Central PA's LGBT News Source

Response to white supremacists in VA

Lancaster, Allentown residents protest

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About 1,000 people gathered Aug. 13 in center city Lancaster to respond to white supremacist rallies the day before in Charlottesville, VA.

Likewise, Central Voice also reports Allentown residents gathered on Aug. 13 in response to the white supremacist rally. Clergy from a variety of faith traditions and community members came together, including United in Love: A Full Faith Response to Charlottesville. The rally was organized by POWER Northeast and co-sponsored by Make the Road PA, PA Women's March, and Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center.

While counter-protesting the white supremacists, 32-year-old Heather Heyer died after being struck by a vehicle in what authorities are calling a car attack. Nineteen other victims have, according to reports, suffered injuries.

Lancaster residents respond

Lancaster resident Cindy Vicente told Central Voice"although community building in Lancaster is occurring at events such as the vigil, mass meetings, political stress workshops, anti-racism trainings, on social media, it is mostly empty community building”.

“While mostly insulated from overt forms of racism, Lancaster suffers from deep-pocketed, covert racism. I skipped the rally because as a queer person of color I see the lack of subsequent substantive action on behalf of my white community members. These events serve as performative social justice, and checking in lends you all the validation you need that you’re one of the good whites. In lieu of tangible efforts – to be clear, I mean on the front lines of policy advocacy, civil disobedience, and event disruption – I will not serve as another metaphorical pat on the back of their white skin.”

Lancaster resident Karen Foley told Central Voice“I declined to go. I had my son with me and there was talk of some potentially dangerous Nazi sympathizers planning to counter protest. These are terrifying times.

“My focus now is on holding down courageous spaces for our community, specifically LGBTQ only spaces.

“I’m also a white lesbian with passing privilege. Because of that, mostly my job is to sit down, shut the hell up and listen. And regardless of how 'woke' we white queers think we are, we need to be strongly re-examining how we are complicit in issues of racism. We need to asks how hard are we working to help young people of color who are homeless? Who have HIV but no access to health care.

Foley asked "Are we too bothered flipping homes in Rehoboth to give a shit about the alarming rate of trans women of color who have been murdered so far this year?

“How dare white queers get disgruntled about the need to add black and brown to our Pride flag. And I’m sorry, but why is anyone still put out by Black Lives Matter protestors disrupting our Pride parades? Such disruptions occurred in some cities in the US during June and July Pride parade events. There were no local disruptions. Yes, we deserve to be unapologetically gay and dance in our hot pants drenched in glitter but we ALL need to be seen and safe and celebrated. All of us. Get to work people.”

Meanwhile, Chris Mathias of the Huffington Post posted a video a scene from the white supremacist rally.

Organizers of the rally in Lancaster asked attendees to visit their web site Lancaster StandsUp.

According to the web site: Following the November 2016 election, a small group of young people in Lancaster reached out to community organizers and faith leaders and called for an emergency community meeting to talk together about the shock, sadness, and outrage many were feeling. Three hundred Lancastrians came to that first meeting and got busy making plans to take action to turn things around. Lancaster Stands Up was born.