Utter heartbreak came to mind when I woke up this morning. Another deadly shooting happened overnight and it made my heart hurt. As my morning went on I continued to receive my CNN updates that this shooting had claimed the lives of 50 individuals and injured 53 more. I hear the confirmation that this is the deadliest mass shooting in US history. I also learned that it occurred at a gay club during Pride. I then hear that the individual responsible for this massacre has claimed ties to ISIS.
All of these things make one’s head spin. And the Islamophobia that is sure to follow makes me fearful. The beginnings of a terrorist attack start to take shape in the media and the minimizing of a hate crime become apparent.
What happened in the wee hours of Sunday June 12, 2016 in Orlando are unspeakable, but yet we are all speaking about it. We don’t know all the information, but we know that something horrific happened out of hate. President Obama made it clear to us by stating “Although it’s still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate.” We cannot forget the fact that this massacre sprung from hate.
One of my favorite writers, Gyasi Ross, has asked “Please don’t speculate, theorize or politicize the latest mass shooting in Orlando” and I believe that he is right. We need to give families some space to process even though processing will take a lot more time than we know.
We will, however, need to talk about what we as a nation will want to do about guns and our President said it best by stating “Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history. The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle. This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub. And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well.” I, for one, believe that we will not actively do nothing. I believe we will rise up and figure this all out together, for the betterment of all of us and for the betterment of our nation’s future.
What we should not do today is request our Muslim brothers and sisters to condemn a perceived act of terrorism. We should also not forget to love each other and support one another during yet another horrible act of violence. We should also be reminded that hate crimes are very real and continue to threaten the lives of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
For those who are wondering what they can do to help attn: has put together some options. If you are not in the greater Orlando area the quickest way to help is to donate to the gofundme set up by the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida.
Let us move forward still believing that love will conquer hate.