Crime | Memphis | News | Rainbow Flag | Tennessee | Vandalism

Two Men Attempt to Burn Rainbow Flag at Memphis Gay Center


Memphis police arrested 23-year-old Ross Burton early Wednesday morning as he and another man attempted to set fire to the rainbow flag (see singed rope in photo, above) at the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, the Memphis Flyer reports:

Burton "Plainclothes officers observed Burton and another man — who fled the scene and remains at large — attempting to set fire to the rope that runs up the flag pole in front of the MGLCC. When police officers approached the men, an altercation ensued, and one suspect attempted to disarm an officer. Additional police were dispatched and some reportedly received lacerations and abrasions from the struggle. The suspects fled, but Burton was located and arrested. Burton is being charged with aggravated assault and vandalism under $500."

Burton's face is bruised because he fought with the officer, Russell Woolley: "Woolley says after Burton 'swung his fist at him,' the other guy jumped on his back and tried to take his 'service pistol from the holster.' After Woolley hit the unidentified man with his radio, he took off. But Burton never gave up the fight. It took a good samaritan and some pepper spray to get him to comply."

In late September a "Coming Out Day" billboard featuring a gay Marine that was sponsored by the Center was destroyed in an act of vandalism. Police have not determined whether the two crimes are related.

That crime inspired hundreds to rally in response.

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  1. He does look hot.....but c'mon..........there are good,even hot, looking genuinely str8 dudes who are genuinely anti-gay,homophobic.....they aren't all in 'denial' or the closet.

    A lot of gay dudes automatically think ANY good looking, 'pretty', and/or hot dude is gay or in denial. Often, it's the gay dude who is in denial.

    I'm not saying this is automatically the case with this piece of work.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 12, 2009 3:07:26 AM

  2. And the cops gave him a nice beatdown. I haven't had a black eye in years.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 12, 2009 3:13:19 AM

  3. @Tolousie

    You might want to actually go to the FBI's website and look at the statistics before you fly into a rage.

    As for being physically assaulted in Chelsea or any other gay neighborhood, I have never made such a claim. I don't know where you got that from. Perhaps you should re-read my comments as well. Preferably while sober. Although I've heard plenty of racist remarks in those neighborhoods, especially in bars where drunk men often reveal their racial attitudes in all its ugliness, I've never been attacked.

    I'm very critical of gay white men for their political schizophrenia. Most of them aren't really that liberal on anything other than gay rights. And this shotgun marriage with the Democrats is an alliance of convenience at best. I think if the Republicans weren't so horribly homophobic, most of them would join the vast majority of their straight breathen and switch over to the GOP in a New York minute.

    It is a disagreement that sometimes boils over into frustration. As it has since the election of Obama. But to their credit, one of them has never actually hit me.

    Posted by: John | Nov 12, 2009 3:25:42 AM

  4. Political schizophrenia. How can anyone with a brain not be politically schizophrenic? One size does not fit all. The world of academia and ideology for most people, at some point, clashes with the real world and it's realities. Most people, homosexuals/bisexuals included, of all races, ethnicities, genders, ET AL., must live in the real world.

    Rigid ideologies don't stand up well in the real world. Don't be or act surprised when many people fake it. Commonsense and self-preservation will usually over-ride any rigid ideology.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 12, 2009 4:23:24 AM

  5. And why pick on 'White' men? What about Asian, black, Latino, mixed, ET AL men? What about woman? MOST people, regardless if they're white, Asian, black, Latino, mixed, female, male, ET AL (did I leave anyone out?) are politically schizophrenic.

    Shotgun marriage indeed. You think a 'marriage' between so-called minority 'advocates' (including various religious organizations like conservative, traditional black southern based churches, the Catholic Church, ET AL.,) far left moonbats, gay rights organizations and advocates, ET AL., isn't a unsustainable shotgun marriage? From a gay rights viewpoint, MOST of the 'Minority' (non-gay) advocates aren't the least bit interested in gays, are embarrassed by their association with them, and only tolerate it because it's expedient and brings in more money and influence than they would normally have. No 'minority' would have any political, social, influence, or win any political election outside a minority majority political ghetto, without major help in the forms of votes, ET AL., from the majority population. This is true racially, where whites, both non-Hispanic and Hispanic, are a clear racial majority in the U.S. as a whole (this is true to an even far greater degree in every other western first world nation) and of course regarding gays, bisexuals, and heterosexuals. I don't believe ethnicity or gender makes much of a difference one way or the other in the U.S.

    MOST tension in our society and elsewhere isn't ultimately really race based, gender based, even sexuality based. IT'S ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL. Poor whites, blacks, Asians, Latinos, females, males, gays, bisexuals, str8s, ET AL., have more in common with each other at the end of the day. Their economic and social condition over-rides everything else at the end of the day, for the most part. Ditto middle-class, upper-middle class, wealthy, trustafarians, ET AL., These groupings of people all have economic and social conditions that ultimately clash and divide. Leftwing ideology likes to pretend it's all kumbaya when of course everyone with a brain and any worldly experience knows it ain't. It's the huge flaw within broadbased leftwing ideology. MOST PEOPLE, TRUTH BE KNOWN, REGARDLESS OF WHO OR WHAT THEY ARE, ARE TO A GREAT DEGREE TRIBAL AND LOOK OUT FOR THEIR OWN INTERESTS FIRST AND FOREMOST,AND THEIR BEST INTERESTS OFTEN HAVE NOTHING EVEN TO DO WITH THEIR 'TRIBE.'. It's human nature. It's based on self-preservation.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 12, 2009 4:56:04 AM

  6. Blacks at 268 vs whites at 666 convicted of violent homophobic assaults is nothing to brag about for either. At 268, blacks are DISPROPORTIONATELY OVER-REPRESENTED compared to their number in the population as a whole. At 666, whites are UNDER-REPRESENTED proportionate to their numbers in the population as a whole. Out of the FBI's 32 crime categories, blacks are proportionately OVER-REPRESENTED, often grossly, in 29 out of 32. Whites are UNDER-REPRESENTED in 29 categories, with the 3 exceptions being public drunkenness, D.U.I., liquor law violations.

    WHAT THE F IS HARD TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT THIS? Blacks, specifically black males, more specifically YOUNG black males, commit violent crimes, including homophobic assaults, at numbers that proportionately far exceed their over-all proportion of the population at large. In some violent crime categories, black males, even though at best making up 6% of the over-all population (young males probably 2-3%) are actually responsible not just for a disproportionate level of murders and robberies, but for the actual over-all number of homicides and robberies. Homicides at 52%, robberies at an amazing 69%. WHAT THE FUCK IS HARD TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT THIS? Why is it 'racial' or 'bigoted' to acknowledge it and discuss it? IT'S FUCKING REALITY!

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 12, 2009 5:37:29 AM

  7. John you proved my point. Your figures would represent 0.000300% of whites compared to 0.000655% of blacks, therefore straight blacks are slightly more than twice as likely to engage in violent acts against gays than straight whites. Oh and Tolousie, seriously put down that bottle.

    Posted by: Gast | Nov 12, 2009 6:08:43 AM

  8. Is it possible to get your stats filtered with the per dollar of income ? Because it's easy to say black are more violent or homophobic but let's say if there are more black in the lower classes of the population than white it might be easy to put the blame on race while social level and income might be more a factor. Rich homophobe don't beatdown people they fund signature gathering initiative.

    At equal level of income are black really that over represented?

    Posted by: Esurnir | Nov 12, 2009 8:27:42 AM

  9. Way to go Esurnir! You hit the nail on the head and shutdown the ignorant comments.

    These bigots want to focus on race when our country has long sense evolved beyond race and into class.

    The people committing these crimes I can assure you mostly fall into the same class.

    Regardless of that fact it's fun to watch bigots make excuses for white homophobes while hurling racial slurs at black homophobes.

    It's also extremely fun to watch the out of touch morons drool over white homophobes who commit hate crimes against them.

    Posted by: Hypocrisy | Nov 12, 2009 9:08:36 AM

  10. "Why is it 'racial' or 'bigoted' to acknowledge it and discuss it? IT'S FUCKING REALITY!"

    Because generally the motivation behind said acknowledgement is steeped in a world view that is anything but thoughtful/helpful. And you KNOW IT.

    The vast majority of violent crime committed by young men of color in this country is against OTHER young men of color - gay or straight. It's poor vs poor (as you stated) but if you really were that concerned about it you would be offering solutions as well as ways for the gay community as a whole to get involved in the fight against poverty rather than statistically (and disingenuously) defend the racism that often permeates the comment sections of this blog.


    Tolouise - I feel your pain but you really should take a breath before you react if for no other reason than to help others better understand your point. Ignorance is the enemy of all.

    Posted by: giovanni | Nov 12, 2009 9:49:10 AM


    YOU ARE A BIGOT.....not me. You're assuming ALL, even MOST, hate based homophobic assaults are committed by those nasty, inferior, POOR and dreaded WORKING-CLASS 'Rednecks' and 'Ni**as'.

    I grew up working-class,lower middle--class, in a big city, urban environment. I grew up surrounded by ALL kinds of people, including gays, from my earliest age. I made it through college, as did my siblings, and am today 'Middle-Class'. I spent a great deal of time as a teenager, young adult, with not just working-class or middle-class but WEALTHY kids while living and working at a very exclusive prep school near Boston. I was in the service where I encountered an even more diverse group of people, often from places like the rural South and Midwest, people I'd never met before with a lifestyle alien to my upbringing. I've traveled extensively, and have lived outside the U.S. Most of my close relatives are and were non-native born American. I'VE NEVER SEEN ANY INDICATION FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE DESCRIBED ABOVE OF 'POOR' OR 'WORKING-CLASS' PEOPLE BEING MORE OR LESS HOMOPHOBIC THAN ANY OTHER DEMOGRAPHIC. People with greater means due to their social position and wealth I've noticed are often adept at masking their true feelings and frequently behave in a grossly hypocritical manner, for example; when they try to deflect criticism regarding their P.C. hypocrisy and NYMBY lifestyles, while blaming all 'Racism' and other forms of un-P.C. 'Bigotry' on poor or working-class 'Hicks', 'White-Trash', and 'Rednecks'


    We've been spending more $$$$ than you can shake a stick at in the U.S. in social spending, the 'War' on poverty, ET AL since the 1960's, in other words for GENERATIONS. Yet there's still a serious issue with a multi-generational dysfunctional under-class, especially among African Americans, but increasing among whites and other groups. This problem has actually gotten worse over the past 40 years, not better. And the violence is as bad, or worse, than it's ever been.

    What do gay kumbaya moonbats have to say about this? They helped create and enable our dysfunctional under-class with flawed, generational social engineering proven to be a failure.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 12, 2009 9:53:55 AM

  12. JOHN,

    I and every other black visitor to Andy Towle's blog appreciate your continued efforts on these racial issues that come up here. I've given up, and, at times, fear that I'm giving in to racial hatred. But I'm glad that you're still maintaining total dignity and calm(I'd just resort to racial slurs at this point, and I don't want to do that on Andy's blog...anymore)


    anybody who doesn't understand why you made that "preemptive strike" with your first comment is either dishonest or new to this blog. There have been so many anti-black comments by the homo Klan members on this blog, and you reacted with JUSTIFIED emotion.


    If you live in a big American city where there are black neighborhoods in turmoil, and those black neighborhoods are situated close to areas lived in or frequented by gay men-- gay men will be easy targets for those young black men (and others) who resort to crime. I've been a victim of robbery and anti-gay and anti-black violence (and a combination of both). What the fuck makes you think that you should be immune to urban crime? Is there something special about you?

    Criminals are equal opportunity enthusiasts.

    ( Last week, I promised myself that I was threw with this shit...damn)

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 12, 2009 9:54:12 AM

  13. Ireegurdless of race, color or creed, once again we all, as a whole have been violated. When is enough going to be enough?

    Posted by: capt191 | Nov 12, 2009 10:02:34 AM

  14. I NEVER said I'm 'Special' and should be immune to violence in our society. I DON'T THINK ANYONE, BLACK, WHITE, WHATEVER THE FUCK, SHOULD HAVE TO LIVE IN FEAR. In urban America, it doesn't have to be as bad as it is (it's the worse in the western world, minus South Africa) but it's tolerated FOR POLITICALLY CORRECT REASONS.

    WHY THE FUCK SHOULD I, OR ANYONE ELSE, PUT UP WITH, TOLERATE, EXTREMELY HIGH LEVELS OF VIOLENCE AMONG BLACK MEN, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT SPILLS OVER? ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS DERRICK? No, no, no, no,no...ssssshhhh! Don't mention crime and violence! Don't want to offend black folks and be called a racist.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 12, 2009 10:37:02 AM

  15. you never, ever assault a policeman, especially if you are in the process of commiting a crime. and more, you never, ever try to steal a cop's gun. these two idiotic bigots (yes, i know that's redundant) will surely get their asses handed to them.

    Posted by: nic | Nov 12, 2009 10:40:00 AM

  16. Hmph. I saw his picture and I was preparing to feel sorry for the guy ('yet another gay guy bashed outside a bar. Jeez, when will it ever stop?')

    Then I read the story.

    Well, yeah, he's *kinda* cute in a 'rough, fratty, hate-criminal-y, potential sex-criminal-y' sorta way, but, really, you guys can do somewhat better....!

    It does amuse me that a blog post about some white dude trying (and failing) to burn a flag at a gay community center devolved into a heated debate about race - I guess that *Race* has become the Rohrschact (sp?) Test for us all...

    Posted by: Terrance | Nov 12, 2009 10:50:27 AM

  17. the balls it takes to perform any act of vandalism alone makes me sick...but to all those hating on ppl calling him good looking...i mean look at him...they aren't wrong at all

    Posted by: Phil | Nov 12, 2009 11:07:05 AM

  18. Damn homophobic apes attacking us and destroying our property.

    We need to reach out to the white community and teach them to stop being so homophobic. These young white males are always committing violent hate crimes and it needs to stop.

    Posted by: Name | Nov 12, 2009 11:33:56 AM

  19. Whites aren't even human, just apes. Look how they treat private property.

    Damn shame.

    We need to reign these freaks in before they destroy everything.

    Posted by: Honkey | Nov 12, 2009 11:37:16 AM

  20. John In Boston, you are a piece of work. You ask the question "why pick on white men" when it comes to political schizophrenia and you drag all the other races in. Then in the very next paragraph (and every other comment) you rant about Blacks as criminals.

    And by the way, statistics are rarely ever accurate. There are always variants that are not taken into account either by the persons conducting the research or the morons who like to quote them ad nauseum. And we all know the FBI NEVER fudges any facts or reports, right? Please.

    You, Gast and the others like you are nothing but racist trolls, whether your delusional, statistic-quoting asses want to believe it or not.

    Posted by: Q | Nov 12, 2009 12:08:14 PM

  21. Mmmm.... I see that in jail someone is gonna make him his bitch. I guess that then he will know what the the rainbow flag means firsthand.

    Posted by: Lexxvs | Nov 12, 2009 2:06:05 PM

  22. Q

    HOMICIDE STATISTICS ARE ACCURATE. They can't be 'Fudged' or mis-read:

    In 52% of homicides in the U.S. according to the F.B.I/D.O.J., black males were the perps. Black males make up a whopping 6% of the total U.S. population, but they are responsible for 52 fucking 5 of ALL homicides in the U.S.

    What do Oakland, Memphis, New Orleans, Detroit, Chicago, St Louis, Atlanta, Birmingham, Richmond, Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark, Trenton, Camden, have in common? Name me one city with a large and/or majority black population that doesn't have a TERRIBLE violent crime problem. And don't name NYC. NYC averaging 450-500 murders a year recently is still MUCH higher than a comparable city like London,UK which had around 160 murders doing a comparable period. THE MAJORITY OF ALL HOMICIDES IN NYC ARE COMMITTED BY YOUNG MINORITY MALES, MAINLY BLACK. The OVERWHELMING majority of GUN CRIMES in NYC are committed by guess who?

    I shouldn't even be responding to the tedious trolls.

    The truth fucking hurts. To fucking bad. The truth is even more painful to the tens of thousands of people murdered, shot, stabbed, jumped, robbed, raped, ET AL., or the neighborhoods, even whole cities, destroyed or left a shell of their former self, and the resultant economic devastation.

    What's even fucking worse is the animal who robs or assaults you is likely to also have benefited in every possible way from a plethora of federal and state social services in heavily subsidized housing, food, healthcare, earned income tax credit, schools, the whole fucking nine yards. EVERY TIME I drive by a housing project I only wish I had some rocket launchers or better still a SAM it pisses me off that much.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 12, 2009 5:10:25 PM

  23. And Giovanni: A BIG, FAT, FUCK YOU.

    You fucking ignorant dufus. The world doesn't go easy on me. The world holds me to a high standard. If I can deal with it, those poor, violent 'young men of color', or more grammatical, colored young men, can like-wise. They aren't 'special' or deserving of a double-standard anymore than me.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 12, 2009 5:24:09 PM

  24. This is so racist of me.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 12, 2009 5:49:37 PM

  25. John in Boston,

    Since you seem to like CAPS:



    Posted by: Q | Nov 13, 2009 3:37:18 AM

  26. « | 1 2 3 »

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