A Senseless Massacre in Orlando
I pretty much have to lead with this, don’t I? There’s no way to avoid talking about a killing spree in which almost fifty people were gunned down in the largest mass shooting in US history. Although that depends on how you define mass shooting, as the internet has been careful to remind me.
As if arguing over the how extreme the slaughter was actually matters in the least. Would it matter less if the gunman had only managed to kill five people?
The only thing that now seems to matter is that he was a Muslim. Even though there is enough evidence to suggest that he was a homophobic man who was also likely dealing with a lot of self loathing because he was secretly gay, the narrative is all about his religion.
He may have wanted it to be that way because he pledged allegiance to ISIS during the attack. But that is the narrative he wanted.
He wanted to be known as radical Islamist. Is that because he didn’t want to be known as gay? I have no idea. What I do know is that the narrative revolves around radical Islam and that narrative originated with the man who did the killing.
No matter what, we haven’t spent enough time recognizing that whatever he used to justify his act, he deliberately targeted the GLBT community. This act of violence was done specifically to harm a community he found objectionable. The reasons he found the community objectonable are irrelevant because there is hate speak coming from everywhere. Not just Islam. I’ll get to that later.
We’ll talk about all of this for a few weeks. And then we will forget about it until the next mass shooting takes place.
At which point, we will only talk about the killer’s religion if they are a Muslim.
One note though: if you want to talk about gun control, or not gun control, or Islamic fundamentalism, or whatever else you want to talk about, that’s great. And it is important. But please do something tangible as well. there is a Gofundme campaign that has raised over 5 million for the victims. I know it seems like $5 won’t make a difference. But it will. If you want to make a difference, please do more than talk. Contribute to the campaign or donate blood or do something to support your local GLBT community. Do something.