Sunday, June 12, 2016
The Orlando Massacre and the Hatred that Kills
I am sure that by now most of you have heard the horrible news.
A gunman entered a gay nightclub in Orlando, and opened fire on the innocent.
So even though they are a relatively small minority, LGBT people are now the victims of the worst mass murder in American history.
And while I'm still so stunned by that act of senseless, brutish violence, and so angry, I don't really feel like writing anything.
I feel I have no choice but to say this.
Firstly, my thoughts are with the victims, and all those who loved them.
For they are my brothers and sisters, and an attack on some of them is an attack on all of us.
Secondly, I am not going to blame all Muslims for the isolated act of one violent homophobe.
A cowardly hater and a wife beater who was apparently so outraged by the sight of two gay men expressing their affection for one another, he couldn't restrain his violent impulses.
Not when this is what Dan Patrick, the notoriously anti-gay lieutenant governor of Texas tweeted this morning.
Not when violence against LGBT people in America is extraordinarily common.
In a 2011 analysis of FBI hate-crime statistics, the Southern Poverty Law Center found that “LGBT people are more than twice as likely to be the target of a violent hate-crime than Jews or black people,” said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the centre.
The vast majority of those crimes are not carried out by Muslim extremists, Potok said. “It’s a mix of white supremacists and their ilk and people who would be considered relatively normal members of society,” Potok said. “The majority of attacks on gay people do not come from people who are members of organized hate groups.”
And is mostly a product of the vile bigotry of those who call themselves Christians. In a country where gun violence is as American as apple pie.
Where you can apparently be interviewed twice by the FBI, and still buy an assault rifle.
Not when even those who should know better, have trouble calling this massacre by its proper name. An act of anti-LGBT hate.
There was a massacre at a LGBT nightclub in Orlando on Sunday. But you might not have known that, if you read some of the initial accounts by outlets like the New York Times. The word 'gay' wasn't mentioned in headlines at first—a meaningful early signal of a wider denial that bloomed Sunday in the media, and on the part of commentators, as the story of Omar Mateen's dreadful massacre continued to unfold.
What needs to be repeated over and over again, and interrogated, is that the largest mass shooting in American history was an attack on gay people, LGBT people--politicians and law-makers must say that, confront that, call it by its terrible, rightful name.
Not when the ghastly bigot Donald Trump would seek to profit from this tragedy.
Without a word of sympathy for its gay victims.
A day after he attended a conference of the religious right.
Who are some of the vilest homophobes in the world. And the hands of Republicans everywhere are soaked with the blood of the murdered and the wounded.
Don't expect certain members of the GOP, and others with prejudice and bigotry running in their bloodstream, to restate this was an attack on LGBT people, because how could they when their own platform and policies propagate exactly the kind of antigay hatred that seems to have led Mateen to do what he did.
But who would attack Obama even though he is best President and the best friend the LGBT community in that country has ever had...
As is this Prime Minister in our country...
Who is attacked by some of the Cons and Trudeau haters in Canada for exactly the same reason.
As for me, I have been fighting anti-gay bigots since the age of fourteen. And what happened in Orlando last night, will only make me fight them even harder.
As I will all other kinds of bigots, for they are all the scum of the earth.
You know, I wasn't planning to attend this year's gay pride parade in Toronto...
Because I'm still recovering from my recent knee surgery.
But now I definitely will. If I have to haul out my crutches again, or ride through the crowds on the shoulders of my companion.
If only to send out this message loudly and proudly.
We are not afraid.
The haters will never defeat us.
And our long struggle for freedom, justice, and dignity continues...
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