A United Front
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Politics and Activism

A United Front

We cannot fight hate with hate.

A United Front
101.9 AMP Radio

Heartbroken. Out of all the words in the dictionary, this is the word I choose – no, this is the word I feel. Because there’s no other word to describe the heaviness in my chest as I watch families mourning from my TV a thousand miles away. No other word that quite encompasses the lump in my throat and the dread in my bones as news continues to break over and over as the reporters deliver updated somber details. The biggest mass shooting in in US history, that’s what they’ve started calling it. No other word that comes even a little close to explaining the overwhelming despair of watching a community, your community, suffer.

On the morning of June 12, 2016, 49 innocent lives were taken in an act of senseless violence and hatred in Orlando Florida, a tragedy that has thousands upon thousands of people all around the world feeling just that – heartbroken.

There’s an old saying: You can’t fight fire with fire. In the most literal of senses, it means that the end product of two fires is just one huge fire, which is worse. But to break it down figuratively, it simply means that two wrongs don’t make a right. You can’t justify one evil with another. You can’t end injustice with more injustice. The shooting in Orlando was a crime fueled by hate, a crime against humanity. It was lives stolen for simply being themselves. It was ignorance and it was rage. It was an act that left the people vulnerable and afraid, left us desperately looking for answers to help us understand why. In a time where we should be focused on the victims and their families and grieving and fighting the spread of homophobia, others have taken it upon themselves to point fingers in the wrong direction. They’ve decided to abuse a painful and truly atrocious event and use it as a way to push hateful and racist political agendas.

They’re fighting fire with fire. They’re fighting an act committed in hate with more hate.

This is a time to come together. This is a time to understand and embrace our differences. This is a time to stand up for each other and protect one another. It’s a time to love, because love is love. This is not a time to discriminate. This is not a time to deflect the attention off of the real problem. This is not a time to turn it into something hateful and racist. This is not a time to hide the homophobia by being louder with Islamophobia.

What happened in Orlando was devastating, the stuff of nightmares. It was an example of the clear and present danger that ignorance poses on society, a danger that we as a people have to abolish. But we are no closer to equality by pushing all of the blame and all of our resentment on the next available target, by shrouding the true, genuine pressing issue. We will never achieve equality through discrimination. We have to face the problem as it is, not eclipse it with another one. The fact of the matter is, 49 people lost their life because homophobia is still alive and well within our society, a fact that most of us are aware of but are afraid to admit. We have to acknowledge that not only is it present, but it’s dangerous and continues to pose a threat. The fact of the matter is that this man, regardless of his religion, saw the need to put himself above the LGBTQ+ community.

It was never a matter of religious extremism, no matter how much the media is pushing it to be. We need to stop punishing an entire population of people just because it’s become easier to. We need to stand united.

When will it end? When will we stop seeing differences and start seeing people? How many more lives will it take until the world is ready to make a change? We will not let the lives lost be in vain. We will not let the world forget. It’s time we come together as a society and fight harder, and stronger than ever before. It’s time to push for change, not push each other away. It’s time to take a stance against hate, and ignorance, and intolerance. It’s time to speak up against the real social and political issues we’re facing. We have to demand the rights everyone deserves, regardless of who they are and who they love. Because at the end of the day, love is love.

My heart, my thoughts and my prayers go out to each and every person affected by the tragedy.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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