Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Michael Sandy

Shared by one of my co-workers:

On October 08, 2006, just 2 days before his 29th B-day, in Brooklyn, NY a black gay man by the name Michael Sandy was lured to a remote location and brutally beaten by 4 white straight young men. While trying to escape from his attackers he ran into oncoming traffic and was hit. He then lay in a coma on life support at a local hospital. After several days, Michael's family decided to take him off of life support. This man was brutally attacked and robbed of his life. I was very troubled when I first found out that this had happened and was also very shocked. It’s been almost 2 weeks since the attack and our so-called leaders in the "Gay Rights Movement" have not stepped up to take a stand on this horrendous attack. If you recall, when Mathew Shepherd was murdered the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce were just two of the many organizations that responded. Where are they now?

As an African American I am not surprised by the lack of coverage Michael's death received. I find it appalling that our so-called leaders did not speak out and take a stand on this issue. We have the black community that has chosen to look the other way because he was gay, and then we have the gay community that looked the other way because he was black. I strongly believe that if Michael Sandy was white or heterosexual his story would have gotten much more media attention and recognition. Thankfully, three black gay organizations have stepped up to the plate. The New York State Black Gay Network, Gay Men of African Descent and the National Black Justice Coalition have all come fourth to rally against this issue.

As Martin Luther King Jr. once said "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I feel that part of being a culturally competent organization means being a leader and speaking out when injustices like this happen. I'm fortunate to be able to work for an organization that strives to be more culturally competent and proactive in its work.

So for this week's Friday email I'd like for us to acknowledge the tragic loss of a human being. And let this be a reminder of how far we have "not" come and how much more work needs to be done.

1 comment:

amandanator said...

I appreciate you posting this. In one of my grad classes we are discussing "hate crimes," how they affect the school, and why they happen. It's amazing how far we still have to go when dealing with issues of sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. We then had to come up with 10 "solutions" for an "issue of hate." In my cynical mind my first thought way...not in my life time...not with the people in power today...not with the way we focus on teaching content versus the whole child...but we can't think that way. However, it seems that all we do is talk about fixing and never actually acting. So that's the next step, that's how we go farther. Thank you for this post it gives me courage, hope, and motivation to ACT! Thanks! XO