Monday, June 13, 2016

Empty, mocking gesture

I wrote yesterday that the Orlando attack was the deadliest in US history. I've seen that statement several times today, though I've wondered if it all comes from one source, perhaps this LA Times article that details the attack.

A friend responded to yesterday's post saying that statement ignores such things as the Baker-Fancher massacre of 1857 and Wounded Knee of 1890 (at least 150 dead). There were likely many others. Perhaps some qualifiers are needed (though not mentioned in news sources) such as deadliest by a single attacker.

The conservative response to the attack has, as expected, been disgusting. Even some of the mild stuff can be annoying, such as carefully not saying the site was an LGBT club even when they say such platitudes as the attack was against "all of us." That way they can distance themselves from their own policies that promote bigotry. They can also justify their favorite narrative that the whole thing is attributable to extreme Islam (even though various people say the attacker wasn't particularly religious and had said nasty things about us).

The Editorial Board of the Detroit Free Press pushed back on that nastiness:
In the days to come, we'll learn much, much more about the tragedy in Orlando. But at its core, this attack is the product of two things: easy civilian access to weapons that kill dozens in minutes, and the persistence of political rhetoric that marginalizes LGBT people.

After mass shootings it is now customary for Congress to hold a moment of silence. It seems that's all they can manage to do. But Rep. Jim Hines (D-CT) has had enough of that empty, mocking gesture. He will refuse to attend.

Hillary has our back. Bernie? Unknown. Donald? Forget it. He's too busy blaming Muslims.

The FDA has long had a ban on accepting donations of blood from men who have sex with men, a stupid rule left over from the AIDS epidemic (even though there are ways to screen for AIDS). However, for the duration of this emergency blood will be accepted from everyone.

The Go Fund Me page set up by Equality Florida to help victims and families has passed $2.6 million. They hope to get to $5 million. The page set up by The Center, an LGBT center in Orlando, has passed $274 thousand with a goal of $500 thousand.

My pastor called me this morning, asking how I was doing in response to the Orlando news. He then said he is going to a vigil at the Affirmations LGBT center in Ferndale tomorrow evening. He asked if I would like to ride with him. Wow! This guy is wonderful! I'll miss him (his last Sunday with us before going to another assignment is this coming weekend). Other vigils are listed at the We Are Orlando site.

There have been national and international vigils and signs of support, such as a crowd on Bourbon Street, New Orleans. Bridges lit with rainbow lights in Little Rock, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and more. City Hall in Tel Aviv. London bars pausing in their serving and suggesting patrons go outside and hold hands.

While attention has been focused on Orlando, this has gotten little attention: A man planned to attack the Los Angeles Pride Parade with guns and bombs. Thankfully, his plans were thwarted.

I watched the Tony Awards last night, which had a few important mentions of the Orlando attack, especially at the beginning. The show, of course, had performances by the cast of Hamilton, which won several awards. I would not have known that there was something missing from those performances. They dropped the use of muskets.

Melissa McEwen of Shakesville is angry and sad that LGBT people were attacked in what was supposed to be a safe space for them. That prompted an essay in praise of the many LGBT people in her life. She was one of those people who didn't fit in and because she is married and doesn't want children there are many times she still doesn't fit in. Over and over it was people in the LGBT community that befriended her. The recognized a fellow misfit.

That reminds me of my niece. I've heard her say, "My favorite relatives are the gay ones."

If tears come easily, you might want to stop reading now.

I wrote yesterday about the mother searching for her gay son. Alas, the son is among the dead. The family is now planning a joint funeral with the family of the son's boyfriend.

As names of the victims have been released Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin is posting photos.

Joe Jervis tweeted: "CNN: Investigators forced to 'tune out' sound of ringing phones coming from bodies strewn about scene of massacre."

No comments:

Post a Comment