By Melanie C. Davis
Pride what does it all mean? Is it the celebration of the Stonewall Riots were black and brown queers put their bodies on the line for our freedoms? Or is it the corporatization of our festivals, alcohol drowning us on every corner providing us with the boldness that we need in order to be ourselves, our true self for only few short days?
Long before the Stonewall Riots we have relied heavily on people of color particularly queer/trans people of color to be among our most visible in the fight for our freedom. We expect them to be on the front line and take the beating for us without recognition and little to no support, then we forget them in history.
We know the world has shifted since 45 and with community consciousness we have been making great strides in Remembering our true history. But as a whole we still see major faction in our queer community. Factions that alienate queer people of color and our many allies in the social justice work movement. For example on the heels of Obama leaving office we became witnesses to many of the injustices our government has perpetrated on its people. #BlackLivesMatter, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals #DACA, and the Dakota Access Pipeline #NoDAPL became some of the largest movements our country has seen since the days of the Civil Rights Movement.
In late 2016 an early 2017 we were seeing the resistance in full effect. It was as if many people woke overnight and realize they too need to put their bodies on the line, or at best, put their money where their mouth is. We saw thousands making their way to Standing Rock including our veterans. The elders there gave powerful medicine to those open to receiving it. In fact it was so powerful that from Seattle to San Francisco, Albuquerque to Raleigh, cities continue to joining the fight to defund the controversial pipeline by divesting from banks like Wells Fargo who are funding big pipe projects.
But are we equally as brave to divest as a community, to vote with our money, and empower each other to do what's right? I ask this because #BlackLivesMatter, our immigrant and Native community need you! The ongoing battles within the work of the social justice movement is at a critical juncture. We understand that there are many wonderful people who may work for corporations that do nasty things, we love you as a person, and need you to hear and understand that your company is killing us.
For example the Russian Vodka Stoli, announcing the release of their commemorative edition Harvey Milk bottle in celebration of 2018 Pride Month. What does Harvey Milk have to do with vodka, particularly a Russian brand whose country banned “Gay Propaganda on June 11, 2013 (Pride month).” What about the Gay men who have been murdered in Chechnya, and let us not forget Pussy Riot. Again, what purpose does it serve Stoli having Harvey Milk on their bottle, except to exploit the Queer Dollar and blind our community.
Are we as brave as ABC president Channing Dungey a woman of color, who put aside all monetary benefits, and her job on the line to check her moral compass and canceled their number one program ‘Roseanne’ losing over $10 million instantly? In her words: "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show."
Are we as brave as Dick Sporting Goods who were the first to stop selling assault style rifles, high capacity magazines and raised the purchase age to 21 for firearms across all their stores. Despite the NRA alleging that Dicks decision would bankrupt them. Rather, this sporting goods store stock price surged 27% after the change and received overwhelming consumer support for their decision.
Or are we as brave as Colin Kaepernick? Whose defining act as a NFL Quarterback was to kneel during the national anthem. This bravery has kept the conversation around police brutality and use of excessive force towards communities of color at the forefront of joe six packs sports radar.
I will say it again, this is The Clarion Call and we as a collective community must not forget the people have the power. And if it's the “capitalist game” we must play, then let us not forget we as the LGBTQIA community collectively represent over $900 Billion. Add that to the spending power of black ($1.5 trillion) and brown ($1.7 trillion) people and we have $4.1 TRILLION in what the capitalists call ‘spending power.’ I just call it POWER - Therefore, I strongly believe we are brave enough to divest and resist just as many of our fearless leaders have! So #GameOn.
Unlike the past we must join these leaders, many of whom are women and people of color to help them clean up this world. This time we need ALL of our bodies on the line. Regardless if its an individual or collective act of resistance, all are welcome because this. This is bigger than us.
Melanie C. Davis
Publisher | Owner
PS. People are still dying in Puerto Rico...
Publishers Note: Brilliant Media LLC. has not accepted Wells Fargo advertising since #OccupyWallStreet