“Sunday, June 29, 2008
In an entire story in The New York Times today about how disturbances, riots, protests and other manifestations of social upheavals tend to happen in the summertime, there is not one mention of the Stonewall riots of 1969, which happened exactly 39 years ago this weekend!
Oh, there’s discussion of events from the 18th century, and of Gettysburg, and of the black riots of 1919 and, later, in the 1960s, of Watts and Newark and Detroit. But not even a passing mention of the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village in New York –the city in which the Times is located – which ushered in the modern gay liberation movement exactly 39 years ago. That event surely was the beginning of a social upheaval during yet another hot and sweaty time. And the article is appearing on the anniversary of the event, gay pride day in New York, as the parade is marching down Fifth Avenue.
Adding to this embarrassing omission is the fact that the article is written by Sam Tanenhaus, who was an assistant editor at the Times, a senior editor at The New York Times Book Review, and has since gone on to be described as an historian and biographer (he wrote a much-lauded book about Whitaker Chambers), so this is someone who certainly should know better when it comes to historical detail.
He won’t like me saying it, but this is just plain old ignorance. And it’s another reason why keep on fighting.”