"Our message for the Trump-Pence administration is this: you cannot erase us."
The Trump administration's attempt to ban government agencies from using terms like "evidence-based," "science-based," and "diversity" backfired spectacularly Tuesday night, when activists projected the banned words across the front of Trump's hotel in downtown DC.
The projection on the Trump International Hotel in DC included the seven words that the Trump administration reportedly told the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with other agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, to stop using in official budget documents.
In addition to the seven banned words — "evidence-based," "science-based," "transgender," "fetus," "vulnerable," "entitlement," and "diversity" — activists also included a declaration of their own: “We will not be erased.”
The display was coordinated by the Human Rights Campaign.
.@HRC partnered with artist Robin Bell (@bellvisuals) to project every ‘banned word’ across the front of Trump’s DC Hotel. Our display concludes with a declaration from the #LGBTQ community: “we will not be erased.” pic.twitter.com/DZ4qhABQkz
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) December 20, 2017
“Our message for the Trump-Pence Administration is this: you cannot erase us. We will meet attacks on our community with a resolve to be louder and more visible than ever before,” said David Stacy, HRC’s Director of Government Affairs.
According to a press release, HRC also filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for "any and all records, including communications with the CDC, relating to the banned words from November 2016 onward."
"[T]he American public deserves to know the degree to which the Trump-Pence Administration has interfered with the life-saving work of the CDC," Stacy added. "This kind of erasure has potentially catastrophic consequences beyond the words used by the CDC — it could impact the very programs most vital to the health of transgender people, women, youth and others.”
If the Trump administration was hoping that banning these words would force people into silence, they were sorely mistaken. Not only are Americans speaking up — they're making sure the censored words are more visible than ever.