In our hometown of Oakland and in many cities around the world, Black and Brown people and their allies are responding with righteous outrage to the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and countless other Black and Brown lives that have been violently taken by police and other State actors in the United States of America (U.S.). MPact stands in solidarity with protesters demanding justice, including the prompt arrest and fair trial of law enforcement personnel. We also call for wide-ranging, progressive reform to policing as well as to the racist and broken criminal justice and immigration systems writ large.
MPact ardently condemns racism, which permeates through economic systems around the world. This is particularly insidious in U.S. economic systems that deliberately disenfranchise Black and Brown people by creating numerous disparities, including the disparities we are witnessing in the COVID-19 pandemic. As with COVID-19, the social shape of the HIV epidemic lays bare the same ugly truths.
The U.S. is a dangerous place for Black and Brown people. This fact has been true since its colonial beginnings when white supremacy justified slavery and the systematic genocide of indigenous peoples. With no reparation and no substantive change, we are left with civil unrest and unabated disenfranchisement. The threat of State-sanctioned violence will remain until white supremacists are ousted from public offices at local, state and national levels and until we abandon racist economic systems that value corporate profit over people, especially people of color.
As we head into this Pride month, MPact implores LGBTI people worldwide to join the fight for racial and economic justice and against oppression in all its forms. For over fifty years, Pride has commemorated the Stonewall riots in New York, which were led by Black and Brown trans women protesting police brutality. They demanded fundamental rights and the ability to live free from fear and violence. Now, a half a century later and in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must continue that fight with indignation, and in the spirit of solidarity.
George Ayala & The MPact Team