An Uncomfortable Culture of Hate

Early Sunday morning, two gay men were attacked in Ward 1, and is now under investigation as a hate crime. 

While meeting constituents all over the Ward, safety is always the top issue on people’s minds.

This especially rings true of those who have families and who are apart of any one minority group.

In communities such as the LGBTQ community, a hate crime to one, is a punch in the gut to all. I personally know both victims, and news such as this spreads out like wildfire. In a community as close knit as the LGBTQ community, no matter the incident, we all have a direct or indirect relationship with victims of violent crime. We have to be, its a self preservation tactic we use for the safety of ourselves and our community; which i’m sure is the case in most small minority communities all across the District.

In our current era of American politics, we can no longer rest on our laurels here in the District. With this current Presidential administration, racists, homophobes, transphobes, xenophobes, misogynists,  islamophobes, anti-semites and many more have not only been able to “come out of the closet”, but have been propped and celebrated.

While we have Nazis marching with tiki torches overwhelming our region and our nation, the DC Council refuses to acknowledge that this type of behavior is happening in our own back yard.  

It’s no surprise that this type of behavior is becoming more prevalent here in the District. It's clear that even within our own DC Council, this type of behavior is being accepted by our Councilmembers. This was highlighted in mid-March when Councilmember T. White made anti-Semitic comments twice, and other members of the Council, including my opponent, Current Councilmember Nadeau merely dismisses these types of comments as Councilmember White being “ill informed” on these issues.  

We will not accept this excuse any longer.

While Councilmembers continue to make excuses for each other, their behavior is encouraging a culture and atmosphere of hate in DC that impacts not only the victims of hate crimes, but an entire community's sense of security and safety.   

With budget talks in full swing, the fate of the NEAR Act (Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results Act) is in the balance in the FY 2019 budget. While I applaud the Council for unanimously passing the Act back in 2016, and thank the Mayor for her proposed funding of the Act, I have yet to see the Council discuss funding for this crucial law. It’s time for the Council to put it’s money where it’s mouth is, and I encourage the Council for the funding of this Act in the FY 2019 Budget, and I look forward to doing more with future legislation once elected to office.  

I am confident in MPD and their LGBTQ Liason Manager Sgt. Brett Pason. I believe that their work will lead to justice for those who have been impacted in our community.

In the mean time, I ask for everyone to be kind to one another and to send thoughts to the victims for a fast and speedy recovery, so they can go on living their truths and being fabulous.