“The LGBT community cannot be silent at this moment.” That is sentiment of 17 LGBT organizations who issued an open letter in support of Michael Brown’s family, decrying the police violence faced by people of color across the country. The letter describes why it is important for LGBT people and organizations to speak out on issues of injustice and to stand by protestors and the family of the unarmed African American teen, who witnesses say had his hands up in the air when he was shot multiple times and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has called on its followers to continue to stand against violence and victimization by those in authority and has identified ways in which they can do so. Among those actions is to sign the petition by Color of Change calling on federal and city officials to rigorously investigate, prosecute, and fire all officers involved in Brown’s shooting and cover up. The signatures will be added to a letter sent to the US Department of Justice and local Ferguson law enforcement officials. GLAAD further urged its followers to speak out in solidarity against racial profiling and brutality.
GLAAD previously had encouraged members to join in the National Moment of Silence Vigils held last week in cities across the country to honor victims of police brutality, including Brown and to tweet with the hashtag #NMOS14 (started by @FeministaJones).
The following is taken from the open letter signed by GLAAD and other LGBT advocates:
When communities experience fear, harassment and brutality simply because of who they are or how they look, we are failing as a nation. In light of the recent events in Missouri, it is clearer than ever that there is something profoundly wrong in our country.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community cannot be silent at this moment, because LGBT people come from all races, creeds, faiths and backgrounds, and because all movements of equality are deeply connected. We are all part of the fabric of this nation and the promise of liberty and justice for all is yet to be fulfilled.
The LGBT community stands with the family of Michael Brown, who was gunned down in Ferguson, Missouri. We stand with the mothers and fathers of young Black men and women who fear for the safety of their children each time they leave their homes. We call on the national and local media to be responsible and steadfast in their coverage of this story and others like it–racialized killings that have marred this nation since the beginning of its history. We call on policy makers on all levels of American government not to shrink from action, and we are deeply grateful to Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice for their immediate commitment to a thorough investigation.
At this moment, we are inspired by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies … but the silence of our friends.”
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Center for Black Equity, Inc
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
Gay Men’s Health Crisis
Human Rights Campaign
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Minority AIDS Council
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) National
Pride at Work, AFL-CIO
Southerners on New Ground