We Raise Our Voices

November 21st, 2022

We are devastated by yet another mass shooting this weekend, this time targeting patrons of an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs. We hold with tenderness our friends and family in the LGBTQ+ community, knowing the vulnerability, isolation and profound sadness so many are experiencing in light of this horrific hate crime. Our Jewish community embraces you with love.We are heartbroken and we are outraged, but we are not surprised.What happened on Saturday night was only the latest evidence of the marriage of two deadly forces in America: this country’s fanatical obsession with guns and the rising tide of white nationalist terror in our country. This movement has been fueled by several years of trans- and homophobic, racist, and antisemitic conspiracy theories. What was once a fringe movement has now been mainstreamed by politicians eager to appeal to white supremacist aggrievement, and amplified by amoral and immoral media platforms.That this club—a safe-haven for LGBTQ+ people—would be targeted just on the cusp of Transgender Day of Remembrance, is a sickening culmination of years of targeted attacks, especially on trans and non-binary people in America. So far in 2022, more than 145 anti-trans bills were introduced, across 34 states, each one an act of cruelty upon the LGBTQ+ community.The gunman killed five people and injured dozens more, but as with each of the more than 600 mass shootings perpetrated so far this year, the reverberations of this act of violence will ripple out to far beyond Colorado Springs. They already are.

There is another way. Politicians and pundits who peddle in hate speech must be held accountable. Platforms that profit from the proliferation of dangerous speech must be held accountable. Manufacturers who make and people who sell guns must be held accountable.And we who believe in a different vision for America must continue to strive toward a just and loving society, to raise our voices for change, even through our tears, and to build shared spaces that are safe, radically inclusive and loving to all.