Today is June 1 and marks the opening of LGBTQ+ Pride month. Normally, we’d kick off Pride with lots of exclamation points, excitement, and glitter. Our hearts are heavy here at Equality USDA and we will not act as if Pride in 2020 is normal. We are plagued not just by a viral pandemic; we are also plagued by an epidemic of systemic and institutional racism that is killing our black and brown siblings.
Last year in 2019, we celebrated 50 years of Pride and the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall riots. Much was made over the bravery of those folx at the Stonewall Inn in 1969 who fought back against yet another police raid. Lest we forget – Stonewall was 5 days of rioting, looting, and protests against the police. These riots were led by black and brown trans, queer, and gender nonconforming folx and they were the catalyst for the rights we enjoy today [George M. Johnson]. And last year, as World Pride kicked off in New York City, the Commissioner of the New York Police Department acknowledged that the actions taken by the NYPD in responding to the Stonewall riots were wrong and issued an official apology.
This Pride month, Equality USDA asks its members and friends to reflect on how we can work individually and collectively to dismantle systemic and institutional racism. Specifically, and particularly, we ask our white members and friends to reflect and join us in doing the work. An Anti-racist resource guide is available here . If you feel helpless – turn it into curiosity and get started learning. Do the work. If you have questions or need help unpacking these resources, reach out to us at info@equalityUSDA.org.