To Be Young, Gifted, and Black…and Gay
January 30, 2019
“If they come for me in the morning they will come for you in the night” Angela Davis
NCCASA Response to Jussie Smollet’s Attack
Everyone should be born free and equal in dignity and rights but that is easier said than done. Yesterday’s events were a reminder of that ever present reality. Yesterday the news broke, that actor and activist Jussie Smollet, a black man who is gay, was attacked and hospitalized after being targeted in a hate crime. The details surrounding this assault was vicious. CNN reports, Smollett was attacked in the early morning hours on Tuesday by two people who were “yelling out racial and homophobic slurs.” They “poured an unknown chemical substance” on Smollett. According to police, one of Smollett’s attackers also put a rope around his neck before they both fled the scene.
It is 2019 and black men still have to fear that one day a noose might be tied around your neck. This is horrifying! It is 2019 and being gay can not exist without the the panic of wondering if this is the day that I’m attacked. This is heartbreaking and cannot be tolerated, at all, on any level. We are hurting, people we know and love are scared and entire communities are being triggered and revictimized. This level of violence and all that it represents is a repulsive infestation of poisonous hate. Racism, homophobia and bigotry may roam unchecked by this administration, but not by us.
NCCASA as a statewide coalition, uses a social justice framework, therefore, our work is done from a strong inter-sectional and social justice perspective. By centering our work around the marginalized communities everyone is served. Gay, lesbian bisexual, transgender, and intersex people (LGBTI) face high levels of violence and inequalities every day in public and in private, mainly because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Weekly we read headlines that announce yet another Anti-LGBTQ policy is being considered. These policies seek to “other” and dehumanize our friends in ways that we can not stand idly by to watch. We understand that to end sexual violence we must work to interrupt all cycles of violence.