Many of us have been saddened by the recent Pulse club shooting and my heart goes out to all those effected by this senseless killing. However I am not very happy with the media’s handling of this situation. Yet again we have a tragedy and the pain of LGBTQ+ community and POC is swept under the rug to make this another “attack on good ole ‘Merica” story. Allow me to explain.
When the news first broke that a lone armed gunman stormed an Orlando, Florida gay club I was shaken at the number of people who lost their lives. Although I had not seen his face or heard his name; when I heard that it would be investigated as a terror plot I knew he wasn’t one who could hide under the boulder of White privilege. He was a lone gunman who was getting none of the Dylan Roof sympathy. In the first few hours we heard his motive from his own father. Omar Mateen let hate overflow within him because he couldn’t bare to see two men, two human beings, embrace each other with love instead of the senseless violence we see on a daily basis. It was clearly stated that this less about religion and more an attack on the LGBT community specifically. As more developments rolled in from character witnesses we learn he’s quite the bigot and looked down on anyone who did not look like himself. “Women, race, and religion” were said to be hot button topics for him. This is where things get cloudy and discombobulated.
As I walked into work I hear a special news report explaining how this was ISIS related and he was a Muslim radical. Every religion has their crazies, we cannot deny. Hardcore “Christians” waste their lives away in front of Planned Parenthood yelling at women who probably just have a urinary tract infection but no insurance but I digress. I cannot and will not in my right mind call this man a “Muslim.” Anyone with a brain and respect for other religions and cultures would know a real Muslim would never take an innocent human life, Islam condemns it. Even worse, a real Muslim would never commit such a crime during Ramadan. This is the holiest time if the year for those of the Islam faith. What is worse as I scroll down Facebook today I keep seeing a video of a young African American woman, a survivor talking about the attack. At first, I’m not inclined to press it and listen because I feel I’ve had enough sadness for a day. However, the prevalence of this post on my timeline made me curious and what I heard went against everything those close to Mateen told about him. She explains while hiding in the restroom, Mateen called out to the African American patrons. When one answered he explained he had nothing against them because they (African Americans in general) had suffered enough at the hands of society. This is a complete turnaround from the racist misogynist we’ve been hearing about. Further developments say he was a frequent visitor at the club. If this was the case why come on “Latin Night”, a night known to have not only a large number of Latinos, but African Americans as well?
If you have not realized it by now, nothing we have makes a concrete story; not one of radical Islamic terrorism at least. I would never blatantly call a survivor a liar to their face but why would a man, a Muslim man at that, commit the US’ worse mass murder during Ramadan and on a night where there would be people he swore to have compassion for? He wouldn’t, that’s why. America has a long history of violence and hate against homosexuals, people of color, and non-Christians. For a man to commit such a heinous crime under the same hate as the one they try to hide under such things as legislature to “protect our children” would be preposterous to them. It would mean they have something in common. What better way to remove themselves from him by pushing this as ISIS’ doing. So far politicians such as Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump have used this as a strategy when it’s nothing more than war propaganda.
At the end of the day the real victims, the real motive has been lost and erased. At the end of the day we need to call this what it is, an attack on LGBT people of color. it may not seem as glamorous in the news because in 2016 there are still those who don’t care about gays let alone a gay person of color. It is also because of this attitude that this story wouldn’t induce fear if we talked about the real cause. At the end of the day real pain, real issues were erased for the sake of inducing fear and feeding the war machine. I want all of you to take this and let these victims know they are not forgotten, may they all rest in power.