Take ‘Em Down NOLA Public Statement on Mass Murder at Pulse Orlando

Take Em Down NOLA stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ and Latinx community, and the loved ones of those murdered, injured and traumatized at Pulse Orlando. This hate crime happens only a few days after the murder of Goddess Diamond, our 5 th trans woman of color to be killed this year, right here in New Orleans. We still carry heavy in our hearts the victims of a hate crime that took 32 lives in the Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans in 1973.

As our work is centered on the vanquishing of ALL symbols of White Supremacy, we are also clear that state sanctioned symbols REPRESENT state sanctioned SYSTEMS that perpetuate racism, violence against oppressed people, and terror against those who do not comply with the status quo.

We will not be fooled to sit in silence nor perpetuate media that focuses on headlines and stories intended to pit various communities of oppressed people against each other. We condemn homophobia and islamophobia. We recognize that the mass shooting at Pulse Orlando is being used as an exploitation tool to heighten Islamophobia in our country, and intensify racist stereotyping and profiling of our comrades in the Muslim community. We want an end to ALL oppression, which calls into question the rule of the racist billionaire ruling class. Pulse Orlando should have been a safe space. However, ALL areas of society should be safe, and will become safe when we UNITE and have a successful social revolution. The rulers shed crocodile tears for the Orlando victims while killing as many civilians in the middle east on a daily basis. This act is a clarion call for the unity of the oppressed to end the rule of capital and its divide and conquer tactics. The “rulers” will use this massacre to call for even more surveillance, pretending that it is for our safety, taking away our privacy rights.

Let us not be fooled. Let us not sit in silence. Let us not perpetuate stories of fear, division and hate. Let us UNITE, and WORK for liberation, against a ruling class SYSTEM of white cis-gendered male elitist capitalism. It is this system that has used religion, gender, race, class and sexual orientation to divide and devalue us based on any deviation from the Christian white male cis-gendered heterosexual norm. This is why right winged Christian leaning legislatures like the ones in North Carolina and Alabama have ruled against bathroom access for transgender people. In these former states of the Confederacy, members of marginalized communities are still at the mercy of ideologies that foster policy and laws that create a hostile environment for us.

We understand that the same system that devalues and exploits Black lives does so to Queer lives, inclusive of Black and Latinx folk. This SAME system exploits the resources of the Muslim world while vilifying Muslim people, inclusive of Black and Latinx folk. Instead of participating in the divide and conquer game, we are identifying the true culprit as the SYSTEM that created room for all of this hate to be operative in the first place.

Yet, we will not succumb to this madness. We will transform our frustration into work for progress. We choose not to perpetuate this system. We unite, and we organize for liberation.

In the spirit of resistance and liberation embodied by the very lives of the 49 slain in Orlando, along with all of the others killed and traumatized by a White Supremacist hetero-normative SYSTEM, we will continue our work to eradicate all vestiges of these symbols and systems from all spaces.