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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 26, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 26
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

CBE OFFICIAL STATEMENT CBE receives death threats following Charlston's massacre

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A statement from Center for Black Equity ('CBE') President Earl Fowlkes on death threat received by CBE moments after the Charleston Massacre. The investigation into this criminal act is being conducted as a joint effort with Washington Metropolitan Police Department ('MPD') and other local law enforcement resources. No injuries were reported.

'Moments after the cowardly act that took place in Charleston, S.C., our organization received a hate laced telephone message at our Washington headquarters. The call was the trifecta of hatred, racism and homophobia.

The three-minute phone message was a tirade filled with homophobic, anti-Semitic and downright racist references - including the suspect's urgency to institute the mass killing of Blacks, Jews and LGBTQ citizens.

We at the CBE are extremely thankful that no one was injured nor is currently in danger following the callous effort to distract from the hard work our center does to improve the lives of LGBTQ people of color, globally. We will continue to work with local police department to bring this individual to justice.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who lost their lives, the immediate Charleston community, and to the many communities across our great nation who have courageously challenged these acts of violence, discrimination and injustice, which have no place in our democracy.'

Follow The Center for Black Equity: http://twitter.com/CTR4BLACKEQUITY

ABOUT CENTER FOR BLACK EQUITY

Center for Black Equity, formally known as the International Federation of Black Prides, is an American institution with a global reach strongly committed to supporting leaders, institutions, issues and programs that lead to social, economic, and cultural equity for all LGBT people of African descent. CBE has more than 400,000 supporters in the United States and abroad. Since CBE's founding in 1999, members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day, related to health, educational, social, and economic improvement. For more information visit

http://www.centerforblackequity.org. Find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CBEINC or follow us on Twitter at and Instagram @CTR4BLACKEQUITY.



In grief over the horrific violence in Charleston

Dear GSBA members and friends:
We offer our deepest condolences to everyone whose lives have been forever changed in the wake of the horrific murders at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

We grieve deeply for Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., Rev. Sharonda Singleton and Myra Thompson. We keep them and their families in our hearts, as well as all those across the country who are also victimized by this, only the latest heartbreak in a long history of systematic violence against the black community.

As one of the largest LGBT organizations in the Northwest, many of us have experienced no shortage of hate and violence, and we know all too well how an attack against even one person because of who they are can reverberate throughout an entire community. We all must stand up against those who are so infected with hatred and spite that they lose sight of our common humanity.

Our hearts ache for the mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, colleagues and community leaders who were lost in Charleston this morning. Their lives mattered, and it is our responsibility to ensure that this tragedy is never repeated. For almost 35 years GSBA's mission has been to build equality for all. We remain committed to supporting all of our friends and neighbors, not solely the LGBT community. We encourage all our members to continually and consciously work to overcome the pervasive layers of discrimination that are faced every day by many in our society. Equality does not just arrive, it takes dedication and drive.

Louise Chernin
President & CEO




Stand up against racism

Editor:
I write to urge members of the gay community to respond to the terror facing the African American Community. Whatever gains we have made over the last decade will never be secure if we allow racism to continue to fester in America. As we know, homophobia and racism nourish each other; it is rather easy to be an equal-opportunity hater. Moreover, renewed and vigorous assaults on women's rights remind us of how easily seemingly inalienable rights can be revoked.

As a man who has been HIV positive for 33 years, I owe my life not just to medical advances in the treatment of the disease but also to the vast and relentless political energies harnessed by the gay community AND our friends - many of whom are under assault today. I also know the abjection that comes from feeling abandoned and even ridiculed by those who varnished their liberal credentials by including us on their roster of friends. Eli Wiesel wrote that the victims of the concentration camps suffered most from the indifference of the on-lookers. 'The cruelty of the enemy would have been incapable of breaking the prisoner; it was the silence of those he believed to be his friends - cruelty, more cowardly, more subtle - which broke his heart.'

Now, it is our time to stand up, arm in arm, and demonstrate without equivocation our solidarity with the African American community. Silence=Death.

Richard Block
Seattle

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