The board and leadership of Philadelphia Family Pride writes today to say, emphatically, that Black Lives Matter. We (re)affirm that the on-going, systematic, state-sanctioned violence against Black people by this country is a crime that cannot continue and that an end to white supremacy is long, long overdue.
As an organization dedicated to LGBTQ families, we feel called to remind our community that the history of LGBTQ rights is filled with “violent” protests, property destruction, riots, and many other responses to the unjust oppression of a people. This is not the time to worry about methods. It has been 520 years since the first African people were kidnapped and enslaved in the Americas. 520 years of state-sanctioned genocide in one form or another, from enslavement to the prison industrial complex. The Boston Tea party was a property destroying protest; the Boston Massacre started with rocks thrown at soldiers. We celebrate those riots as acts of patriotism and bravery – and they were just fighting about taxes and voting rights. How can any reaction to 520 years of violence be seen as anything but justified?
To those in our community who may say that racism is not the work of an LGBTQ organization, we remind you that we are a vibrant multi-racial community. And that, sadly, our community is not immune to racism and white supremacy. Much of the work for LGBTQ liberation has been (and continues to be) led by people of color, only for those people and their critical work to be erased. If we as an LGBTQ community do not stand against racism, we abandon ourselves, our families, our history, our community.
To those of us who are not Black – we will be re-posting reading lists and other resources for educating ourselves and our children and taking appropriate action on our Facebook page. The first and most tangible way to support this fight is to provide resources to those on the front lines. Consider supporting the following grassroots organizations:
Philly Community Bail Fund https://www.phillybailout.com/
Black Lives Matter, Philly Chapter: http://www.blmphilly.com/donate/
Black & Brown Workers Cooperative: http://blackandbrownworkerscoop.org/
Black Visions Collective: https://secure.everyaction.com/4omQDAR0oUiUagTu0EG-Ig2
Reclaim The Block: https://secure.everyaction.com/zae4prEeKESHBy0MKXTIcQ2
Minnesota Freedom Fund: https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate