We would be remiss if, being an educational institution dedicated to widening the lens of critical discourse and peeling the layers of the onion that is systematic and institutionalized oppression, we did not take a moment to recognize the tragedy that occurred on Sunday, June 12th at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
In the early AM, Omar Mateen engaged in a shooting rampage that left 49 people dead, 53 wounded, and countless others (near and far) mourning the loss of loved ones.
As you are aware, the Pulse nightclub was a dedicated space for the queer and trans communities, and the vast majority of the victims were persons of color.
There are many interconnected components of this, including whether this is a “hate crime” or “terrorism” or both; if this is a matter of gun control; if this is a matter of prevention in our policies that document violent crimes including domestic violence; if this is about mental health prevention; and so on. More than anything, however, this tragedy is—above all else—a symptom of our culture of oppression against queer/trans and person of color communities.
We mourn the loss of sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, friends, family: Please read their names and their stories here.
We encourage you to view this occurrence as one in a long and ongoing line of tragic cases that demonstrate manifestations of discrimination, marginalization, inequity, power and privilege. This is not an isolated incidence. Consistently and systematically, experiences of violence and hatred manifest that are an outward, visible sign of oppression.
We share you with you some of the words, insights, and calls to action that have circulated from the trans/queer, Muslim, and POC communities as well as allies:
1. Please remember that tragedies like this can further fuel factions between communities. Let us not partake in further division, and instead understand the ways in which transphobia, homophobia, and Islamophobia are interconnected systems of oppression.
2. Take time to connect rather than fear.
3. Understand the responses of members of the community this most impacted.
4. Cultivate empathy for the embodied experiences of marginalized groups: Alex Darke: June 13 at 5:54pm and read this article.
5. Find ways to be a true ally.
Midwives College of Utah acknowledges a deeply tragic part of our collective human history in commitment to justice, equity, and inclusivity, and encourages each of us to reflect on our part in cultural, legal and social changes needed to advance social justice, for justice delayed is justice denied.