By Daniel Reynolds
Originally published on Advocate.com August 13 2014 4:35 PM ET
A coalition of LGBT rights organizations released a statement Tuesday expressing their support of Michael Brown and his family.
ACLU, Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, National Center for Transgender Equality, Trevor Project, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights are among 22 organizations that have signed a letter stating that the LGBT community stands behind the family of the slain black teenager, who was shot several times Saturday by a police officer in Ferguson, MO.
“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,” the letter reads. “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 killing of the 18-year-old youth has sparked a series of protests in the St. Louis suburbs against alleged discrimination by local law enforcement, which refuses to release the name of the officer who committed the act. A civil rights investigation by the FBI is ongoing.
The letter urges media outlets to conduct responsible coverage and tasks policy makers to examine the incident and enact needed change. It concludes with a quotation from civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies... but the silence of our friends."
Read the full letter and its signatories on the next page.
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.”
Center for Black Equity, Inc.
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
Human Rights Campaign
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Minority AIDS Council
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
Pride at Work, AFL-CIO
Southerners on New Ground (SONG)
Trans People of Color Coalition
Transgender Law Center