Dame was founded to address the many differences in how our bodies are treated. Today, we acknowledge that if you have a Black body in America, then these differences are a matter of life and death.
The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and David McAtee at the hands of police are not isolated incidents. Nor are the recent uninvestigated murders of Nina Pop and McKinsley La Keith Lincoln. These are the results of a system that unlawfully detains & brutalizes innocent Black people; a 400-year-old pattern of violence that regularly destroys Black lives during traffic stops, in playgrounds, and at home.
Here are some facts:
- Black people are 3X more likely to be killed by the police than white people, even though crime rates are roughly the same within economic strata.
- Black people make up ~24% of those killed by police, despite being only ~13% of the population.
- In our own NYC, the city paid out $69 million in misconduct settlements related to 1,383 lawsuits in 2019 alone. Information about these incidents and the officers involved is kept hidden under NY’s Police Secrecy Law 50-A.
- Black people are more likely to be held in jails & prisons before a trial even occurs. Many such pre-trial detainees are dying of COVID-19 on Riker’s Island right now.
Pride began with a riot at Stonewall. We call upon that spirit in support of those who are making themselves heard in the streets, when local governments and the rest of the world wouldn’t listen.
We remind you that these brutalities are still occurring in the bluest, most Democratic cities in America, and that ballots and conversations alone are not always effective.
Finally, we ask you to get educated and get involved locally on advancing bail reforms, demilitarizing the police, and fighting for complete transparency and accountability in instances of police misconduct. New Yorkers can support the repeal of 50-A by contacting their state representatives. Here is a resource sheet we put together on starting the lifelong work of anti-racism.
To show solidarity and support, Dame will be donating $1,000 dollars to a different organization each week, including Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Audre Lorde Project, LGBTQ Racial Justice Fund, and BEAM. This is in addition to the $1,000 that we will be donating every week to LGBTQ organizations, including The Task Force, LGBT Community Center NYC, Brooklyn Community Rights Center, and Callen-Lorde Community Health Center.