“This was an act of terror and an act of hate,” President Obama stated during the afternoon of June 12th, in a press conference regarding what has quickly been dubbed ‘the Orlando attack’. This heinous attack, which took place around 2a.m. on June 12th, 2016, occurred at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and has been designated a hate crime.
This attack is definitely not the first of it’s kind and has been added to a list of disgusting and despicable acts of hate against members of the LGBTAQ+ community. Something this brutal, however, has not been committed against those who consider themselves to be members of this community in more modern history.
Not only does this incident highlight the injustices committed against the LGBTAQ+ community, but also the need for stricter gun laws in our nation — an issue that has been highly debated among members of Congress in the last few decades.
Posts regarding this attack have taken over social media — a swarm of support for and against gun laws, and a plethora of pleas to members of our nation’s government to help protect our citizens from attacks like these.
Unfortunately, some have taken to social media to voice their concerns over members of the Islamic faith — a religion which has been consistently associated with terrorism and violence. But I want to highlight something that is extremely important: while this attack definitely does not reflect well on members of the Islamic faith, this attack does not directly correlate with every believer of Islam.
While this act was one of hate, we can not spread the hate more to members of a certain religion because of the fact that this terrorist was one of the same religion. It is not only wrong but morally incorrect to associate members of the faith with violence and hate. By spreading more hate ourselves, the problems will only get worse.
When it comes down to it, it’s extremely important to remember that members of the LGBTAQ+ community and members of the Islamic community are not threats to our society. By spreading hate against those who associate themselves with these two groups is not only singling out a specific group in society, which last time I checked was discrimination, but it is also giving people the notion that it is okay to commit attacks against these two groups.
Instead of using your voice to spread hate, use your voice during this time (and into the future) to spread awareness and love for these people who are American citizens just like you.
Just remember: love is love and belief is belief. You cannot single someone out and persecute them for who they love or what they believe in. It’s morally wrong and completely unfair.
The Orlando attack is the deadliest mass shooting in the modern history of the United States, with 50 dead and 53 injured.
For more information on the victims of the attack you can go to: http://www.cityoforlando.net/blog/victims/
For more information on the current state of the attack you can go to: http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/12/us/orlando-shooting-what-we-know/index.html
For more information on how to make a donation, a page has been set up by Equality Florida, please go to: https://www.gofundme.com/pulsevictimsfund.
Update: As of the morning of June 13th, 2016, the GoFundMe page set up by the Florida LGBT group ‘Equality Florida’ for the victims of the Orlando Attack has raised $1,429,727 of it’s $2.0M goal. This money has been raised by 36,392 people in just 23 hours.