America, It’s Time to Talk About Ed Buck

It’s been four long years of fighting for justice for Ed Buck’s victims.

Four years, three deaths (yes, three), one near-death, and countless victims of the white man from West Hollywood with a Tuskegee-like fetish for Black men in white underwear who, for his own sexual gratification, he would inject with crystal meth.

Four years of trying to get people to care about the unhoused Black gay men being preyed on by a white gay Democratic donor in West Hollywood.

Four years of having mainstream media organizations being more concerned about Ed Buck suing them than telling the truth about what was happening.

Four years of silence from white LGBTQ groups–who only upon being pushed–would even acknowledge Ed Buck and it always seemed to be reluctantly.

Four years of everyone wanting to give the white man the benefit of the doubt because his victims were Black survival sex workers and escorts.

Four years of trying to get the recipients of the white gay Democratic donor’s money to care enough to give it back in the same way they did when the victims were white #MeToo females.

Four years of people trying to avoid me so that I wouldn’t call them out on the amount of money they’d taken from Ed Buck and who still had nothing to say about his crimes.

Four years of the Democratic establishment in Los Angeles burying their head in the sand.

Four years of fighting off the culture vultures and clickbait media using the deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean to further their own agendas.

Four years of getting men, most of whom were Black, to believe their lives were worth defending.

Four years of getting men to step forward and share their truth.

Four years of being there for them when they did.

Four years of knowing I wasn’t crazy and that Ed Buck is the Jeffrey Dahmer of my generation.

And now here we are.  In a move that could only be the work of the Ancestors, on the fourth anniversary of the death of Gemmel Moore, a jury is finally about to decide the fate of Ed Buck. 

A jury who saw firsthand over seven days just who Ed Buck really is.  

But even though Ed Buck’s crimes have been made public throughout his trial, not much has changed.  The silence in Los Angeles’ is deafening.  If I wasn’t sitting in the courtroom myself, I probably wouldn’t know the trial was happening.  

There’s been no mention of the trial or justice for Ed Buck’s victims from the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, California Democratic Party, Stonewall Democratic Club, or any of the dozens of elected officials he gave his money to

L to r: Ed Buck, Ari Ruiz, and Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz who called Buck’s victims, “disadvantaged Black hustlers.

LA City Attorney Mike Feuer, one of the top recipients of Ed Buck’s money and a candidate for mayor received over $17,000.  An expected rival, Councilmember Kevin de Leon, took even more. Both men have completely ignored the situation since 2017.

Paul Koretz, a candidate for Controller in 2022, who is backed by the Black Democratic establishment and has taken thousands from Ed Buck, told a group that Buck’s victims were all “disadvantaged Black hustlers.”

So while this fight is as much about getting justice for Ed Buck’s victims it’s also about calling out all of the people and entities along the way who failed them and enabled Ed Buck. Not doing so ensures a repeat of this situation because Ed Buck isn’t the only Ed Buck.

Entities like the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department who many of Ed Buck’s victims said didn’t take their complaints about Ed Buck seriously.

Former district attorney Jackie Lacey was sitting on a mountain of evidence and still did nothing to prosecute Ed Buck for the deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean.

I have to remind the powers that be that LA’s homeless crisis puts men like Ed Buck’s victims in a position where they feel they have no other choice but to play Russian roulette with their life and subject their bodies to torture just to have a roof over their head–even if just for one night.

Lastly, Black parents, stop kicking out your sons and daughters for being gay or trans.  Men like Ed Buck are waiting to take advantage of them in the worst way. I can’t tell you how many men I interviewed told me that’s why they ended up where they did.

Ed Buck only got away with it for so long because he was white and because we still don’t believe Black victims–even when they tell us what happened to them.

Gemmel Moore told us in his diary, “Ed Buck is the one to thank, he gave me my first injection of chrystal [sic] meth. It was very painful.”

It’s been a long four years on this road for justice–justice that a guilty verdict would be but one small part off.  Real justice is making sure that this never ever happens again.  We can’t do that with the enabling parties still acting like Ed Buck didn’t happen.

America, it’s time to talk finally about Ed Buck.

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Jasmyne Cannick is an award-winning journalist, political strategist, and popular television and radio commentator on race, politics, and social issues.

She’s been covering and chasing Ed Buck since August 2017.

You can read her previous coverage of Ed Buck, including the trial here.

Cannick founded Justice for Gemmel and All of Ed Buck’s Victims to extend her advocacy for the survivors and victims of Ed Buck beyond her journalism, leveraging both her political acumen and savviness with her community relationships.

Follow her on Twitter @Jasmyne for realtime trial updates.