LIFT Statement on Bigoted Attack in Chicago
This message was sent to LIFT staff this morning on behalf of our LIFT-Chicago team in response to the horrific display of bigotry that took place earlier this week in Chicago against Jussie Smollett. Intersectionality is paramount to the work that we do with families, and LIFT takes a stand against injustice in any and every form.
By now you have no-doubt heard about the homophobic, racist attack on the actor Jussie Smollett that took place in Chicago early Tuesday morning. Many news outlets are reporting the attack as a “possible hate crime,” but whether or not that legal distinction is made, there is no way around it…this attack was rooted in hate. Jussie Smollett was attacked because he was a gay black man. I am angry, sad, and embarrassed for all of Chicagoland today. Yes Jussie Smollett is a famous actor, and his fame no doubt brought much more attention to this crime than there normally would have been, but that’s not the reason that I send this note. Jussie Smollett shares this earth with me and with each of you, and so we are connected. He is a human soul who deserves safety, respect, and love. He has a divine right to be his full self without fear of attack. If that right is compromised, it our duty to stand up for him, and to stand against those who would take that right from him.
LIFT will be releasing an anti-hate statement in response to this crime. We do this because we know that our members, and many others in the communities that we serve and live in, are frequently victimized because of their race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and many other elements of their identity. They often come through our doors because this victimization and discrimination is holding them back from the goals that they have for themselves and their families. We stand with Jussie Smollett because our values, particularly the values of Equity, Diversity, and Relationships mean that we stand with anyone who needs a LIFT.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this, and for what you do every day.
With LIFT Love,
Sol N. Anderson
Executive Director, LIFT-Chicago
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