CSI Statement on Orlando Shootings
All of us at Center for Social Inclusion (CSI) are heartbroken by the tragic events that occurred on in the early hours of Sunday at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. We are saddened at the attack that left 50 people dead and many more wounded.
We join the nation in honoring the lives of the victims killed. We send our condolences to the victims, their families, and friends. We also send our support to our friends in the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community—some of whom are our staff members, board members, and partners—for whom this tragedy cuts deeply.
Let’s be clear: LGBTQ people, most of whom were Latino, were the victims of the violence in the Orlando attack this weekend. We must resist attempts to erase LGBTQ and Latino identity from this story. In fact, these are the voices that need to be centered during this time.
We recognize too that Middle Eastern, South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh communities, many of whom are also LGBTQ, are experiencing backlash because of the horrific actions of one person. We must resist and counter the scapegoating of these communities, whether through rhetoric, actions, or policy.
Our country faces an epidemic of violence. This violence is all too often fanned by vitriolic, violent language that targets specific groups. In the days to come, we call for the condemnation of all violence and hateful or hate-filled rhetoric. No matter where we stand, whether in community or in government, we must all denounce homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and we must work together to pass common-sense policy that makes us all safer.
Everyone deserves to feel safe, to be supported, and to have access to opportunities. We can only get there with decisive and unified action.