The murder of 49 and injury to 53 members of the LGBTI community was simply the politics of hate.
I feared that such an attack would take place. We live in a time where leaders and the establishment media peddle intolerance and hate, exploiting people’s fears. Some have used the attack to berate Muslims, others have failed to give the community the recognition they deserve. We have cultivated a society where we have pushed back the boundaries of decency.
Two of the UK’s leading newspapers did not even carry the attack on their front page. Those that bothered reported it as an ISIS terrorist attack, the worst terrorist atrocity in America since 9/11. That is an excellent example of muddled reasoning. According to FBI Director James Comey, the killer was not linked to ISIS. The killer claimed allegiance with ISIS Sunni Muslims and with their enemies Shiites Muslim groups1 including al-Qaida. The context of the attack is also misleading as the worst domestic terrorist attack in America was the murder of 168 people and injury of 680 others by the white terrorist Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma bombing). However, an Islamaphobia agenda is being promoted, and those facts don’t fit.
The presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, opposed to gay marriage, labelled the attack an ISIS atrocity to further his Islamaphobic & race agenda. Fellow Republican, Senator Ted Cruz used the attack to try and score political points. He implied that the Democrats did not stand up to ISIS who call “for the murder of gays and lesbians.” However, Senator Cruz’s father, Pastor Rafael Cruz, is an anti-gay Tea Party crusader. Both attended and were keynote speakers at an event that called for the mass extermination of the gay community. Neither father or son objected to Pastor Kevin Swanson preaching that gay couples “should be put to death.”
There was no stinging rebuke from the establishment media or indeed coverage. Just one CNN commentator asked Ted Cruz a question about attending a conference which called for the genocide of LGBTI people. He avoided the question.
Ukip’s John Lyndon Sullivan asked on Facebook ‘if we shot one “poofter” whether the next 99 would decide on balance, that they weren’t after-all?’ Nigel Farage leader of Ukip defended the comment. Farage, who is against gay marriage, included a ‘conscience clause’ in his manifesto that allowed businesses to discriminate against gays. This political party has a history of making anti-gay comments.
It will always be acceptable to disagree or not share another’s point of view. It is not acceptable to be vitriolic and poisonous.
Leaders speak with moral turpitude on sexuality, race, religion and the disabled. In 1999, it led to the BNP’s David Copeland detonating a nail bomb in a gay pub. It killed a straight pregnant woman and two others. Preceding this attack nail bombs went off in Brixton and Brick Lane, areas with high Black and Asian populations. The latest UK figures for hate crime are up a fifth. We are now seeing where this type of rhetoric and negative talk leads again. The politics of hate are not confined to Islāmic Fundamentalists.
Orlando was not an ISIS terrorist attack or a gun crime. It was a hate crime.
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