The West Hollywood City Council voted “unanimously” Monday to approve a resolution urging the Los Angeles City Council and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to permanently remove Donald Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star.
Led by West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tem John D’Amico, the council cited Trump’s “disturbing treatment of women and other actions” as the impotence for their action.
D’Amico went a step further and said in news media reports that Trump’s star sends the wrong message to men coming to Hollywood on how they can treat women.
So let’s talk about disturbing.
West Hollywood resident Ed Buck’s treatment of Gemmel Moore and other vulnerable young Black gay men in his apartment was and continues to be disturbing to say the least and only seemed to bother one Council member enough to try and do anything about it. And it didn’t come without a cost as Councilmember Lindsey Horvath was attacked by her fellow council members–one, in particular, Councilmember John Duran, who even warned potential witnesses and victims with a threat that they might be arrested if they came forward about his client and resident Ed Buck.
26-year-old Gemmel Moore was found dead of a crystal meth overdose in Ed Buck’s West Hollywood apartment on July 27, 2017. His death was immediately classified as an “accidental methamphetamine overdose” by the coroner, but the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s homicide bureau was forced to open a homicide investigation after Moore’s personal journal was published and other young men stepped forward recounting similar stories about a man who they say has a Tuskegee Experiment like fetish which includes shooting drugs into young Black men that he picks up off the street or via dating hookup websites just to see how they react to it while he makes them dress up and pose in white underwear.
Just prior to Moore’s body being removed from Buck’s apartment, images showed another young man headed up to Buck’s apartment who had to be stopped by sheriff’s deputies.
A coroner’s report confirmed that at the time of Moore’s death, Buck’s apartment was littered with drug paraphernalia including 24 syringes with brown residue, five glass pipes with white residue and burn marks, a plastic straw with possible white residue, clear plastic bags with white powdery residue and a clear plastic bag with a “piece of crystal-like substance.”
In online ads soliciting young Black gay men, Buck has referred to the Black men he solicits as being a “6-foot” n-word. On his Facebook page, he joked with friends using the n-word.
Over the past year numerous young, Black gay men have come forward, including some who were engaged by Ed Buck during the alleged homicide investigation–showing a pattern of behavior and brazen display of white privilege that even while under investigation by law enforcement, Buck continued to enjoy his lifestyle of preying on young Black men and luring them to his West Hollywood apartment with promises of money and drugs.
Not once in all this time did the West Hollywood City Council ever offer a resolution denouncing the disturbing treatment of vulnerable, young, Black gay men by a resident in their own city.
Not once did the West Hollywood City Council say with one voice that calling Black people the n-word and soliciting homeless, HIV positive, vulnerable young Black gay men “do[es] not meet the shared values of the City of West Hollywood.”
As far as political finance reports show, neither Mayor D’Amico nor his colleagues, with the exception of Councilmember Lindsey Horvath who never took any money from Buck, ever returned any of the money that Ed Buck contributed to their campaigns. D’Amico did contribute $25 towards Gemmel Moore’s funeral. $25.
As much as one might not like Trump, this seems like more of a publicity stunt for most of the council. A ride on the wave of discontentment Americans have with President Trump.
Let’s call it for what it is and the news media is only too willing to capitalize on it without ever asking any of the hard and in my opinion obvious questions.
Because if the West Hollywood City Council was really concerned about the “disturbing treatment of women” by Trump and their city’s shared values they would have been just as concerned, outrages and spurred in action about the treatment of young Black gay men by Ed Buck in the city where they actually wield some power.
The messenger matter as much as the message and all I see with the exception of Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath is a bunch of hypocrites.
Sometimes we allow ourselves to get so caught up in our disdain for Trump we don’t stop to look at who we’re following or cheering on. I won’t cheer on or follow behind a man or city council more concerned with the lives of white women than the lost lives of Black gay men in their very own city.
As it’s said, all that glitter ain’t gold.
Political Donations from Ed Buck to West Hollywood City Councilmembers
John Duran for LA County Supervisor
Amount Recv’d: $13,000
Dates: 1/6/2014, 2/11/2014, 4/21/2014, 5/17/2014
John Duran for City Council
Amount Recv’d: $1,000
Dates: 11/28/2012, 6/18/2016
Neighbors for a Better West Hollywood in Support of Lauren Meister for West Hollywood City Council 2015
Amount Recv’d: $2,000
Lauren Meister for West Hollywood City Council 2015
Amount Recv’d: $500
John Heilman for West Hollywood City Council 2017
Amount Recv’d: $2,000
Dates: 5/25/2017, 6/1/2017
D’Amico for City Council 2015
Amount Recv’d: $1,000
Dates: 9/29/2010, 7/24/2014
To read my complete series, including witness accounts, on the death of Gemmel Moore, please click here.