Pride Center Statement on George Floyd
The Pride Center of NJ was established as a safe and welcoming environment for individuals to find peace and acceptance. It is in that spirit that we strongly condemn the systemic violence and anti-Black racism that led to the murder of George Floyd. We are outraged by the senselessness of this act and we implore our community join us in speaking out against injustice. If silence equals death, then we must all speak out.
It is not enough for us to be proud lesbian, gay, bi, trans, non-binary, or queer individuals. We must recognize that everyone who identifies as LGBTQ is also a rainbow of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian and Caucasian. To be welcoming and inclusive means to open our arms fully to the entire community and ensure that everyone is free from oppression. We must do more than strive to be an inclusive community. We must do more than quietly admonish racism. We must call out racism whenever we see it. Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” The voices calling for hate are loud. We must be louder.
We mourn the loss of George Floyd’s life, and we wish to remember that he was more than a man who was brutally murdered on a city street. He had a loving family, he had been a gifted athlete, was a talented rapper, and a hard worker. Just as we are more than our gender identity and sexual orientation, he was more than the color of his skin.
Image credit: painting by Shirien Damra