Our Thoughts and Prayers are With Victims of Violence
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Dear Sisters and Brothers, Recent generations have seen hate murder many innocents - from the towers in which our sisters and brothers worked, to the churches in which they prayed, the schools which they attended, the communities in which they lived, and the bar in which they bonded.
We mourn no less each time, as we watch forces attempt to chip away at the American Dream. But we cannot let the pain and fear divide the living; or make believers of the abhorrent rhetoric that inevitably follows.
Labor is committed to stand on the side of goodness, we will speak for those who have been marginalized and silenced. We believe in the strength of the marchers on Selma, the outrage of Stonewall, and the grace of forgiveness by the people of Charleston.
As a Union member you have a voice that together reaches across this great country. In honor of all those whom we have lost, all who have fought for our rights, we ask that you bring the message home - speak the truth to your family, your friends and neighbors - because you never know the changes you can make until you try. Our diversity makes us strong.
The thoughts and prayers of OPEIU Local 2 are with the Orlando victims and their families, the LGBTQ family and the extended community.
Dan Dyer, President, OPEIU Local 2 Linda Bridges, Secretary-Treasurer, OPEIU Local 2
The ways in which each of us move throughout the world are complicated and interconnected. Those intersections make us who we are and shape our experiences. As a queer woman of color I recognize the ways in which my existence is an act of resistance against the status quo. Beyond the systematic barriers folks who look like me have to overcome, there’s also this important conversation on what each of us can do to create welcoming, affirming spaces in our everyday lives.
Over the coming weeks we’ll hear endless conversations and speculations about how and why the Orlando massacre happened. In the mist of all those conversations please remember that it is our collective responsibility, as unionists and human beings, to confront homophobia, transphobia, racism and Islamophobia. At our worksites, union halls, lunch rooms and dining room tables we must stand against hateful, discriminatory and exclusionary speech and actions.
With our passion and love for people we can absolutely create spaces that honor and respect the humanity of our neighbors. Forty-nine people, mostly LGBTQ, Latinx, Black, and Afrolatinx, were gunned down in a space where they trusted they would be safe. The safe places where people of color and LGBTQ people create are often unconventional. As a volunteer with a LGBTQ pride organization the mass murder of people inside of a gay nightclub most certainly creates a sense of at any time this could be me and people I care about deeply in this world.
As you reflect on these events I ask the following: