Queer & Present: Trouble in Concord

November 21, 2016 in inQueery

So, the Rainbow Community Center was broken into four times in two weeks during late September and early October. The East Bay Times has covered the story.  Good for them. I didn’t see it elsewhere in the queer press, but that doesn’t prove it wasn’t there. KRON4 also broadcast it.

In the course of the 4th breakin, the thieves also spray painted homophobic graffiti.  And a week before the first break-in, a rock was thrown through the Center thrift store’s window.

Lt. John Nunes of the Concord Police told this author a few weeks ago that they had leads and were working them as a hate crime.  Asked to comment, the Mayor of Concord said she hoped it wasn’t a hate crime. Huh?

Ben Barr, the Center’s director, had good things to say about the police response, but was disappointed that the City Council had not reached out to the Center.  “Why would I do that?” said the mayor.  How about…

  1. Because it costs you nothing to say you’re sorry about the attacks on the Center?
  2. Because you’re not as stupid as you look, and you realize that queers are an influential voting block?

One woman, who may or may not have a dog in this fight, said that Edi Birsan (a council member who is up for re-election this year) was first to notice and point the crimes out to the police and the council.  That statement was notably not backed up by the press or the police.

In other news, the City of Concord earned only a an adjusted 55 out of 100 on the HRC equality index.  Oakland got 77, and Richmond 83 by way of comparison.  Worst of all, in ancient history, 1990 the city rescinded a measure that barred discrimination against people with AIDS, and in 1991 the city turned down a human rights ordinance.

YIKES! If I’d known that I’m not sure we would have bought here.  Clearly equal rights here are still a struggle.



Stan Stansbury is a Contributor