A Statement in Support of CUAllies
Trigger Warnings: Murder of Black People, Mentions of Su*cide and Su*cidal Ideation
I submitted a (shorter) version of the following statement to the Catholic University Student Government Senate on February 22, 2021. Another student graciously read it for me during the public comment portion of the meeting which I missed part of due to rehearsal (what's new?). At the meeting that evening, over 170 people were in attendance with public comments lasting for over an hour. It's because (yet again), the CUA community LGBTQ+ organization, CUAllies, is submitting a proposal to become an official student organization. Currently, CUAllies is not able to use resources through the Office of Campus Activities, have tables at events like the Fall Festival, or reserve spaces on campus. They are also 100% self-funded and receive donations from community members and alumni in order to operate.
At the SGA Senate meeting on February 22, 2021 at 10:42pm, the resolution to support CUAllies becoming an official student organization passed with 20 yays, 4 nays, and 2 abstentions. Buckle up, dear Cardinals. This is not the end. It isn't even the beginning. We are part of a larger ongoing revolution against white supremacy. I will leave you with a quote by Assatta Shakur* before you read the extended version of my statement from last night:
"It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love each other and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains."
*It is important to note that this quote from Assata: An Autobiography is in regards to the freedom of Black people. I happen to believe that it can and should be translated to the freedom of all marginalized peoples as we are all marginalized by the white cis heterosexual able-bodied neurotypical patriarchy (aka white supremacy).
Black lives matter. This statement was trending in May and June, remember? Black lives have always and will always matter. So why does it take murder for us to say that so passionately?
You may be wondering why I started a statement about CUAllies with Black lives matter. The reason is simple. There is no liberation for the LGBTQ+ community without liberation for the Black community and vice versa. Fannie Lou Hamer, a Black disabled badass activist once said, "Nobody's free until everybody's free." If youâve been to the Brookland Busboy's and Poets, you may have seen this quote painted on the wall above the bar. I believe it firmly, and I live my life by it.
Dear Fellow White People
Dear fellow white (and non-Black) people,
What took us so long? What took us so long to be outraged by the systemic racial injustice against Black people? Against Black trans folks especially? What took us so fucking long? I say "us," because I've been a part of the problem too. I cannot write this without acknowledging my own faults. Sure, I've been saying that Black lives matter, but I haven't been living it. I haven't been outraged by every racist joke or slur or video that surfaces of police brutality. I became so used to it that it was white noise in the background of my life. And I've been racist too. I've made racist comments, and I've let others' racist comments slide. That's not ok.
I took a creative writing class in high school, and now I think I'm a good writer or something.