Black Lives Matter.
I am writing you today in anguish. My heart continues to break as the deep pain that is being felt in and for the Black community throughout the country. In response to violence and tragic loss of Black lives, protests have taken place in cities large and small across the U.S., including here in Sacramento. Clashes between protesters and the police are resulting in violence, injuries, property damage, arrests, and just steps from the Center in Lavender Heights.
People of all walks of life, races, and ages have risen up to declare unequivocally that Black Lives Matter. Many of you have participated in these demonstrations over the weekend and brought attention to the systemic use of violence by law enforcement against Black community members and other people of color. Others are having difficult conversations that raise the consciousness of elected leaders, friends, and family on these issues. The Center stands in solidarity with those who are protesting and understand fully when enough becomes enough.
Today, June 1st. is the start of Pride Month, commemorated each June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots in New York City. Fifty-one years ago, instead of running, a crowd led by Black and brown trans folks and drag queens fought back against the police harassment and persecution to which the LGBTQ community was commonly subjected. Six nights of rioting followed and sparked a civil rights movement to replace public shame and criminalization with collective pride.
Our community has faced brutal repression and injustice in the past, and we have survived, in part, by the kindness and care we have shown to one another. We should all be especially kind, understanding, and caring to each other in the coming days.
As the LGBTQ community stood up in 1969, it is incumbent on us to stand with the Black community now. When unarmed Black lives are taken in violence and people exercise their Constitutional right to protest, it is painful to see the disparity in treatment of protesters. When tear gas and rubber bullets are used against Black protesters across America, while white protesters storm government buildings with impunity, we see that all lives are not treated equally.
The Center calls on all of us in the LGBTQ community and our allies to act together and fight for an end to systemic oppression and inequity that has a devastating impact on the most marginalized in our community.
Our collective voice matters. Black Lives Matter.
Statement by CEO David Heitstuman on recent acts of violence against Black Americans
Center Stands United with 300+ LGBTQ Organizations to Combat Racial Violence