Stonewall is here

Dear Editor:

This is an open letter to the members of the “Stonewall” Democratic Party organization here in St. Petersburg.

I am the campaign manager for Eritha “Akile” Cainion for District 6 City Council and we work together with the committee to elect Jesse Nevel for Mayor on the platforms of “Unity through Reparations and Radical Times; Radical Solutions.”

I am a gender and sexuality non-conforming African (GSNA) and I think—no I know—it is my responsibility to reclaim Stonewall from this group of white nationalist.

We understand that many within the Stonewall Democrats are closeted supporters of Jesse for mayor and Akile for District 6 while continuing to openly campaign for big money gentrifier Rick Kriseman.

We are also aware that a lot of intimidation is being leveled against would be supporters by the president of the “Stonewall” Democrats Susan McGrath, who has proven herself to be an enemy of the platforms of reparations and justice for the black working-class community.

Susan McGrath called me and dozens of other GSNA domestic terrorist because we fight against police state sanctioned genocide of our black community.

We would like to remind you Susan McGrath that the Stonewall rebellion was courageously led nearly 50 years ago by a black working-class transgender woman Marsha P. Johnson and Latina Sylvia Rivera. It was a rebellion sparked by the influence of the vibrant black liberation movement of that period. Just like our movement for Radical Solutions, it was a fierce struggle against the terrorizing police force.

The Pinellas Stonewall Democrats is a predominately white LGBTQ group who function within the status quo to integrate this sector of the white population into the big money corporate political structure of the Democratic Party.

This capitalist extraction is done at the expense of the black community through gentrification and police terrorism.

The campaigns of Nevel and Cainion include a dynamic and leading contingent of GSNA and trans people who are still fighting for rights within the context of the rights of the whole black community to win justice, reparations and self-determination over our economic, political and social situation.

If you cannot openly stand up for reparations for the black community, justice and black community control of the police and schools; if you turn your backs on a black working-class led movement that includes GSNA, trans, youth, workers, seniors and so many others; if you call for state sanctioned violence towards the movement behind the campaigns for Akile and Jesse because we clapped too loudly and too enthusiastically at a discussion between the two oppressive Ricks and broke the decorum used to silence the voices of the oppressed, then very likely you would NOT have supported the raucous and exuberant black working-class who led the Stonewall Rebellion 50 years ago!

Our Stonewall has been appropriated for way too long as a cover for rights for a few at the expense of millions non-white LGBT. Our ancestors put their lives on the lines during that rebellion and we refuse to let anyone drag their legacy to a disrespectful and opportunist low-life level. We are reclaiming our history!

Stonewall is here with us! We ask for you to join us on the right side of the wall.

The fact is the courage of the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement of the 50s and 60s was the impetus for the movement for white women and LGBT people to come out of the kitchen and out of the closet.

The fact is despite the right to vote gained in the 60s, the conditions of African people, including GSNA people are worse than they were 50 years ago.

GSNA people are fighting for their rights in the context of the whole black working-class community and movement. Our struggle must be heard by the white LGBT community and our leadership must be followed if white LGBT people are truly and honestly concerned with the rights of ALL LGBT and not just themselves. We believe a sector of you want to take that stand.

Don’t be cynical. Be part of a real movement. Stand up for your convictions. Have the courage to act on your beliefs and make St. Pete Florida a model city for the whole country.

Today the interests of the big money are in the center of Dem. Rick Kriseman’s agenda. That means rights for white people at the expense of the black community.

The interests of reparations mean that we start with real justice; we turn our priorities right side up and put the interests of the black community in the center, a community that has been the moral compass of the US, standing for the interests of all the people against all oppression. The platform for reparations will unite our city, uplifting all communities no one at the expense of another.

Come on over to the side of the people, the black community and the forward side of history. Come over to the side of the leaders of the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969 and the leaders of the GSNA community today.

Come out and openly join the campaigns for Jesse Nevel for mayor and Eritha Akile Cainion for City Council District 6. Unity through Reparations!

– Gazi Kodzo

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