Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Stan Greene
Observer Staff 

Political Correctness Caused the Oakland Ghost Ship Fire that Killed 36 Patrons

California's tough Building & Safety Codes weren't enforced, because it was an LGBTQ "Safe Space"


December 9, 2016

The Ghost Ship as pictured in A handout photo from the Oakland fire department.

California has the toughest building and safety codes in the world. Why didn't authorities enforce them against the Ghost Ship's operators? This is the obvious question from the Oakland fire which has killed at least 36 people.

The Washington Post has finally explained why: They didn't want to be seen as politically incorrect, forcing their way into an LGBTQ "safe space."

The deaths struck at the heart of a flourishing community of artists united by the Bay Area's underground electronic music scene. Not unlike the Pulse nightclub, where in June 49 people were killed by a gunman in Orlando, the Oakland warehouse had served as a safe space for members of the queer community, musicians who were "pushed out onto the margins," friends who were "trying to scream and get someone to scream and hug them back," said Anya Taylor.

The Washington Post, of course, believes Ghost Ship patrons were victims of society before they became victims of a fire, and in a way, they're right. The Oakland Police and California OSHA let them live with the cat feces and lack of emergency exits, smoke detectors or sprinklers, because it seemed better to authorities then busting down the door or issuing Code Violation orders. Imagine being all over the evening news as neo-fascists, or even as law and order Republicans. Heaven forbid anyone should require a sprinkler system in an LGBTQ Safe Space.

Taylor is described by the WaPo as watching helplessly while her girlfriend Cash Askew and others burned alive. But 2 days later, she told the WaPo that these types of gathering spaces are essential for the queer and transgender community. "We need to be celebrated with other people like us," Taylor said. "That was our community. That was Cash."

No doubt everyone needs affirmation. But ironically their "safe space" turned out to be the least safe space in California Friday night. And it didn't have to happen, if only existing laws had been enforced, even against a revered, exalted group like California's LGBTQ community.

An honest evaluation of the Ghost Ship tragedy may reveal that rather like the Orlando Pulse Nightclub tragedy, it was another self inflicted wound against the LGBTQ community (the perpetrator in that tragic mass murder event turned out to be a bi-sexual Pulse patron). Hopefully this will shock the LGBTQ community into following health and safety regulations, even in safe spaces.

The Ghost Ship fire in Oakland killed at least 36 people, including David Cline of Santa Monica. He was apparently moved to Berkeley and studied there. His name was released along with the names of 12 other victims in the historic tragedy.

Other names and ages of victims released Sunday night include: Cash Askew, 22, Nick Gomez-Hall, 25, Sara Hoda, 30, Donna Kellogg, 32, Nex Iuguolo, 32,

Family have also identified Pete Wadsworth, Barrett Clark, Ara Jo and 17-year-old Draven McGill as missing and believed to be victims.

Mourners of the Ghost Ship Fire, from the Oakland Tribune

Among the dead was the son of a deputy with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, the agency in charge of recovering and examining bodies recovered from the fire, the Chronicle reported.

Fire crews have searched 30 percent of the building, but it will be days until they can access entire warehouse. The confirmed deadline is now 33 and is expected to rise.

Authorities say that due to the condition of the bodies, they may need to consult dental records or even may require some families to bring in items for DNA matching, such as a hairbrush.

Officials say there was no sprinkler system in the two-story building and firefighters saw no evidence that smoke detectors were activated during the fire. The Ghost Ship was under investigation by local authorities at the time of the fire, for numerous health and safety code violations. The investigation was just a few weeks old, and apparently went nowhere.


Reader Comments

Inthistogether writes:

This article highlights the kind of US vs. Them mentality that breeds hate and continues the indifference towards those who are different. America is the great melting pot but those living their privileged lives seem to forget that. Such a shame that the simple concept of the Golden Rule is the first thing folks forget. There but for the grace of God...

Leelee writes:

Article is nonsense. That's not even a picture of the ghost ship. That's a pic of some other location.

Spadecaller writes:

Good luck with that Breitbart job, scum


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