New York, NY, November 20, 2022 – The Community Safety and Solidarity Coalition (CSSC) condemns the horrific attack at Club Q in Colorado Springs. Last night, it was members of the LGBTQ+ community whom we believe were targeted for violence because of their identities. This tragic event also came hours after the club had announced a drag performance for today (11/20) in honor of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. While we are still awaiting confirmation of motive, the attack has the hallmarks of hate-fueled violence.
We, leaders of organizations representing racial, ethnic, religious, LGBTQ+, and other groups who also have been targeted by hate-fueled violence express our deep sympathy with the LGBTQ+ community and urge collective action to support them. Communities at risk of hate-fueled violence understand that an attack on one of our communities is an attack on all. The murderous attack in Colorado Springs last night, resulting in at least 5 dead, 25 injured, and countless families and communities changed forever, is the latest in a long line of attacks targeting marginalized communities, including: Buffalo, Oak Creek, Charleston, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Poway, El Paso – and more.
For years, leaders in the LGBTQ+ community have been sounding the alarm, warning that hateful rhetoric and threats continue to lead to violence against LGBTQ+ people. Specifically, the rise in popularity of certain dangerous narratives have led to violence against the transgender and drag communities. Unfortunately, these leaders’ warnings were not heeded, and once again, a community is mourning.
Just two months ago, the White House hosted the United We Stand Summit that brought communities together to recommit to fight hate, extremism, and violence. During that Summit, the signatories to this statement announced a new coalition, focused on safety and solidarity of communities that have been targeted by hate and extremist violence.
We call on the White House to host a senior-level convening with leaders of the LGBTQ+ community, including relevant Members of the CSSC, especially those representing LGBTQ+ communities, to hear directly from those impacted by last night’s violence and broader violent trends. We ask the Administration to accelerate the promised outcomes from the United We Stand Summit and to fully implement the National Strategy to Counter Domestic Terrorism in a civil rights-protecting manner. We call on Congress to provide adequate resourcing toward these objectives, including adequate funding for community security grants and other key mechanisms for protecting communities.
We refuse to become numb to the spread of hatred and conspiracy theories online, to the rise of hate crimes and bias incidents. We refuse to believe there is no way for our communities to feel safe from hate.
The undersigned organizations – representing communities that have been targeted again and again – all understand that we are not safe until we all are safe and that we cannot fight hatred, violence, and white supremacy alone.
# # #
Signatories, on behalf of the CSSC:
- Anti-Defamation League
- National Urban League
- Values Partnerships
- Matthew Shepard Foundation
- National Action Network