Jessica Polacek received a Facebook message inviting her to a Black Lives Matter solidarity rally in Cameron Park. As a member of the LGBTQ* community, she found it especially important to support another oppressed community. Polacek’s message is that the Black community in La Crosse is not alone.
Location: Corner of King St. and 4th St. South
We’re here this afternoon in Cameron Park, which is usually the setting for our community Farmer’s Market, but today it is something even more important and it is a rally to protest the recent killings of Black citizens in this country and to reaffirm the fact that Black lives do matter.
How this came to be, or how I came to know about this, was that a friend of mine from the LGBT community had sent me an invitation on Facebook and, being a member of another oppressed community, it was really important to me to stand with other oppressed people and show them that we’re offering the same support that they offer us. It is far too easy to sweep stuff like this under the rug when you hear things like, “All Lives Matter,” it negates the story of why Black lives need to be focused upon and that’s really what we’re doing here today. It’s very empowering to see that we covered a block and a half when we stretched out in our group, hearing the voices, leading the chants, and having the traffic go by and honk their horns at us to let them know that they stand in solidarity with us as well.
As far as what this event meant to me is seeing this community on such short notice, come together, see the number of people and the diversity here really drives home the idea that we’re not as separated as people might want us to believe. Regardless of what you hear on the news media, regardless of what our politicians say, we are able to come together and unite under a common cause. And that really sums up why it is important to talk about. Again, Black lives do matter, reaffirming that the Black community is not alone, that they shouldn’t feel that they are separate from those of us within the white community.
You know, it’s really a beautiful day, we couldn’t have asked for a better day for this, and just the sense of community here is incredible.
I’m Jessica Polacek and I’m a Director of Operations at the Center: The 7 Rivers LGBT Connection, here in La Crosse.