I wasn’t going to comment on the shooting, but now that I sit here ready to post the first of the planned posts for the week, it feels impossible not to. Events like this have a psychic weight to them and for a while, everything gets pulled in by its gravity. It should be like that.
Yesterday was just for sadness and reflection, and today, Monday morning as people return to work and are faced with people that are not their close friends and audience of people that think along the same lines that they do, things are bound to heat up. Friends of mine who are appalled by proliferation of guns, homophobia, and anti-Muslim sentiment will be encountering those who are celebrating because they hate both Gays and Muslims and are mainly concerned with saving the guns…
If you are a person that instantly took the opportunity to prove how this event proves you are right about X, I am not going to reach you with this, and I am not even going to try, because really if there is a message I have for people its to think further. To engage the people that are on the other side and have a real chat. A civil one. Be a statesman in your own circle. Don’t pass memes, share your own thoughts and listen.
As for me, some of the thoughts that are running through my head…
I hope that the race to talk about Guns and Islam does not overshadow what I think is the Prime Evil in this case: Homophobia. This is Pride week, so show yourself as an ally. Being an ally BTW means just that: supporting others peoples leadership and listening. It is not about telling people what they should do. Just like with feminism and racism I think its important that the main strategy and mover should arise within the community and be given support.
I am pro-gun control, but jumping on tragedies doesn’t work. If it did, the bills introduced after Sandy Hook when 20 children between the ages of 6 and 7 were killed along with 6 adults. If 20 children are not enough to move Congress to action, 53 people at a gay club won’t either. Time for a different approach.
I am still perplexed at why we can’t talk about Islamic Terrorism without hating Islam itself. Before we knew the shooters name several people were calling it Christian Terrorism, but the moment it was revealed that the shooter was Muslim those same people claimed you could no longer call it terrorism. You can’t have a dialog with Muslims about it, if you can’t even utter its name. And many Muslims WANT to talk about it. They don’t get any press because if they did the news would not be able to say “why don’t Muslims stand up against this kind of thing?”. News flash: They do. Regularly.
Maybe you agree with the above, and maybe you don’t, and that’s fine. I am not asking for agreement. I think what I am asking for is for people to give a little more thought to what their positions and how they are going to act upon those positions. Talk to the people that make you uncomfortable. Have a real conversation with those who are willing to be civil.