October 21, 1985

October 21, 1985

A famous assassin killed himself today

There were editorials of sorrow and sadness
in the San Francisco Chronicle.

                   He left a note. “I’m sorry.” he said.

Some guy at the bus stop said, “How ’bout that
Dan White?

And I said, Yeah, how ’bout that?”

Then we boarded the bus and I turned on my

That’s how the other folks are riding this bus today…

Headphones on, blank faces, nodding to the music–

Pretending that they don’t care.


Rob Goldstein 2015

17 thoughts on “October 21, 1985

  1. I have no words, just my usual thought that scum like White should commit suicide BEFORE injuring/killing innocent people. When will the eejits in DC do something about the state of mental health in this country? His self-hatred projected onto gays is the same as the racism and sexism still rampant–all signs of mental problems.

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  2. Perhaps he realized how wrong he was those many years ago and that was too much to bear. Moments of decision have decades of consequence.

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    1. It’s hard to know what Dan White was thinking. He admitted that the murders were premeditated shortly before his suicide.

      He may have been one of the last guys to get a light sentence for murdering a gay man with the diminished capacity defense. It was common for a guy to kill a ‘queer” and get off by claiming “homosexual panic” because you know, if a man touches another man without intending to murder him or beat him senseless it can cause a guy to lose his mind.

      I know that White killed the Mayor–but in the bad old days Moscone would have been the same as a “queer” because he accepted them.


      1. You make a very concise point about phobias being used to justify violence. The manifestation of that is the immunity law enforcement affords officers who hold up the “feared for my life” card after the use of excessive or deadly force. If fear or phobia is the motivation and justification for violence, we find ourselves institutionalizing fear.

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      2. Yes–Now we’ve done this to the mentally ill..we strip them of everything that makes us human and then accuse them of deserving what they get. No sooner do we remove one group from the “OK to hate and kill” category” then another group takes their place.

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      1. –I have no plans to hurt myself–especially when I know that it will hurt the people who love me. Thank you for such a deep expression of concern and love…

        To be honest I don’t quite know what to say other than thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You scared me for a second. I’m not sure if I read it wrong but I see Rob Goldstein from 1985-2015. Are you going by a new name? Is the message? Have you been made new today?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I understand now The birth name is Robert–and the writer went by Rob Goldstein so that is how the poem is signed. Thank you for asking…because I know it can seem a bit confusing.

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      4. Ok… One moment I thought I was reading about an assassin suicide then when I re read the end I saw Rob Goldstein 1985-2015… My bad…

        I’m glad all is well 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Rob, I have noticed this for a while, why do you put a beginning year and an ending year, it appears like an obituary date. Maybe just put the beginning year
        and who was only 30 when he died?

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