Thursday, June 30, 2011
What's the Gay Community's Response To Racism? Silence? Well, Here's A Moment Where We Can Raise Our Voices Against Anti-Black Bullying & Violence!
This is really horrible. A sophomore on the wrestling team, an African American student at Santa Monica High School in Los Angeles County, California, was heading to practice and was confronted by the sight of a brown practice dummy with a noose around its head. Then he was grabbed by two teammates, and chained to a locker. Racial slurs were used (the TV report says they called him "slave.")
My friend Dermot (who is black and gay) who gave me the heads-up about this, and pointed out that if the student had been gay, the gay community would be, right now, in an uproar.
The student targeted by this hate crime was black, and our GLBTQ community hasn't stood up to shout about how horrible this was. Is. How unacceptable. How important it is for us to change not just anti-gay bullying and prejudice, but ALL bullying and prejudice. We have to end Homophobia, Yes. But we also have to end Racism. And end Misogyny. Gay people. People of Color. Women. Our Allies. We all need to stand up and shout that we won't allow these events to occur to ANYONE.
Also insidious is the element of the cover-up by the school and team, stories of students told to delete photos of the incident, the targeted student's own silence, all to try to silence that this happened and to avoid it 'reflecting poorly' on the team or the school.
This incident happened back in May and it only hit the news yesterday.
I want to tell my friend that the Queer community DOES stand up when racism happens. That our voices ARE raised up in protest.
But looking back to the past, I'm not sure I can point to any anti-black incident and say "Here. We, the Gay community, stood up here on behalf of black equality."
And when I realized that, I was even more horrified. I want to help change this.
This is NOW.
And I think we, and our allies, need to raise our voices!
What's the best way to do that? A petition? A call for diversity training for that team? The whole school? How can we best raise our voices? Let me know your thoughts in comments.