June 18, 2015
Yesterday’s shootings at the historically black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing 9, has horrified people across the country, including here at GLAD. It shocks us both as LGBT people and people of color, who know what it is like to feel targeted and unsafe because of who we are. As just one example, already this year, 11 trans women of color have been murdered.
But primarily, it shocks us as human beings and Americans, who demand more from ourselves and each other, in how we treat and value each other.
Whether or not the shootings are confirmed as a hate crime, this latest attack cannot help but conjure a long and painful history of targeted violence against the African-American community, from Birmingham, Alabama to Springfield, Massachusetts. And each time such a tragedy happens, it is incumbent on us to raise our collective voices to drown out the voices of hate, and demand justice for all communities who are impacted by violence.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, with the hope that the lives lost will help us as a nation reflect and act upon our shared responsibility to work toward peace and justice.