corroboration, which Kim conceded didn’t exist, or a suggestion of a pattern. Nonetheless, the accusation alone was enough to undermine his candidacy. Stringer emphatically denied her claims. It didn’t matter.
In Washington, D.C., former major league baseball player F.P.Santangelo, who has provided color commentary on Washington Nationals broadcasts on MASN since 2011, was accused of sexual misconduct by a woman who will not identify herself publicly. Santangelo denied the allegation, but he has been suspended from the broadcasts for months. MASN, the local sports network ,investigated the matter initially before asking Major League Baseball for assistance. So far, nothing has emerged to suggest Santalgelo is guilty or that his accuser can back up her claims.
Yet President Joe Biden simply sidestepped a far more credible accusation from a named former employee, and the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, remains in office despite multiple accusations of sexual harassment, also by alleged victims whose stories are far better supported than those of Santangelo’s or Stringer’s accusers. Meanwhile—not to be the proverbial “broken record,” whatever that was, none of the Democratic Senators who styled themselves as feminist avengers while denigrating SCOTUS nominee Bret Kavanaugh as a juvenile rapist on the basis of another uncorroborated accusation have demanded any accountability for Biden or Cuomo.
2. Suddenly, Bill Barr is a man of principle to the Left and a traitor to the Right. The mainstream media is crowing over Barr’s pronouncement in a feature in The Atlantic that Trump’s claims of election fraud were and are “bullshit.” The forner U.S. Attorney General revealed that when Trump confronted him for publicly saying the voter fraud claims could not be substantiated, he told Trump,
“You know, you only have five weeks, Mr. President, after an election to make legal challenges.This would have taken a crackerjack team with a really coherent and disciplined strategy. Instead, you have a clown show. No self-respecting lawyer is going anywhere near it. It’s just a joke. That’s why you are where you are.”
So when Barr concluded that the highly conflicted and partisan Mueller Report had found no evidence of impeachable conduct by the President, he was a Trump-licking hack, but when he refused to engage in partisan use of the Justice Department, like his successor, he was a principled public servant. At least, that’s the current progressive narrative. Conservatives viewed him as a heroic figure opposing an obvious coup attempt from Democrats during “Russiagate,” but now are calling him a traitor.
The truth is that Bill Barr has always been the same: he calls it as he sees it, as a good lawyer should, and deserves our respect for that, whether he’s right or wrong.
3. This seems a bit more serious than advertising a foot-long sub that is only eleven inches…That was the previous Subway ethics story, but now a lab report has found there’s no tuna DNA in the chain’s tuna sandwiches and wraps. So WHAT IS IT???? The New York Times had 60 inches of Subway tuna sandwiches from three different restaurants in Los Angeles lab-tested after the chain was accused in a lawsuit alleging that the fish is made from “a mixture of various concoctions.” Subway’s “tuna” could have revealed any of 15 species of fish that can be labeled tuna, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Seafood List, but did not. The lab offered two explanations of why no tuna DNA was detected in the sample: “One, it’s so heavily processed that whatever we could pull out, we couldn’t make an identification … Or we got some and there’s just nothing there that’s tuna.”
Gotcha. I will not being ordering Subway tuna products in the future.
4. Goodbye, Teddy! The impressive bronze statue of Theodore Roosevelt on horseback and flanked by a Native American man and an African man, which has presided over the entrance to the American Museum of Natural History in New York since 1940, is finally being removed after years of controversy. The removal was proposed by the museum and agreed to by New York City, which owns the building and property. Teddy’s dishonoring comes as part of the Confederate Statuary Ethics Train Wreck, which, as I sagely predicted, expanded to include the toppling of statues of the Founders and even Abraham Lincoln. This one is also being linked to George Floyd. Yes, statues of a lifetime criminal whose only accomplishment was sparking race riots by his death, which had nothing to do with race, are going up, and a statue honoring one of our greatest leaders is coming down.
I don’t call it “The Great Stupid” for nothing.
In fairness, I have to concede that this particular statue…
…is redolent of white supremacy and colonialism; let’s face it: Teddy, like Winston Churchill, was a white supremacist and colonialist. Having a statue like that at the entrance of an important public institution is not exactly welcoming to “visitors of color.” However, Roosevelt, who was a naturalist among his other talents, is a national figure and prominent New Yorker who should be honored in front of that museum. The current statue should be replaced by a less offensive one.
But of course it won’t be.