Dozens of the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organizations have joined an open letter of solidarity in response to the tragic death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who was shot and killed Saturday by a police officer in suburban St. Louis.
USA Today reports:
The predominantly black city of 21,000 on the outskirts of St. Louis has been under siege since August 9, when white police officer Darren Wilson, 28, fatally shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. Protesters have been met with a heavy police presence, resulting in fierce nightly clashes.
On Sunday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a federal autopsy on Brown’s body. Hours later, reports began surfacing that the private autopsy performed at the request of Brown’s family determined he was shot at least six times, including twice in the head and four times in the right arm.
Since Tuesday when the letter was released with 17 signers, an additional 41 signers have joined.
The letter in its entirety, including a list of the groups that have signed on to date, can be found below and online here.
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.”
As of Friday, August 15, the signatories included:
Advocates for Youth
AMBi – The Alliance of Multicultural Bisexuals
Bay Area Bisexual Network
Bisexual Organizing Project
Bisexual Resource Center
Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100)
Center for Black Equity, Inc.
Equality North Carolina
Equality New Mexico
Family Equality Council
Fairness Campaign (KY)
Garden State Equality
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN)
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality
Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI)
Human Rights Campaign
Indiana Equality Action
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Minority AIDS Council
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
Pride at Work, AFL-CIO
Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
Southerners on New Ground (SONG)
Tennessee Equality Project
The Equality Network (OK)
Trans People of Color Coalition
Transgender Law Center
True Colors Fund