JUNE 12, 2016
View this email in your browser
Sunday, June 12

The news of the horrific mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando finds us in a state of stunned grief. The news that our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community were singled out and targeted for a hate crime of unimaginable proportions fills us with deep heartbreak. The news that the killings took place on Latin night reminds us anew of the many layers of hate experienced by communities of color and trans people in particular. 

We are hurting, we are struggling, and we are filled with an intense sadness. We are grieving, we are mourning, and we are soul searching.

Here is what we are not doing. We are not giving into the Islamophobia being perpetuated as part of this attack. We are not giving into the fear of the Other that will be on its ugliest and most base display in the following days. We are not giving into the false notion that this attack must be met with retribution and further violence. We are not taking part in any diluting or distortion of the reality this was a hate crime targeted against people based on their group identity. And we are not shying away from coming to grips with how this attack reflects where we are as a society right now.

We have and have not been here before.

The killings in Orlando remind us of the real life-and-death consequences of how we organize ourselves as a society, of how we govern, of what policies we enact, of who we deem worthy of protection and regard, of who and what we value. Our best aspiration should be that of a society that practices and values love and inclusion. But those cannot merely be words—those words have to be tied to action, and those actions must be rooted in a set of shared values, in dignity, and in recognition of every single person’s humanity and life. We must do more. When we say “enough,” we must say it with conviction and meaning. 

It is never wrong to love, and it is never right to hate. The euphoria expressed one year ago when the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage a national reality was built on something real—the recognition of love. This is the beloved community that King aspired to. This is not just about the America we are, but the America we must become. We must turn our aspirations into a reality because we must, because we care, because we can. 

For now we grieve the immense loss of life at the Pulse nightclub, a space founded as a gathering place of hearts beating together in love and community. 
Sign up for our mailing list
Copyright © 2016 Haas Institute for a Fair & Inclusive Society, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
University of California, Berkeley
460 Stephens Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-2330
Tel: 510-642-3325

Unsubscribe from this list