Left-wing civil war?
… Why did we feel the need to write this open letter to mainstream LGBT organizations with a reference to the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act? Why have we felt the need to point to the failure on the part of the American populace to rightly acknowledge the atrocities that ended the lives of both namesakes? Because it illuminates the dangers of focusing on one type of identity-based violence — the violence that impacts LGBT people — while willfully ignoring the police and vigilante violence that impacts Black queer- and trans-identified people, as well as all Black people: Mike Brown’s bloodied and lifeless body was left on a hot Missouri street for 4.5 hours; the world bore witness to video clips of Eric Garner uttering his final words, “I can’t breathe!”, as a police officer choked him to death; Marlene Pinnock was brutally pounded by a white, male police officer on a highway in the middle of the day; and Black trans women like Erycka Morgan and Islan Nettles, and many whose names we do not lift up, continue to be viciously attacked and killed.
We can no longer sit idly by as you, mainstream LGBT organizations, center your movements and advocacy work on some within our varied communities but not others. We are no longer OK with the mainstream LGBT organizations among you who signal your complicity in anti-Black violence through your loud silence and deliberate ignoring of the types of systemic, institutionalized forms of anti-Black racism that negatively impact Black queer and trans people (and all Black people), disallow Black well-being, and deaden us.