By: Funders for LGBTQ Issues Staff on January 7, 2021
Yesterday we witnessed a treasonous insurrection, fueled by long-term, systemic racism, patriarchy, and colonization and encouraged from the highest seat of power. We stand with those calling for a robust response to the events at the Capitol and the swift removal of Donald J. Trump from the presidency. We are compelled to release this statement to memorialize this day, express our anger, and call on our members and philanthropy to refuse the impulse to return to business as usual today.
We are shocked but not surprised. We’ve heard the escalation in rhetoric over the past four years of the Trump Administration, rhetoric with roots in the ugliest parts of our national history. Black, indigenous, people of color, immigrants, women, LGBTQ people, and those of us at the intersections have been the targets of these white nationalists and insurrectionists, and for too long the threat against us has not been taken seriously.
We are angered by the hypocrisy of law enforcement and the obvious disproportionate criminalization of BIPOC, queer, and trans people. The stark difference in law enforcement response to largely peaceful protests for racial justice compared to the complacency and collusion of law enforcement we witnessed yesterday is appalling. Far-right extremists breached the halls of the Capitol, threatened the lives of many, and halted a core democratic process with near impunity.
It is no coincidence that the attempted insurrection happened on the same day Georgians officially elected their first-ever Black and Jewish senators – wins made possible by years of dedicated organizing and anti-voter suppression work led by Black women. History has taught us that rising power and progress is met with resistance and backlash, which is what we witnessed yesterday, and must be prepared for moving forward.
LGBTQ movement leaders and organizations, facing escalating security risks, have known very well that threats of violence are not empty and cannot be ignored. Yesterday’s events were particularly traumatizing to BIPOC and LGBTQ people and movements. Funders for LGBTQ Issues expresses deep love and care for our community. We want to remind you that part of our collective work is to care for ourselves and for one another. We refuse to normalize yesterday’s events with expectations to continue with business as usual at the expense of our collective care and growth.
Our advice for what philanthropy should do now is simple. Philanthropy has a responsibility to proactively work to uphold democratic institutions, and leaders in our sector across the nation must use their voice to call for the peaceful transfer of power. Additionally, philanthropy must make a sustained commitment to courageously resource movements and organizations working on the front lines to build power for and defend the lives and wellbeing of those communities most threatened by Trump and his disgraceful defenders. Philanthropy can respond by committing to adequately resourcing for the physical safety and emotional health of LGBTQ, BIPOC, leaders, and activists.
Funders for LGBTQ Issues will work with our members to call upon the new administration to undo the harmful legacy of the last four years. We pledge to do everything in our power to ensure those who are most impacted by violence, discrimination, and the shortcomings of this nation’s ideals are empowered to be fully recognized, resourced, and liberated.
Image note: Photo by Cameron Smith on Unsplash
We are monitoring and amplifying the statements from our members, movement organizations, and other philanthropic leaders on Twitter using the hashtag #LGBTQFundersRespond. Use this hashtag to follow along or amplify your own response here.