Watching a man getting killed by a police officer in broad daylight in Minneapolis for an agonizing 10 minutes this past week broke my heart and my spirit. George Floyd was just the latest of so many people of color murdered by the police in our country. I have no doubt many of you feel as angry as I do tonight.
One of the greatest strengths of the LGBTQ+ community is its diversity. There is great power in the many intersections that range from race, religion, gender, and beyond that allow our community to not only advocate for itself but to be strong, genuine, and effective allies to others.
The cries for fairness and justice from black Americans do not exclude LGBTQ+ people. Much of the movement and activism we are all witnessing has been led and organized by black LGBTQ+ people, with women of color often leading the charge.
The fight for racial justice and equality is everyone’s fight and we should all take this opportunity to show solidarity and take action wherever possible.
Today we joined with our partner organizations, HRC, GLAAD, Out And Equal, and over 100 other LGBTQ organizations in a joint statement condemning racial violence. For me, one of the most important sentiments in the statement was “what good are civil rights without the freedom to enjoy them?”
Because despite the many important battles we’ve fought and won as a community in advancing LGBTQ equality over the past 20 years, the last few days have shown how far away we are from equality for people of color in America, including LGBTQ people of color.
We have to do more.
On the eve of Pride month, which has its roots in our community coming together five decades ago to protest and to resist rampant police violence and brutality at Stonewall in New York, and in California, we have to do more to show we support black Americans.
#BlackLivesMatter and we at Out Leadership fully commit ourselves to taking the action those words require.
How can we do more?
To start with, I’m going to do what one of my heroes, Rosanna Durruthy asked us to do in her social post.
I acknowledge my privilege and I acknowledge your struggle.
I have privilege as a White person because I can do all of these things without thinking twice about it…
I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery).
I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson).
I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride).
I can have a cellphone (#StephonClark).
I can leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).
I can play loud music (#JordanDavis).
I can sell CD’s (#AltonSterling).
I can sleep (#AiyanaJones)
I can walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).
I can play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).
I can go to church (#Charleston9).
I can walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).
I can hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell).
I can party on New Years (#OscarGrant).
I can get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).
I can lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).
I can break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).
I can shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford) .
I can have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher).
I can read a book in my own car (#KeithScott).
I can be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover).
I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).
I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).
I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).
I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo).
I can run (#WalterScott).
I can breathe (#EricGarner).
I can live (#FreddieGray).
I can ask someone to put a leash on their dog when it is required in the public park we are in (#ChristianCooper).
I CAN BE ARRESTED WITHOUT THE FEAR OF BEING MURDERED. #GeorgeFloyd
White privilege is real. Take a minute to consider a Black person’s experience today.
*I copied and pasted this…please do the same.
We’ve completely revamped our kick-off event for Proudly Resilient. Over the past 24 hours, we’ve assembled a speaker panel featuring elected officials from minority communities around the nation.
- Leslie Herod, Colorado House of Representatives and the first gay African-American to be elected to Colorado’s state legislature.
- Ricardo Lara, Insurance Commissioner of California, the first openly gay person elected to statewide office in California’s history.
- Brian Sims, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, the first openly gay elected state legislator in Pennsylvania history.
We hope you’ll join us. You can register here.
We all need to do more, we are committed to doing more. And we welcome ideas and opportunities to add to our programming during Proudly Resilient and beyond.