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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | LGBTI / Queer | Police State and Prisons
Rainbow Center omitted Scout Schultz from vigil
Tonight was an annual vigil in Concord California, coinciding with Transgender Day of Remembrance. The organizers from Concord's Rainbow Center left Scout Schultz off the list of names read in remembrance of those who died in 2017. While it can't be known for certain, it is suspected that the omission was done intentionally.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil started at 6:30PM in Todos Santos Plaza in Concord California. The event was organized by the Rainbow Community Center, and "Faith leaders" from Christian Churches in the area, When the names were read of those who were killed (in the United States) in 2017, only one name was omitted: Scout Schultz.
Scout Schultz was a 21 year old Georgia Tech student shot by a campus police officer who had no crisis intervention training. Various protests erupted after Scout's passing. Scout's story was not unheard; the shooting and subsequent protests were in the press and on major social media platforms. There is even a Wikipedia page about Scout Schultz. Scout is named on the widely circulated list of trans and non-conforming people who were killed in 2017, which can be found on multitudinous websites. (The official list is specifically known named trans and non-comforming individuals who died in 2017.)
Why did the Rainbow Center and the "Faith leaders" leave such a notable figure out of the the vigil? An attendee asked to speak about Scout, but was denied by the organizers. The organizers disbanded the vigil immediately after it was brought to their attention that Scout's name was not on the printed page the organizers had read from, and that Scout's name was not said. The organizers refused to discuss the issue, saying only that it was their event and their list.
The omission of Scout's name is disappointing and suspicious. Did the Rainbow Center and the "Faith leaders" want to distance their vigil from an anarchist? Every other name from the 2017 list of those killed in the United States was read. Scout was the only omission from the vigil. Scout is on the list used by the Human Rights Campaign, which is the same list found on numerous websites and blogs.
If other names were omitted, it would have been less of a curiosity. If other names were omitted, then it could have conceivably been the case that the Rainbow Center had an incomplete list. But the organizers didn't leave out anyone else. Scout was the only person not given tribute.
If attendees had been given the opportunity to address the gathering, an effort would have been made to give Scout acknowledgment. But only organizers were allowed to speak. The organizers were noticeably uncomfortable when one attendee tried to talk to them about Scout. The vigil was wrapped up early.
It cannot be said with certainty that the Rainbow Center and the "Faith" leaders purposefully left of the name of a progressive activist whose death draws attention to violence by police action. However, it really does look that way. The Rainbow Center (2118 Willow Pass Rd, Suite 500 in Concord, CA) must do better. It might take outside pressure for the Rainbow Center (Phone #: 925-692-0090) to change.
Rest in Power to Scout Schultz. Scout is not forgotten. Scout's name is etched into memory.