LGBT Signup News
By Betsy Ettorre & Sarah Fancy
Welcome to the second issue of the Democrats Abroad LGBTQ+ Newsletter. Before we get going with the content of this month’s edition, we need to be clear about the focus: DA members as well as members of the DA LGBTQ+ Caucus share in the public outrage over the killing of George Floyd and countless other African Americans at the hands of police. We condemn the institutional racism embedded in American society and the, at times, corrupt, biased criminal justice system in our society. We know that the history of police and policing in the United States can be traced back to slave patrols (Vitale, 2017). After the Civil War and during Reconstruction up to the middle of the 20th century, the creation of state-sanctioned racial segregation used policing as a means of guaranteeing the safety of (white) property while enforcing a racist society founded on anti-blackness (Du Bois, 1935). Racism and racialization (i.e., the concerted effort to propagate racist ideas and actions in society) continue to show how we treat and value African American life in the United States.
Our history of policing and anti-blackness is deeply intertwined with ongoing racial capitalism, increasing militarization, and white nationalism, which have formed the conditions that we are experiencing and fighting against today (Graduate Students Workers of Brown University, 2020). Over the centuries, police brutality has played a key role in oppressing African Americans and people of color. But at this moment in history, the current civil unrest can also be deeply connected to the racial disparities exposed by the coronavirus crisis.