Letter from the Con Chair
I am appalled by the ongoing injustice and violence. Largely peaceful protests over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony Mcdade, Amhad Arbery, and countless others have been met with ever increasing force. These protesters are not seeking special privilege. Instead they simply demand equal rights and justice for all Americans. Unfortunately, this request has been answered with violence, hatred, and oppression.
I stand with those in our community who are hurting. I decry the institutionalized oppression that is so ingrained in our society. So many suffer needlessly from uneven policing and racist policies that are maliciously cloaked as reasonable proposals.
The furry community is built on a foundation of inclusion. Inclusion should not and cannot be predicated or influenced by race. We furries have come together to help each other and make the world better so many times. We’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities. When a beloved pizza place across from Anthrocon would close, furries stepped in to save it. We’ve walked for ALS and helped bring cheer to critically ill children. Our banner means hope and inclusion and good. We make the world better when we come together and act.
Furry BIPOC Voices
A number of Furry BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) have spoken out about their experiences and their perception of the current events. We wanted to highlight their statements and stories. We feel it is important that they are heard.
Jakebe’s Comments: https://www.patreon.com/posts/37835675
Path’s Comments: https://twitter.com/pathhyena/status/1267882949879443459
Aetherware’s Comments: https://2021.furryfiesta.org/aetherwares/
We will be highlighting more stories and statements in the future as the situation changes and new voices join the chorus. We invite Furry BIPOC to share their stories so that we may hear them and share them.
Many furries have expressed a discomfort or disinterest in the ongoing protests. Many do not really understand the history or the situation. I feel it’s important to provide links to resources explaining what’s going on, how we got here, and why it matters.
Timeline of events for the murder of George Floyd. https://www.gq.com.au/success/opinions/a-timeline-of-george-floyds-murder-and-the-minneapolis-protests/news-story/d7580a45761301dff372ba491be53b65
Time article about attacks on the press attempting to cover the protests. https://time.com/5846497/journalists-police-george-floyd-protests/
Documentaries about racism and how we got here: https://www.docplay.com/articles/10-documentaries-to-watch-about-race-instead-of-asking-a-person-of-colour-to-explain-things-for-you/
For a quick, powerful overview video to share with others, check out the video by Emmanuel Acho: https://twitter.com/thEMANacho/status/1267609472589090816?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet
How You Can Help
There are many ways to help out. Peaceful protesting. Donating. Signing petitions. Talking with uninformed friends or family. Voting. Plus a myriad of other opportunities exist to help our society try to address these deep rooted problems. A vital step is to call out other people who are using inappropriate language, not just tolerating it. A good resource on how to have these difficult conversations was shared by Vice: https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/y3zvgv/how-to-talk-to-relatives-who-care-more-about-looting-than-black-lives
A great compilation resource exists here:
No one should feel afraid to live in this country. No one should feel unwelcome in the furry community because of who they are. We, all of us, are better with diversity. Our goal is to lift each other up and make the lives of everyone better. That means focusing on those that are in most need of aid first. And so I say Black Lives Matter.
Furry Fiesta Convention Chair