Letter to the Editor of Gay and Lesbian Review regarding Kevin Jennings' speech

From William A. Percy
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Letter to the Editor of Gay and Lesbian Review

Kevin Jennings' triumphalist speech touched on the 1920 Harvard purge uncovered a few years ago by the Crimson and detailed in William Wright's Harvard's Secret Court. So far as I know no one including Jennings has yet associated it with the vicious 1919 crackdown on men soliciting sailors in Newport that FDR approved as undersecretary of the Navy, but I believe that the events at Harvard and at Newport were connected. Jennings ends his speech on a sunny note, suggesting that the "injustice" at Harvard "is part of history and not part of the America in which [today's gay youth] live, which once and for all will be a land where there is liberty and justice for all citizens." This hardly acknowledges the current witch hunt for pederasts, now wrongly confused with pedophiles. It blows the mind to consider that we now have 3,000,000 incarcerated, mostly poor of color, often for victimless crimes like possession of marijuana or crack (which carries draconian sentences as opposed to those meted out to the rich for their "poison," powder cocaine), or for petty thefts (three strikes and you're out), or in perpetuity for what some might consider sexual peccadilloes. Many of these "felonies" would hardly have resulted in incarceration a generation ago.

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