An Archive of Hope

An Archive of Hope: Harvey Milk's Speeches and Writings

Harvey Milk
Jason Edward Black
Charles E. Morris
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition: 1
Pages: 280
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt24hsnt
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  • Book Info
    An Archive of Hope
    Book Description:

    Harvey Milk was one of the first openly and politically gay public officials in the United States, and his remarkable activism put him at the very heart of a pivotal civil rights movement reshaping America in the 1970s.An Archive of Hopeis Milk in his own words, bringing together in one volume a substantial collection of his speeches, columns, editorials, political campaign materials, open letters, and press releases, culled from public archives, newspapers, and personal collections. The volume opens with a foreword from Milk's friend, political advisor, and speech writer Frank Robinson, who remembers the man who "started as a Goldwater Republican and ended his life as the last of the store front politicians" who aimed to "give 'em hope" in his speeches. An illuminating introduction traces GLBTQ politics in San Francisco, situates Milk within that context, and elaborates the significance of his discourse and memories both to 1970s-era gay rights efforts and contemporary GLBTQ worldmaking.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95502-8
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-x)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  4. FOREWORD: “Harvey”
    (pp. xvii-xxiv)
    FRANK M. ROBINSON

    Harvey Milk was one of the most significant of the American political figures of the twentieth century. He started as a Goldwater Republican and ended his life as the last of the store-front politicians—those who ran for public office with no money, their stores their campaign headquarters, and their following largely those who stopped in to buy something and stayed to talk politics with the owner.

    An “openly gay man,” as the newspapers of the time referred to Harvey, his constituency was the largely closeted gay population of San Francisco. Harvey was anything but—he was openly gay not...

  5. INTRODUCTION: Harvey Milk’s Political Archive and Archival Politics
    (pp. 1-60)
    CHARLES E. MORRIS III and JASON EDWARD BLACK

    In the Images of America memory bookSan Francisco’s Castro,there appears a photograph depicting three volunteers anchoring the Harvey Milk Archives (HMA) booth at the 1982 Castro Street Fair.¹ Fittingly, the photograph was taken by Danny Nicoletta, Harvey Milk’s protégé and photographer, who, for four decades now, has provided invaluable views of GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer)² life in San Francisco. For those who personally remember, or for those who, against the odds, have somehow learned some GLBTQ history, the photograph may be haunting, temporally and tragically poised as it is between the immediate past of Milk’s 1978...

  6. PART ONE. MILK AND THE CULTURE OF POPULISM
    • 1 “Interview with Harvey Milk” Kalendar, August 17, 1973
      (pp. 63-68)

      “Freedom of speech and action is only tokenism in this country. Where there is repression there is violence that makes a mess of the world. It’s force and repression,” he said.

      It was Saturday morning. I sat in a hill-top Castro apartment looking past a lavender-leaved Wandering Jew at the lazy skyline of San Francisco.

      Assignment: Harvey Milk, outspoken gay candidate for Board of Supervisors. The Place: His apartment. I had met him a few minutes earlier in the camera shop he runs with his lover Scott. The shop was large with the air of an art studio in the...

    • 2 “Address to the San Francisco Chapter of the National Women’s Political Caucus” Speech, September 5, 1973
      (pp. 69-70)

      The reason that the economy is fouled up … The reason that there is so little meat in the supermarkets and that there is a gasoline shortage is that the same people … the same mentality, that handled all aspects of Watergate also handles all aspects of our economy. The reason that the City of San Francisco is becoming fouled-up is that the same people … the same mentality that is for spending money to tear down ugly freeways while there is a need for more child care centers; the same mentality that is for building convention halls instead of...

    • 3 “Address to the Joint International Longshoremen & Warehousemen’s Union of San Francisco and to the Lafayette Club” Speech, September 30, 1973
      (pp. 71-74)

      A city, any city can take one of several approaches to the future; whichever approach it takes not only affects the citizens of today but also greatly affects the children of tomorrow—the citizens of tomorrow.

      San Francisco, like any other major city, has that choice, and before we get too far down any route we must be sure that it is the route we really want to travel. The present leadership seems to have taken the money route: bigness and wealth. They would like to be remembered as making San Francisco a major money center: a big bank book....

    • 4 “An Open Letter to the Mayor of San Francisco” Public letter, September 22, 1973
      (pp. 75-77)

      Dear Mr. Mayor,

      The San Francisco Council of Democratic Clubs suspended democracy at their convention on September 21st. Their blatant disrespect for their own stated policy on speaking order was just rudeness … what makes me angry istheirdemocratic system of voting. They “conveniently” encouraged their delegates to cast their votes early in the evening; before any of their “unfavorite” candidates were allowed to speak. At any convention I have ever attended, the delegates may have already made up their minds before they arrive, but they always listen to all speakers before they cast their ballots. Not so with...

    • 5 “MUNI/Parking Garage” Press release, September 27, 1973
      (pp. 78-79)

      HARVEY MILK, Candidate for Supervisor, will continue to take his campaign to the people, holding the first of many planned street ralliesFriday at 5:30, at CASTRO & 18thSTREETS.

      Candidate MILK will attack the present MUNI service and will callfor a CHAPTER AMENDMENT requiring the mayor, all MUNI inspectors, and especially all 11 Supervisors to ride MUNI every day to and from City Hall. At rally time, petitions will be initiated seeking the enactment of such an amendment. MILK feels that this seems to be the only way that the people of San Francisco will ever get better service...

    • 6 “Alfred Seniora” Press release, September 28, 1973
      (pp. 80-81)

      One of the great compliments of the current Supervisorial campaign was paid this week to HARVEY MILK by another candidate. ALFRED SENIORA printed, in the Wednesday issue of the SAN FRANCISCO PROGRESS, a 2/3 page advertisement using as copy, almost verbatim, a letter that MILK sent to the Mayor on Monday and then signed his (SENIORA’S) name to that letter …He further paid the additional and more important compliment to MILK by also printing in the ad most of MILK’S platform positions in the form of a “box score” flyer which MILK created and has been using for almost...

    • 7 “Who Really Represents You” Campaign flyer, September 1973
      (pp. 82-84)
    • 8 “Milk Note” Column, Vector, February 1, 1974
      (pp. 85-87)

      January 9 marks the anniversary of the birth of Richard Nixon. January 15 marks the anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. One man has divided a nation—he lives. One man united a people—he was killed for that! The irony.

      Dr. King was much criticized for “moving too fast.” His answer to that was total dissatisfaction with the “halting and inadequate attempts of (this) society to catch up with the basic rights of membership in the human family … (that black people were) no longer tolerant of or interested in compromise.”

      He saw that the only...

    • 9 “Anyone Can Be a Movie Critic: How Not to Find Leadership” Editorial, San Francisco Crusader, February 1974
      (pp. 88-91)

      One hundred people seeing the same movie can come out with one hundred different views. If those one hundred people are negative people there will be one hundred negative comments on that film. If they are positive people there will be one hundred positive comments on that film. For every film ever made has good points and bad points. The negative mind will search out and find the faults. The positive mind will search out and find the good points. That makes the film neither good nor bad. It only makes the film good or bad to each viewer based...

    • 10 “Letter to the City of San Francisco Hall of Justice on Police Brutality” Public letter, February 14, 1974
      (pp. 92-94)

      There are those in our community who claim that police brutality does not exist … that police harassment of gays does not exist … and I ask why? Why in the face of facts do they maintain that posture? The answer is that they do not want to know that it exists because once they accept its existence they then have to condone or commend police brutality! And, since they want neither to come out in favor of it nor to attack the establishment, they have to become the ostrich and stick their heads into the dirt—and see no...

    • 11 “Where I Stand” Article draft, Sentinel, March 28, 1974
      (pp. 95-98)

      An explanation is needed … “Waves from the Left” … “On the Right Side.” What do they mean? Far Right? Far Left? Left of Center? etc., etc. To the dictator, American conservatism is from the Left, and, likewise, to the pure Communist, American socialism is from the Right! The people who feel that only they can represent the Left or the Right are the same types who are for freedom of speech as long as it is speech that they agree with. Witness what took place at a recent Board of Supervisors meeting … when one supervisor, who is well...

    • 12 “Where There Is No Victim, There Is No Crime” Press release, April 1, 1974
      (pp. 99-101)

      We have heard a lot this afternoon about the high costs to all taxpayers, especially the homeowner and renter, of police enforcement of victimless crime laws. There is another high cost that cannot be “statistically” computed. Not too long ago, several members of our famed vice squad rented rooms in the Hilton and called up prostitutes from East Bay. They made a great deal of busting these women. We can compute the cost in policemen hours, hotel rooms, and so forth that went into this great act of police heroism. What we cannot add up in dollars and cents is...

    • 13 “Political Power” Article draft, Sentinel, May 23, 1974
      (pp. 102-104)

      On Tuesday, May 7th, Officer Fernandez of the Mission Street Police Station came into my shop and told me that if the gays have any complaints about anything, the only way that such complaints will be heard is if we use POLITICAL POWER.

      On Wednesday, May 8th, at a meeting of concerned citizens in the Eureka Valley area which centered around the issue of “straights” vs. “gays,” one of the most vocal leaders of the parents’ groups called for getting rid of the “gay problem” by forces, or, if need be, by use of their POLITICAL POWER and that they,...

    • 14 “Letter to the San Francisco Chronicle about Anti-Gay Editorials” Letter Draft, July 1, 1974
      (pp. 105-106)

      Dear Editor,

      The fourth of July celebrates an event that, to many people, not only in this country, but throughout the world, stood for the shedding of oppression. The homosexual community is the last minority group in this country that has received no Civil Rights. Last Sunday, we marched not only on the streets of San Francisco, but in many cities in this nation from New York to Anchorage. We marched for several reasons: to show other homosexuals that the time is now for them to come out and to show our straight oppressors that the time is now for...

    • 15 “Library or Performing Arts Center” Press release, December 4, 1974
      (pp. 107-110)

      San Francisco is justly famed for its cultural heritage—a symphony hall orchestra, a ballet, and an opera that are not only well known and well beloved by its inhabitants but are world-renowned as well. Newspaper and television coverage of their troubles and their triumphs is extensive. Their patrons number not only San Francisco’s own “four hundred” but students from universities both in the City and across the Bay. All of these cultural activities run deficits that are made up for by the generosity of the wealthy—as well as by the prices charged for both box seats and those...

  7. PART TWO. THE GRASSROOTS ACTIVIST BECOMES “THE MAYOR OF CASTRO STREET”
    • 16 “Au Contraire … PCR Needed” Column, Bay Area Reporter, February 9, 1975
      (pp. 113-116)

      Some people argue that there should be no need for an organization such as the Police Community Relations. They say that the fact that it exists means that something is amiss. They say that there should be no need for a group to improve relations between the police and the community. They are right. But if they were to continue their logic one step, they would also have to say that there should be no need for police. The very fact that there is a police force means that something is amiss. They are right.

      But things are not as...

    • 17 “Harvey Milk for Supervisor” Campaign letter, February 26, 1975
      (pp. 117-120)

      Dear Friends,

      It probably comes as no surprise to most of you, but I am going to run for Supervisor again this year. One of the more important reasons for venturing into the political arena once again is to let the 17,000 people who voted for me last time know that my attempt at political office wasn’t a one-shot affair. To have won the first time out, with limited funds and limited experience, would be to have expected a miracle. This time, it’s a whole new ball game.

      Winning an election requires both financial supportandlots and lots of...

    • 18 “Statement of Harvey Milk, Candidate for the 16th Assembly District” Campaign material, March 9, 1976
      (pp. 121-123)

      I would like to announce that I am a candidate for the office of Assembly from the Sixteenth Assembly District. I would consider it a great honor to be allowed to represent the people of this district.

      I know the people of this district; I know their problems. I live in the Sixteenth Assembly District. I’m a store owner in this district. I serve on many neighborhood boards within this district, most of which have worked for years to improve the living and working conditions of the district.

      Few people are more aware of the painful problems of the district...

    • 19 “Reactionary Beer” Column, Bay Area Reporter, March 18, 1976
      (pp. 124-126)

      This past week there was a fundraising event for aid to some Native Americans. Attending was a cross section of San Francisco. Some of our local unions are working with neighborhood associations, some local unions lobbied for gay rights last year in Sacramento, the list goes on and inter-winds. In issue after issue, we see different groups coming to the aid of others. The bridges between the many communities and people of the city are being built. Maybe out of necessity, but the exciting thing is that theyarebeing built. The combined effort can put an end to the...

    • 20 “Nixon’s Revenge—The Republicans and Their Supreme Court” Column, Bay Area Reporter, April 15, 1976
      (pp. 127-129)

      The recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on Homosexuality brought home something I wrote about a long time ago. “The evil that Nixon brought on this nation will last long after he is gone from public office. His appointments to the Supreme Court will affect our lives to a greater degree than anything else he can do as president. We will have to live with that court and their rulings for too long.”

      The Nixon court has struck out against all gay people—be they liberals or conservatives. The day-to-day blunders that Nixon gave to this nation can and...

    • 21 “My Concept as a Legislator” Column, Bay Area Reporter, May 27, 1976
      (pp. 130-133)

      There is a basic difference in my concept of what a member of the State Assembly should be, versus that which my opponent holds. In my opponent’s campaign material, he stresses that he will be a “troubleshooter” for the people, basing this concept on his experience as a wellpaid aide to a member of the Assembly from another district.

      My concept is different. I think a legislator should be involved in the root causes of the problems that plague us. He should be involved with enacting legislation to correct these problems, thus doing away with the need for “troubleshooters” in...

    • 22 “Uncertainty of Carter or the Certainty of Ford” Column, Bay Area Reporter, September 2, 1976
      (pp. 134-137)

      Facing the reality of it all, either Carter or Ford will be our next president. Some people, especially those who are content with the “way things are,” will opt for Ford because they know where he is and can “live” with him. They argue that they don’t know where Carter is, and that uncertainty bothers them. Thus, while they are not happy with Ford, they—like many people—will stay with the status quo. Think about Columbus, Marco Polo, George Washington, etc., staying with the “certain” things of life!

      Given the fact that this is a problem with many people,...

    • 23 “A Nation Finally Talks About … It” Column, Bay Area Reporter, June 9, 1977
      (pp. 138-140)

      No matter which way the vote went in Florida last Tuesday, Gay people won; there was a victory deeper than the actual vote. And it is only the beginning. Too many people look only at the vote count; they do not understand what the vote means.

      Without Anita Bryant there would not have been: a cover story in “Newsweek” which dispelled many of the myths about homosexuality; headlines, day after day, in major city after major city, talking about Gay rights and homosexuality; national television nightly covering Gay rights. In short, the entire nation finally opened up and talked about...

    • 24 “Gay Economic Power” Column, Bay Area Reporter, September 15, 1977
      (pp. 141-144)

      In the last issue I talked about the concept of “Buy Gay.” I talked about the fact that we go out of our way to drink at gay bars across town rather then drink at convenient neighborhood bars and the importance of carrying that concept through to other gay business. Why not go out of our way to shop at a gay store rather than a convenient neighborhood store? However, there is another important side to the concept. A side that must never be overlooked. And that is the responsibility of the gay merchant.

      If “Buy Gay” spreads and the...

    • 25 “You’ve Got to Have Hope” Speech, June 24, 1977
      (pp. 145-156)

      I’m a person of few surprises so it will come as no surprise to you that what I’m about to say constitutes an announcement of my candidacy for Supervisor of District 5. For all I know, I may be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for I’m sure by now that the list of candidates is close to equaling the list of eligible voters. The true test of Democracy is when anybody can run for anything and in this case, almost everybody is. Well, they say Democracy is a participatory process so you can’t say we weren’t warned…...

  8. PART THREE. SUPERVISOR MILK SPEAKS
    • 26 “Harvey Speaks Out” Interview, Bay Area Reporter, December 8, 1977
      (pp. 159-165)

      B.A.R. is pleased to present excerpts from a taped speech by Supervisor-elect Harvey Milk. He spoke before the November meeting of the San Francisco Gay Democratic Club….

      I will never forget it. I cannot. I know where it comes from. I don’t have any power or influence yet. It really doesn’t take place until January 9.

      I am just a figurehead, the one who happened to step out of the back room. I am the one who happens to have done it. It is your victory, and I do not mean just the ones who worked and voted for me...

    • 27 “A City of Neighborhoods: First Major Address I and II” Reprinted speech, Bay Area Reporter, January 10, 1978, and February 2, 1978
      (pp. 166-172)

      In 1977, a large seaport city on the East Coast voted to take away the rights of some people. Later that year, a large seaport town on the West Coast voted into office one of those same people. That same West Coast city once had a frightening nightmare of the future—and the next morning promptly voted against Richard Nixon. That same city voted to decriminalize marijuana and now sees states like Mississippi follow its lead.

      That city,ourcity—San Francisco—has now broken the last major dam of prejudice in this country and in so doing has done...

    • 28 “The Word Is Out” Public letter, February 1, 1978
      (pp. 173-174)

      The word is out … The word is out that we are out … That just as the black community tossed aside the establishment’s wanting blacks to “stay in their place” so too does the gay community toss aside the establishment’s concept that we will “stay in our closets.” …

      The word is out that we will no longer go forth with hat in hand and be thankful for a crumb…. The word is out that we want our fair share … Not more, no less … And that we willdemandour fair share.

      The word is out that...

    • 29 “Letter to ‘Abe’ on Domestic Politics” Private letter, February 7, 1978
      (pp. 175-177)

      Abe:

      You have my “foreign policy” … here are some thoughts on one of my “domestic policies.”

      People who make their money in San Francisco, but don’t live in San Francisco have at best an intellectual/financial commitment to the City. But theydon’thave anemotionalcommitment. They’re not emotionally involved with the problems of the Police Department, the Fire Department, the conditions of the streets, the Muni, housing, etc. And it’s that emotional commitment that makes all the difference.

      As a Supervisor and as a resident, I think that I can truthfully be described as “patriotic” when it comes...

    • 30 “Letter to Council Members re Judging People by Myths” Public letter, March 13, 1978
      (pp. 178-180)

      Dear Council Members:

      As the only openly gay elected official in California, I would like to share with you a few comments on what my election to the San Francisco board of Supervisors means.

      For too many years, gay people have generally not taken any active part in the government. For many years, many gay people, feeling disenfranchised, have given up hope for a better tomorrow. Hope that all will be right. Hope that the system does in fact work.

      With that kind of background, many gay people and their energies are not put into use in the democratic society...

    • 31 “Resolution Requiring State Department to Close the South African Consulate” and “Closing the Consulate” Press releases, March 22, 1978
      (pp. 181-184)

      Dear Friend,

      I appreciate your interest in supporting the human rights of blacks in South Africa. As you may know, there are currently two resolutions in the Board of Supervisors which would be strong statements of San Francisco’s outrage at the South African government’s continuing policies of racial hatred.

      I have introduced a resolution requesting the State Department to close the South African consulate here. And a resolution was introduced recently by Supervisors Hutch, Silver, Feinstein and myself urging withdrawal of investments from South Africa.

      Both resolutions will be up for a public hearing in the State and National Affairs...

    • 32 “Letter to President Jimmy Carter” Private letter, April 12, 1978
      (pp. 185-187)

      Dear President Carter:

      Like most people in this country, I am very concerned about human rights abroad and supportive of your efforts. I have worked in San Francisco towards affecting change in the South African government’s racial policies and on other human rights concerns.

      But I am also deeply concerned about the millions of fellow gay women and men in this nation who have been under attack from those who believe only in myths and fears about gay people and who lack an understanding of just who we are and why we are.

      We are doing a strong educational campaign...

    • 33 “Untitled (on Gay Caucus and Gay Power)” Column, Bay Area Reporter,” April 27, 1978
      (pp. 188-190)

      The Mayor tossed out the opening pitch for the beginning of the Community Softball League Season this weekend. The D.A. was there. The Fire Chief was there. To many of us in San Francisco, there is little new in that scene. Gay power, including power at the ballot box, has been growing to a point where no one running for a city office can ignore it. Even those who run by district, be they Supervisors or Assembly people, pay more and more attention to the gay vote.

      The same thing is happening in Los Angeles, and Long Beach and San...

    • 34 “California Gay Caucus” Article draft, Alternate, May 12, 1978
      (pp. 191-194)

      It was another milestone in gay political history on Saturday, May 6th in Los Angeles. The first statewide gay political caucus took place at the new Bonaventure Hotel.

      Gay people from all over the state and all political parties were invited. They came. Candidates from all parties running for state offices were invited. They came. The potentially powerful statewide gay vote finally emerged. No longer will candidates running for state office be able to avoid facing gay people. If they want our votes, they will have to seek them, out front and out of the closet.

      The highlight of the...

  9. PART FOUR. MILK AND THE POLITICS OF GAY RIGHTS
    • 35 “Keynote Speech at Gay Conference 5” Tape cassette transcription of speech, June 10, 1978
      (pp. 197-210)

      Thank you for being here. The you-s, wherever you are, make it possible for the us-es, in this case, to do our trip. Without you, without your support, the gay sisters and brothers all over the country some of us would never be able to do it. So, thank you for being here today.

      In the six or seven years that I’ve been quite active, I’ve only given two written speeches—you know, wrote it out. I usually kind of like put some notes down and then don’t even follow them. I gave one speech that night when the Lieutenant...

    • 36 “Gay Rights” Article draft, Coast to Coast, June 16, 1978
      (pp. 211-214)

      People are tired of talking about taxes and Jarvis-Gann. People will also get tired of talking about Briggs and gay rights. To these people, I say that the day we stop talking about gay rights is the day we no longer have them.

      But the fact is that many people will get tired of the gay rights talks. Each day more and more people will make up their minds about the issue.WEand I stress theWE,must talk about some of the issuesnowwhile people are still listening and before they get fixed on a position that...

    • 37 “Gay Freedom Day Speech” Reprinted speech, Bay Area Reporter, June 25, 1978
      (pp. 215-220)

      My name is Harvey Milk—and I want to recruit you for the fight to preserve your democracy from the John Briggs’ and the Anita Bryants who are trying to constitutionalize bigotry. We are not going to allow that to happen. We are not going to sit back in silence as 300,000 of our Gay sisters and brothers did in Nazi Germany. We are not going to allow our rights to be taken away and then march with bowed heads to the gas chambers. On this anniversary of Stonewall, I ask my Gay sisters and brothers to make their commitment...

    • 38 “To Beat Briggs” Column, Bay Area Reporter, August 3, 1978
      (pp. 221-223)

      In just about 90 days there will be an election in this state over the Briggs Initiative, Prop. 6. That could turn the mood of the nation more to the Right or more to the Left. It is more than just the rights of Gay teachers. Every Gay professional person—every Gay person who has any kind of license—has to realize that they may be next. The list will not end.Everyeffort byeveryGay person must be made to defeat this initiative.

      “I don’t have to worry … it can never happen here in San Francisco!” That...

    • 39 “I Have High Hopes Address” Stump speech, 1978
      (pp. 224-226)

      I have high hopes for the future of our cities. I have high hopes for the future of San Francisco. Granted its present problems, I have high hopes that the city of the future—ourCity of the future—will be one that will enrich the lives of all the people who live in it.

      Most plans for the city of the future involve money—lots of it, more than any city could afford. But there are improvements that can be made in the city that don’t necessarily involve lots of money. That require, instead, generous amounts of imagination—and...

    • 40 “Harvey Milk vs. John Briggs” Televised debate transcription, August 6, 1978
      (pp. 227-229)

      Briggs:I’ll tell you what [Proposition] 6 does not do. It does not deny you the right to be a supervisor. It does not deny anybody in this room a right to have a job.

      Milk:Yes, it does, it denies people the right to teach.

      Briggs:But there are no teachers in this room.

      Milk:But we don’t know; there are some other people in this room.

      Briggs:It does not deny anybody the right to a job. It does not deny anybody the right to rent or buy a house. All it does is say that parents—parents...

    • 41 “The Positive or the Negative” Column, Bay Area Reporter, August 31, 1978
      (pp. 230-232)

      Take your choice. Strong positive or strong negative. That seems to be what’s happening in the Gay community with the Briggs/Bryant forces coming down on us. From input that I’m getting, Gays are falling into one or the other category. Take your choice!

      There are those in the Gay community who have given up the battle against Briggs even before it gets under full steam. They take the position that no matter what we, do we cannot win. So they start to crawl back into their closets and try to shut out all light … all hope. They want to...

    • 42 “Statement on Briggs/Bigotry” Public letter, September 22, 1978
      (pp. 233-235)

      Recently, I faced Republican State Senator John Briggs in a two-hour debate. Every “argument” that Briggs used was based upon myths, fears, lies, innuendos and ignorance. He obviously knows little about the subject he is discussing and cares little for the truth.

      I feel the Senator is using the gay community as scapegoats, much as Hitler used the Jews as scapegoats and Nixon used the communists in his drive for power.

      Senator Briggs is trying to constitutionalize bigotry. He will not be successful. His stands fly in the face of why America was formed, why the Constitution was written and...

    • 43 “Overall Needs of the City” Speech, September 25, 1978
      (pp. 236-238)

      The Civil Grand Jury, in its report last week, chastised the current Board of Supervisors, the first one elected by district. It charged the Supervisors with being more concerned with their personal constituencies than with the “overall needs of the City.” And it attempted to link this with its major concern, that of middle class flight from San Francisco….

      The new Board has been in office less than a year and hadn’t been more than 6 months by the time the report was completed. This was hardly enough time for the Grand Jury to study the long-range, permanent effects of...

    • 44 “Ballot Argument Against Proposition 6” Public letter (with Frank Robinson), November 7, 1978
      (pp. 239-242)

      The initiative plays upon fears that homosexual teachers will automatically molest their students or will serve as “Role Models” with the result that their students will somehow become homosexual.

      These assumptions are false.

      Statistics available from the California Highway Patrol, the Los Angeles Police Department and the San Francisco Police Department show that more than 90 percent of child molestations are committed by heterosexuals, often members of the child’s family.

      The belief that homosexual teachers by their mere existence will serve as “Role Models” and thus alter the sexual orientation of their students is also unjustified. According to psychologists, a...

  10. PART FIVE. HARVEY’S LAST WORDS
    • 45 “Political Will” Tape Cassette Transcription, 18 November 1977
      (pp. 245-250)

      This is Harvey Milk speaking on Friday, November 18. This is tape two. This is to be played only in the event of my death by assassination. I’ve given long and considerable thought to this, not just since the election. I’ve been thinking about this for some time prior to election and certainly over the years. I fully realize that a person who stands for what I stand for—a gay activist—becomes the target of potential target for a person who is insecure, terrified, afraid, or very disturbed themselves. Knowing that I could be assassinated at any moment or...

  11. Document List
    (pp. 251-255)
  12. Editor Biographies
    (pp. 256-256)