I’ve used this piece of music from Milk as part of a 9/11 post a couple of times now. It is, sadly, more appropriate today than after just about any mass shooting. Than any shooting at all since Harvey Milk’s assassination. Because there are a lot of conservatives out there refusing to acknowledge that this particular act of terror was aimed squarely at the LGBT community. Because this act was aimed squarely at the LGBT community. Because thugs and gangsters like ISIS teach people that homosexuality is worse than a sin. But it’s time for a little more than just the music.
Now I could’ve hunted down some footage of Harvey speaking these words himself; maybe that would’ve been better. But I’ve always found this ending scene from the movie so powerful. The thousands of candles, the river of candles, moving down the street in honor and memory of that man remind me that we are more than our labels, although in this case the label is a little important. I refuse to erase the gay people from this crime. And I refuse to give in to thugs and gangsters. I refuse to give in to hate. The only way to stop hate is with love. The only way to stop fear is to refuse to be afraid. The only way to end all this endless violence is to give people, all people, hope.
You gotta give ’em hope.