HRC’s Joe Solmonese came out to fight for the Jena Six.
which included Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton in DC, Solmonese pledged his allegiance to the six youths jailed for their alleged a racially explosive fight:
My name is Joe Solmonese and I represent the largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender organization in the country. Am I am here — we are all here from the Human Rights Campaign — because this injustice cannot stand.
We are here because we know about bigotry. We know about hate. We know the pain in high school of standing apart. Of being taunted. Of standing up, only too often, to be shut down.
And I am here because I remember. I remember James Byrd. James was a gentle soul, a special soul. Someone who struggled his whole life with challenges, but was filled with love and was deeply loved in Jasper, Texas.
But James Byrd — at 49 — was savagely beaten, then chained to a pickup truck and literally dragged to his death. He was brutally murdered because he was black.
So, I stand here today with solidarity. I stand here for social justice. I stand here to free those young men. To say this will not stand. It cannot stand. I stand here for the Jena 6. I stand here today for James Byrd.
We will not forget. We will never walk away.
Until the next big civil rights event.
HRC Director of Diversity Donna Payne went to Jena for today’s rally with Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.