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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

The Pride Parade…

Good morning, Netizens...

Originally I was going to attend this morning's Pride Parade 2008 simply in case anyone else from the Mainstream News Media hadn't bothered. Very early this morning when I first began looking for news of this event, I was stunned to discover how little newsprint had been dedicated to this event, although I could quickly find it in Google.

Unfortunately, within an hour of making the preliminary decision to attend the breakfast and parade, business reared its ugly little head, thus bringing a rapid close to any possibility of being downtown for either event. Lord knows I truly shiver each time I miss out of all-you-can-eat breakfast at Dempsey's Brass Rail, 909 W. 1st Avenue. This one only cost $5 and the proceeds benefit a truly worthy cause, Spokane AIDS Network.

You remember Dempsey's, don't you? It's the bar where Spokane Police Officer Jay Olsen was drinking with his girlfriend the night he shot Shonto Pete during the purported theft of his pickup truck. According to my sources, Olsen was a regular at Dempsey's long before the shooting. Shonto Pete was later found not guilty of the attempted theft of Olsen's pickup truck, and Olsen eventually was fired by Chief Kirkpatrick. Some say he was not the only SPD officer in Dempsey's that night. If so, perhaps that might explain why the preliminary evidence just seemed to “fall into place” against Shonto Pete, at least under cursory examination. However, the DNA evidence from inside the truck showed conclusively that Shonto Pete had never been inside the truck.

Instead of reliving that old memory of Dempsey's and thus engendering more internal distrust of our Police Department, which I am personally trying to overcome, I tended to some unexpected work. Then, as the late morning began to truly shape up into a perfect day for a parade, even more work arrived, and thus I spent most of the day working, which I suppose is my excuse for nonattendance. Work, particularly on weekends and holidays, is what I do. I gather from several sources I missed out on a truly festive event.

As for the news media coverage of the Pride Parade through downtown Spokane, or of the festival held in Riverfront Park today, there appears to be none on either KXLY or KREM. While I understand there was what I would call a blurb in the Spokesman-Review yesterday, the parade and festival might as well have not happened for all the prime-time news coverage it received in the Spokane news media this evening.

So what passes for middle-class America in Spokane will not be forced, willingly or unwillingly, to confront nor acknowledge the number of gay, lesbian or transgendered adults marching in the streets today. The unseen videotape showing men kissing men and women kissing women in Riverfront Park will not disturb the collective mindset of Spokane, although for the sake of it, as a strictly heterosexual male in a monogamous relationship, I truly regret its absence.

Love, whenever and however you can find it, beats hate and distrust, hands down.


Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.