17.6.16

A moment for Orlando's Fallen

I am lost for words. As the events of the Orlando shootings still unfold, many questions have been raised. As horrific as this all is, it has opened the eyes of many who demand action be taken so that this may not happen again.

As 49 are confirmed dead and 53 injured, America is under the microscope.  The massacre at Pulse Nightclub in the early hours of Sunday 12th June was one of 43 shootings that day. Not only does this horrific event highlight the threat that Americas current gun laws pose, but it has also opened up the ongoing discussion of hate crime. 

It was only in 2009 that the hate crimes prevention act was amended in the US, meaning that before this time, an event like this would not have been recorded by the FBI as a hate crime at all, as any crimes based on gender or sexual orientation were simply not recognised. What's more disgusting is that there are people currently in the US Government who voted against passing this law to recognise hate crime against sexual orientation or gender. Why was this something that was not challenged? 

Trump is using the shootings as an opportunity to frighten America's citizens. The shooter, Saddiqui Mateen, was American born and raised. He has also recently been discovered as closeted; he frequented Pulse nightclub before the shootings took place. In addition, his is first wife reported that he had a violent history, beating her regularly. Yet Trump is thrusting this situation into the limelight, using it as ammunition to call for all Muslims to wear identification. This despicable man who could well and truly be running America soon does not recognise this tragedy for what it is, an extremely unstable and violent man who never had the courage or support to accept who he really was.

In light of these events, some beautiful things have taken place. First, Muslims broke Ramadan to honour those fallen victims. In the face of such an awful tragedy they demonstrated solidarity and unity. In Orlando a couple hundred Muslims donated blood for the survivors of the massacre. Here, across England, thousands came together in most major cities to honour the 49 lives lost. A vigil also took place in Soho, London. On Monday night, thousands of people, including the Mayor of London, held a moment of silence in respect of those lost, before singing and dancing in the streets. It was a truly stunning sight, and something I wished I had been able to be a part of. 

(source: Attitude Magazine)
Most recently, Prince William, future King of England, met with Attitude, gracing the cover of the LGBT magazine. In his interview he told the readers, "No one should be bullied for their sexuality or any other reason and no one should have to put up with the kind of hate these young people have endured in their lives."

I suppose what I hope we as beings can learn from this is that this situation would not have happened if it weren't for two major factors, 1- if America enforced gun control and 2- if there was more support and acceptance for LGBT individuals.

This awful, awful event cannot be undone, but it can be a lesson. The victims of this massacre should not die in vain.

D x
(Source; Time Out)


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