For those in the LGBTQ+ community, June represents the month in which we celebrate our Pride. This year, COVID-19 has caused many of Pride celebrations to be held virtually or delayed until later this year. However, several recent events have brought us a significant reminder that, as a community, we must speak out when hate, violence, and systematic discrimination claims the lives of those who are not in the majority.
As the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and other members of the National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC) and their affiliate organizations stated today:
The words “I can’t breathe” have once again shocked our national conscience. Sorrow, anger and open wounds have again been thrust to the forefront. The systematic racism happening in our country is corrosive on our resolve as a nation. Far too many Americans, young and old alike, live in constant fear. Fear for not just livelihood, but life. What happened to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Philando Castille and the countless before is not acceptable nor does it illustrate who we are as a people. This senseless violence should rattle us all to our core as it also should for Asian Americans being scapegoated, harassed and becoming victims of violence in the era of COVID-19. We must come together as communities of color and allies, neighbors and friends, business leaders and decision makers to stop this crisis once and for all.
Too many lives are being lost. Too many families are being devastated. The negative impact on our cities and towns is not and should not be sustainable. Our local, state and national economies have been stretched to the max already. The time for action is now. We have to shed light on institutional racism, and we must work to find solid equality for all. Our country deserves better, our people deserve justice, families of color deserve respect, journalism merits the exercise of reporting and free speech, and businesses deserve to thrive in a safe economy.
Our country was founded on the principle that all persons are created equal. As a community, it’s time for us to use our voice to work with our allies and the business community in general to declare that discrimination and bigotry against any fellow human being is wrong and will not be tolerated. Only then can we be proud to be who we are.