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    The Time for Action Is Now

    By Dr. Marcy Adelman–

    This Pride my heart is heavy and filled with grief and anger for the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many other victims of police brutality. Racially motivated violence against people of color is not new. Police brutality has been a part of American history from the very beginning of our country.

    But the live video of the killing of two black men—Floyd and Arbery—exposed the racially motivated violence against black people that happens every day in our country. Floyd, flat on his stomach, his hands cuffed behind his back, struggled to breathe while a white policeman kept his knee on Floyd’s neck until Floyd suffocated to death. Arbery, out for an evening jog, was chased down, shot, and brutally murdered by two white men. These videos made the suffering and violence undeniably and horrifically real.  

    Across the country, young people have taken to the streets to protest the murder of black people and the systemic racism of American institutions. The protesters are black, brown, white, and mixed-race young people who have braved COVID-19 to peacefully gather together to oppose social injustice. In this dark moment of murder, death, disease, and uncertainty, a generation has been mobilized to demand change.

    Many in the LGBTQ community have responded to the murders and the protests. More than 300 LGBTQ organizations released a joint statement of commitment to fight police brutality, racial injustice, and full equality for all, including LGBTQ people. 

    This Pride, our work is clear. We cannot stand by while black and brown people are dying of COVID-19 in disproportionately high numbers, and are being killed and murdered by police simply because of the color of their skin. The country is at an inflection point that calls on each of us to act to dismantle systemic racism in our country. 

    This Pride, reflect on what you can do to make a difference. Listen and learn from black leadership. Support black organizations such as Black Lives Matter and other groups fighting racial injustice. Demand police accountability. Support black legislators and black businesses. And continue to fight for equality for all LGBTQ people.

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

    Martin Luther King, Jr., in an April 16, 1963, letter from a jail in Birmingham, Alabama

    Dr. Marcy Adelman, a psychologist and LGBTQ+ longevity advocate and policy adviser, oversees the Aging in Community column. She serves on the California Commission on Aging, the Governor’s Alzheimer’s Prevention and Preparedness Task Force, the Board of the Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California, and the San Francisco Dignity Fund Oversight and Advisory Committee. She is the Co-Founder of Openhouse, the only San Francisco nonprofit exclusively focused on the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ older adults.

    Published on June 11, 2020