Astraea condemns yesterday’s violent attack on democracy! White nationalists and the police colluded to allow an unprecedented breach of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. At the same time, members of white supremacist group the Klu Klux Klan held a rally and attempted to enter Georgia’s State Capitol building as part of a coordinated strategy to enforce white supremacy and right-wing extremism at the expense of safe, fair elections and indeed of Black and POC life.
This white supremacist violence can be seen in direct response to the election victory in Georgia (GA) and across the United States (U.S.), where Black and Brown people organized and voted to overturn the legislature and alter the course of a nation. Yesterday, they flipped the senate by electing the first ever Black and Jewish senators in GA. We are proud and humbled by this inspired organizing—our joy will not be looted.
The attacks beg the questions: whose safety, whose democracy and whose freedoms are protected by the State? Narratives of ‘safety’ and ‘security’ are often conflated within State narratives to justify the use of violence and surveillance on Black and Brown people. Yesterday’s blatant use and collusion of State power in support of white-led facism, however, yet again exposes the truth of a nation built to protect ‘whiteness’ at all costs.
Sadly, for many of us this was not surprising. It reflects a well coordinated—and indeed, well-publicized—far-right attack on the election results, and the freedoms of all people, especially Black, Brown, immigrant, queer and trans people. White supremacy is what allows Black people to be murdered while sleeping, tear gassed and assaulted by the police in peaceful protest. It is the banning of Muslim people from immigrating to the U.S. It is the murdering and incarceration of folx trying to cross the border with Mexico. It is the mass-criminalization of Black and Brown people across the U.S., all the while white extremists are given open access to the Capitol and enticed to harm people, buildings and public property. This is a system built to destroy Black life and protect white life. This is the legacy of centuries of white supremacy manifesting in the everyday racist violence of police and institutions.
As a queer feminist funder based in the United States and resourcing activism across the globe, we owe our existence to the civil and human rights activism of the queer, trans, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (QTBIPOC) movements that have come before us. We honor those who have charted and continue to envision the path of liberation for us all. We uplift what is possible when our people come together to organize and contest for power. We know this backlash is because we are building a new world.
This is an exhausting, terrifying and infuriating time, and the work of anti-racism and the abolition of white supremacy will not happen overnight. We also know we cannot heal from what will not be named. We dream beyond dismantling “whiteness” and towards systems of material, emotional and spiritual repair, towards joy, and towards true liberation where all people have dignity, safety, security and life.
We are committed to supporting the QTBIPOC grassroots over the long haul. They are the architects of our future where true change and liberation is possible. Please take care. Check in on your folx. Stay safe and keep organizing.