Orlando Is a Hate Crime, No Matter What Donald Trump Says

Trump proved he’s in the mainstream of the Republican Party, as GOP leaders lamented the massacre without mentioning gays or guns.

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Law enforcement line. (Photo by Carl Ballou)

By Joan Walsh

He’s a Muslim terrorist. He’s a homophobe, his father says. It’s a hate crime. He’s ISIS. He’s not ISIS. It’s a hate crime. He called 911 and declared his allegiance to ISIS. An ISIS media outlet has claimed his allegiance. It’s a hate crime.

So much chatter, so little truth: At least 50 people, enjoying their Saturday night at an Orlando gay bar, died at the hand of a homophobic gunman armed with more guns and ammunition than any American civilian should be allowed to own, and 53 more were wounded. Omar Sidiqqi Mateen apparently associated himself with ISIS in a 911 call during the crime, and had been identified by law enforcement for possible ISIS sympathies. Far more important, in our American context, he associated himself with assault weapons and violent homophobia, which ended as it had before.

It’s a hate crime.

I feel like I’ve written this piece before: another place of inclusion is invaded by a violent hater, and innocent people are dead. I wrote it when a Jewish Community Center was shot up by a white supremacist, I wrote it again almost exactly a year ago when a white supremacist shot up a black church, I’m writing it now as a homophobe who may have been an Islamic extremist shot up a gay bar. I sent my daughter to a Jewish Community Center preschool; I’ve been welcomed at black churches my whole life; I went to gay bars in high school and college. As a straight white Catholic woman, I’ve been given so much privilege and comfort in spaces that aren’t “mine.”

It made me think about Donald Trump, who’s an eccentric weirdo who used to be a tolerant New Yorker of uncertain politics, who relied on the tolerance of his home state and city to cast aside two wives and repeatedly reinvent himself. Now he’s reinvented himself as the champion of homophobes and Islamaphobes, and he’s cast his lot with the party of cruelty to the LGBT community and indifference to the victims of white supremacy.

The Nation

3 thoughts on “Orlando Is a Hate Crime, No Matter What Donald Trump Says

  1. The media is more interested in promoting a product than reporting facts. I live in Florida and I believe he was a confused ill angry individual that used the word ISIS on his suicide by cop mission to make himself all the more famous. We have leaders passing laws and promoting fear and hatred. I was saddened that several American States were put on international terror watch list for transgender and gay individuals this year. What did we expect?

    If it turns out to actually be a radicalized individual, I do not care. Why? Because it is so easy for a citizen to buy an AR15 (any assault weapon) – and buy it with such ease. Even our law enforcement needs weapons of war now. That is costing us dearly including tax revenue. That is money we could be using in education, feeding the hungry, and even helping individuals like this murderer.

    Sadly, with in a few minutes, over 100 lives were gunned down by one person. Lives have been permanently changed. I feel deeply for all the family and friends who lost loved ones including the family of the young man who murdered so many. We should all be saddened by what is becoming a daily event in America.

    There were good guys with guns and he still killed and wounded that many using an assault weapon. Anyone that has ever fired an assault weapon knows that arming everyone will not solve this problem or keep fewer from dying. We need to change. I believe there should be restrictions on the number of rounds any gun can fire. I am against assault weapons that can fire as fast as you can twitch your finger. My fear is the world view of us may be correct. As a nation, we watched a school full of 6 and 7 yr olds being gunned down by one man with an assault weapon and we did nothing. The world thinks we are incapable of changing, caring or going against the NRA.

    Liked by 1 person

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