Many weeks ago:
“Oh my gosh! Did you hear about Orlando?” my friend asked as I slurped my vanilla-bean frappaccino.
“What, the weather? Yeah, the hurricanes are bad in FL right now…”
“No, the shooting! The one at the nightclub.”She shook her phone at my puzzled expression.
“What?! What shooting?”
“Yeah, there are 50 dead and 53 wounded! Some Muslim guy walked in and shot a bunch of people in a gay nightclub. They’re calling it the worst shooting session to date.”
I blinked. “What?!!”
How did I not know?
Granted, my main struggle has been to plug in sufficiently enough to know what’s going on around me. I don’t like watching news, I don’t subscribe to newspapers or any such informational sources. I’m the weird person who relies on a combination of google, word-of-mouth, Facebook, Bit of News and the Skimm to figure out what fuck-up has occurred in the world, or the rare amazing good thing that took place.
Otherwise, I just plug into the Onion and laugh at the satirical slant of reality.
On the weekends, I take the “Let it go” aspect a bit far by unplugging completely from the news and trying to just lighten the burden of the week.
Turns out, ya miss things when that happens.
And we learn nothing…
Instead of wondering how to be safer, we cast blame on both sides. Don’t care about solving anything, or making it better or right. Just words and anger, grief and pain unassuaged.
No one asks to die, not without deeply rooted despair. There was none of that here. And the way one dresses or acts or behaves doesn’t provide implication without explicitly verbalized statement.
They were happy. They were loud and proud and exploding with life from their smiles and pores. They weren’t asking for death, they were asking for life.
And how are they rewarded? Those silent souls long buried now beneath the dirt and waves and hurricanes. Sunk beneath the politics, the grandstanding and drowned out by the loud lambasting of insecure politicians who fear the fade of the limelight.
They were not asking for death then, but that was what they received.
Do you know what they are asking for now?
Justice. Not just from their killer, but from the precepts that refuses to defend them. From the prejudice and ignorance that tried to shame, destroy, and silence them.
People are many different slices – citizenship, sexuality, gender, location, country of birth, identity, family, friends, education, eligibility, race, socioeconomics, intelligence, passions, love, religion, politics, etc..
What I don’t understand is why there is so much focus on separating entire groups of people based on one facet of themselves.
All the victims were American. But all you hear is that they are not straight, or that they supported non-straight people.
All those people were beautiful with hopes and dreams. But all you hear is that they are victims.
All those people deserved better. But all you hear is which politician supposedly supports the LGBTQIAC etc. etc..
Actions and words.
Prove it. Or shut up already.
These people are not just numbers, they aren’t just a political bludgeon to attack an opponent.They are voices of beauty that still speak beyond the grave for a better world.
A world -I fear- may never exist.