Thursday, August 17, 2017

Only After Hoover Died Were Blows Struck Against the Mafia

bitterqueen |  The Mafia historically controlled gay bars as part of their vice rackets in many cities across the United States including New York and Chicago due to their once illicit status. A common misunderstanding among the general public is that the wise guys were eliminated from the gay bars following the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. However, organized crime kept a hidden hand -- often through violent means resulting in a few murders -- over many watering holes for the gay community at least into the mid-1980s if not later.  Indeed, the Mafia even hijacked gay liberation for political cover and used so-called Auntie Gays -- the Uncle Toms of the gay community -- as frontmen for their bars to evade suspicion.  The Mafia and the Gays provides a comprehensive look at the mob's involvement with gay bars from the post-war years through the mid-1980s when federal prosecutors targeted the Outfit in Chicago and the Genovese family in New York for their alleged protection rackets and skimming operations involving some establishments.

Ed Scarpo, the blogger behind Cosa Nostra News and author of Inside the Last Great Mafia Empire, says The Mafia and the Gays is "a worthy addition to your library of books about the Mafia." The History Channel website cited The Mafia and the Gays in its excellent overview of the historic role of organized crime in New York gay bars.  Crawford was interviewed by Helen Nianias for VICE and appeared on Mark McNease's podcast about his book, and quoted in an article by Logan Hendrix for the New York Press on the closing of The Candle Bar.