Dear Editor – Actors’ Gang Stands with Black Lives Matter

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

The Actors’ Gang stands with Black Lives Matter and all people and organizations currently fighting on the streets of this country for dignity and justice. As we watch our country spiral into a police state and realize that we have a racist president who is throwing gasoline on the fire and stoking further violence, we know that we are living in a moment that demands action. We also understand that this problem is systemic, and that this moment we are living through is another in a long series of betrayals and crimes against people of color from both sides of the political aisle, a history of violence, enslavement, and oppression that date back to the first European boats to land on these shores.

“I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.”

Since 9/11 we have seen a militarization of police departments throughout the United States, our tax dollars buying tanks, riot gear, and toxic gas in the name of fighting terrorism only to find ourselves with a president that has declared those in resistance to his fascism to be terrorists. Our tax dollars have been turned against us on these front lines of resistance, and peaceful protest across the country has been met with aggressive and confrontational policing, leading to an inevitable violence and mayhem. There is something fundamentally wrong with a system that believes that the way to deal with an angry citizenry is with violence. Our political, cultural, and economic systems need to address the injustice and criminal hypocrisy that has led to this moment.

“Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity.”

In our work inside prisons we have become acutely aware of the travesty of the drug war and the over-incarceration of people of color. In our training and in order to have any success with the work we do we have learned that it is necessary to have humility and be able to listen. In this moment of turmoil we encourage all of our patrons, audience members and associates in the artistic community of Los Angeles to listen to voices that have for too long been ignored, marginalized and forgotten. We must live in witness to the collective pain of our brothers and sisters of color and stand in solidarity with organizations that are working to shift the paradigm and create change through collective action. We ask that you consider becoming familiar with the following organizations :


Black Lives Matter

Color of Change

Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere-Los Angeles

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

The Bail Project

The National Bail Fund Network

ACLU

Youth Justice Coalition

The Marshall Project

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”

James Baldwin


In solidarity and resistance,

The Actors’ Gang

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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