The Agenda

Charlottesville: “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle”

Victory Fund President & CEO Aisha C. Moodie-Mills released the following statement in response to violence caused by white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday:

“To condemn the tragic acts of violence and hatred by white nationalists in Charlottesville is important, but not enough. Racism is a cancer in our society that grows and metastasizes when there is a lapse in moral leadership and hostile extremists feel empowered. Both conditions, sadly, are omnipresent in our country right now, given a president who ran on racist attitudes toward people of color, immigrants and Muslims, and who now fails to appropriately condemn acts of terror like we saw in Charlottesville.

Charlottesville is not an anomaly. Racism, xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia are inextricably linked – as exemplified by the white nationalists yelling homophobic slurs at counter-protesters along with its racist chants. Audre Lorde reminds us that ‘there is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.’ LGBTQ people are Black, we are Muslim, we are Jewish, we are Latino, we are America. And today we must remember that we aren’t free until we all are free.

Yesterday, as the devastation in Charlottesville became clear, openly LGBTQ Mayor Jim Gray announced he will move two Confederate statues in his hometown of Lexington, Kentucky. He noted the statues stood on the former grounds of one of the largest markets of enslaved people in the entire South, and that Confederate military members who fought to preserve slavery had no business being honored there. That is leadership. LGBTQ elected officials across this country are leading the resistance against hatred and intimidation – hopeful and inspiring examples of the moral leadership our country desperately needs right now.

Today we breathe, process and mourn. But then we must take action – by fighting injustice wherever it rears its ugly head and by electing leaders who envision an America where all people are respected as equals.

We can and must do better.”

Photo courtesy of Michael Sessum