After Donald Trump's rambling, angry speech accepting the Republican Party's presidential nomination Thursday night, the queer co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement are sounding the alarm.
“The terrorist on our televisions tonight was Donald Trump,” said a statement from Patrisse Cullors, the Los Angeles-based queer woman who co-founded #BlackLivesMatter with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi in 2014. "He pledged to fight for Americans, while threatening the vast majority of this country with imprisonment, deportation and a culture of abject fear."
Indeed, last night's speech offered Americans a sinister preview of the "law and order" police state that a President Trump would implement — where Trump himself plays the role of judge and jury.
“His doublespeak belies his true nature: a charlatan who will embolden racists and destroy communities of color,” added Cullors. "He is a disgrace. White people of conscience must forcefully reject this hatred immediately.”
In what has been called the longest acceptance speech for a major party's nomination since at least since at least 1972, Trump gesticulated wildly, striking an authoritarian tone that leaned heavily on the growing fear many Americans feel in the wake of continued mass shootings, terrorist attacks, and deadly police shootings. While Trump made passing references to supporting the economically impoverished, people of color, and LGBT people, much of his 75-minute address echoed the xenophobic, dog-whistle racist and nationalistic rhetoric that has been a hallmark of the billionaire businessman's campaign.
“The terrifying vision that Donald J. Trump is putting forward casts him alongside some of the worst fascists in history,” said Garza, another queer black woman who co-founded Black Lives Matter, in Thursday’s statement. “While our movement envisions a bright future where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, Trump is proposing a new, dark age where police have carte blanche authority to terrorize our community.”
Black Lives Matter is an intersectional movement that addresses the inequities faced by black people. It’s a statement placing specific — but not exclusive — focus on that injustice and the black people it affects. The international movement consists hundreds of decentralized local chapters, each of which focuses on the unique issues facing particular communities, and generally takes a strong stand in support of the safety and security of black LGBT people.
Trump’s speech made multiple references to creating a “law and order” state, citing attacks against police and painting undocumented immigrants as criminals. These values stand in stark contrast to those espoused by Black Lives Matter, which Garza said has “unequivocally demanded a new path forward for safety in our communities, one that involves real accountability for police."
“Whether it was Richard Nixon unleashing a war on drugs or George Wallace’s more overt war on Black people, we’ve heard it all before and won’t be fooled again,” concluded Garza in her Thursday statement.