White LGBTQ people: Take a stand against white supremacy

Dear friends,

It has become clear that there is a vacuum of leadership in the White House when it comes to speaking out about the crisis of violence in this country.

It took three days for President Trump to condemn the violence and terrorism of the white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, where three lives were lost, including Heather Heyer, who was killed standing up for justice and peace.

Last week, AVP spoke out about the disturbing fact that there have already been 34 hate-violence-related homicides of LGBTQ people in 2017. In 2016, there were 28—that number excludes the 49 people killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Again, there was no condemnation or acknowledgement of this crisis from the Trump administration.

This is not a time to be silent. This is a time for all of us—and especially white allies—to fill the vacuum of leadership at the top with calls and actions to end hate and bigotry. This is our time to challenge the white supremacy that has been emboldened, amplified, and empowered by the Trump administration.

To be clear, the “Unite the Right” and related rallies and marches were always planned as violent displays of intimidation by white nationalist groups, angry that the monuments to their icons of bigotry are being rejected across the country.

The white nationalists brought torches and shields and weapons. They chanted anti-Black, anti-Semitic, and anti-gay chants. They were there to inflict violence and abuse, to invoke the historical violence of slavery and lynch mobs, and to cause physical and emotional pain to others.

Today I am asking white LGBTQ people to take a stand against white supremacy and to call it out wherever we see it. Yes, white supremacy looks like a band of Nazis with torches, but it is also looks like the Muslim ban and building a wall. It looks like efforts to reverse affirmative action, gerrymandering, and restricting voting rights of people of color. And white supremacy breeds the homophobia and transphobia that undergirds the current crisis of violence our LGBTQ communities are facing right now. Right now, your voices as allies are critical to let this administration know that a majority of people in this country will not stand by silently while terrorists take over our streets.

I am asking our supporters and communities to call their members of Congress and tell them to denounce and condemn the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville. And I am asking every one of us to find ways to interrupt and disrupt white supremacy and other modes of bigotry and hatred when we encounter them, in any form. We can make our communities safer, but it will take all of us coming together.

Until we are all safe and free,

Beverly Tillery