Good has always won over evil, yet this age old assurance keeps fading in the dark realities of today, limiting its mythical magic to the warm insides of story books. The world keeps hurting faith as hatred rears its head in the most heinous ways, leaving us with nothing but infinite remorse over those victimized and a never ending string of RIP messages that fade away with time. The usual weekend morning of June 12th was forever dabbed with a black mark etched forever on the face of humanity because of the Orlando night club massacre.
The wreckage caused to humanity is irreparable as terror and hate fueled by an orthodox maniac mind overpowered the best qualities of mankind. Almost a fortnight ago, the Orlando carnage, which was the deadliest mass shooting in US history, hit the headlines, making people freeze with the horror of the incident. Social media shed tears as posts sent love and compassion to all those fell to Omar Mateen’s bullets, wishing they find their share of heaven in the alternate universe. Bloggers also came forward, putting their strong opinions to mark the sacrifice of the faultless youth that had no clue of the impending hell. This week BlogAdda prays for the departed and looks forward to days of hope, which seem farther away from the horizon considering the present situation. Starting on a very honest note, Harish Iyer, profiles the culprit in the right frame, debarring him from any religion –
“I’m going to leave religion aside but only with the note that I also know that true Christians would condemn how the Westborough Baptist Church celebrated the slayings.
Just as I know that the average Hindu couldn’t care less about who I sleep with and won’t chase me with a trident! Gay rights activists have been killed in clubs, in cafes, in their offices and on busy streets in broad daylight across the world. Their killers have used guns, machetes, bombs and often even their bare hands. Remember how ISIS dropped gay men head first from the roofs of high buildings in North Africa?Some people blame guns. I blame the killer. People, both straight and gay, are killed because people with hate in their heart kill them.”
We have been thrown into a pool of insecurities as the world becomes a darker place to live in with every single day passing by. News feeds are brimming with manslaughter or bloodshed as man becomes vulnerable to hatred for colour, religion, beliefs, gender or his sexual orientation. However, is this the only time where ruthlessness crossed the highest of its limits? Gun culture has been going hand in hand with hatred and intolerance for a long time in the US. From attacks stemming from white supremacy to killing 32 people by bombing a gay bar in New Orleans in 1973, there have always been incidents of violence and terror in the US. India however, chooses to keep silence over speaking the ‘G’ word, walking the safe line between sympathizing with the victims and still not coming out in support of homosexuals-
“None of them even slightly eluded to the fact that it was an attack at a gay nightclub, driven by homophobia. The word gay is one of derision for the Indian politicians, one that must not be used, not even when 50 people get killed because of their sexual orientation.
While our PM has expressed his “shock” over the killings, he has till now maintained a studied silence over Section 377. Probably his heart pains only when there is violence of the physical kind on the LGBT population. But violence need not be physical all the time. Violence can be in non-physical forms – verbal and mental. Physical violence is easy to show, but it is when violence manifests in other forms that you get to know who your true friends and sympathizers are.”
The 29 year old Omar, who is the insane face behind the homophobic gunfire, apparently was a supporter of ISIS, which he proclaimed through his impending call before the attack, yet his actions are an outburst of a homegrown tradition of hatred and indifference. Gay nightclubs have tasted their shares of attacks and protests from time to time. Earlier they were group actions which now have narrowed down to a single mind. Was he an Islamic terrorist or a radical American brought up in the pedigree of a society intolerant to the minority since forever? The lone wolf phenomenon sent out waves of shocks and embedding fear for our social structure in our minds. Virendra Kapoor, puts forth his opinion quoting-
“Mercifully, no evidence has surfaced thus far to link the killer to the IS, even if he did harbor sympathies for it. However, this was not why he laid siege to the popular lesbian, gay, bisexual and transvestite watering hole in Orlando. Apparently, he was disgusted with what he considered abnormal sexual behavior, the trigger for the Sunday attack being the chance sighting of two gay men kissing Homophobia runs deeper among Islamists. Armed with semi-automatic assault rifles and a couple of magazines he barged into the crowded bar and began to kill people at random. By the time a Special Weapons and Tactics team neutralized him, fifty innocent people were dead while nearly as many lay injured.”
The US President has refrained from naming the whole episode as a form of extremist Jihadi terrorism. The Government chooses to take the episode as an attack by an imbalanced person on US citizens, and not holding any community responsible for the same. So far there has been no concrete clue to the direct intentions of the ISIS in the mass attack, even when the doom showed up during Ramadan. Irrespective of Omar being a Muslim or a supporter of ISIS, it is important for us to define the calamitous threats our society is facing in the wake of modernity. How do we manage to keep ourselves insulated to such monsters that hide behind the mask of a common man who can flip on a whim? Mike LaBossiere writes on the same wavelength,
“This mass shooting, like others before it, give rise to an important epistemic question: how can we know when a person will become a mass shooter (or terrorist)? While it is certainly tempting to infer that expressions of hate and expressed desires to engage in violence are good indicators, they are not. A little reflection and a little time on the internet show that hate is abundant as are expressions of desires to engage in violence. The vast majority of these people never make the move from expression to mass shooting. As such, while this sort of behavior is an indicator, it is a very weak indicator. What would be needed would be clearer evidence that a person is preparing to go from thought to action.”
The winds of change have made the earlier definition of ‘abnormal’ more acceptable. Yet, homosexuality is still trapped in its infinite loop of judgments and unfair assumptions. What should just be respected as a natural instinct is turned into the biggest crime for which homosexuals have to pay for with their lives. So is Orlando a terrorist attack or a hate attack? Terrorism has nothing to do with religion. When the human mind forgets the sanctity of a soul and its humanity, it falls off from the path of God at that very moment. Wicked Gay Blog writes,
“It has only been 1 week and already the news coverage has waned. I am hearing reports of radio silence from family members on this massacre, workplaces void of conversation, and now the media already moving on to the latest dramatic story. IT HAS ONLY BEEN A GOD DAMN WEEK! I am angry. I am furious. I want to know why this massacre is already becoming an LGBT issue and not an American issue. Is America dumping this on us like they did with AIDS in the 80’s? I refuse to accept that. I refuse. Second, something needs to be done about the gun epidemic in this country. I am so sick and tired of gun nut jobs and their second amendment. The second amendment was written when all that was available for “guns” were muskets.”
How do we heal from such an unimaginable tragedy? We cannot let some bullies decide the fate of our freedom and liberties. However, the day when evil decimated the lives of those in the laughter filled pub, God did keep a silent hand on the lives that got shattered in a matter of minutes. Through supporters and equally compassionate police, people had another set of God’s own creatures help take the pain away. Comfort Dogs arrived at the site with their unconditional love. Here’s Abhishek Joshi getting us some of their positivity,
“As the world came to a staggering halt in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. history (50 people were killed — and 53 others were wounded), kindness poured in from every corner trying to fill the void. Amid the kind humans there were also eleven comfort dogs from The Lutheran Church Charities K-9 who headed to Orlando to comfort the afflicted citizens.Dogs can help. They’re like a furry counsel. They’re not judgmental and they’re good listeners, which is good because talking is an important part of healing process. It allows people to process what happened.”
As the devil leave anyone at peace, we are still looking for the torchbearers to save us from the evil’s eye, gloom and darkness surrounding our space of life. Hope doesn’t seem like an answer or a solution to the menace that seems to have taken a firm pledge to break the world and the hearts that reside in it. During such times, where do we hunt for hope and positive days for the generation to come? A doting father talks about his apprehensions about the coming times as he welcomes his little bundle of joy into this world, that seems to give no guarantee of a bright future. Joel Leon dreads the future where the world can turn against anyone, fearing that ‘different’ is an unpardonable sin costing lives in the world that is our home.
“So, I do not know if my daughter will or will not be at a gay club one day, a popular one (there are plenty in New York), and I do not know if I would have hugged her or kissed her or Skyped or Facetimed or VR’d (virtual reality is real, ya’ll), or used whatever method of technology that would be required to speak to my child, before she went to that club.That club could also be a mosque, or a church, a synagogue, a train station, a camp, or even her college campus. My daughter could go to this club, and may only leave this club in a bag. I will let her leave the comfort of my arms, and let walk outside into a world that may hate her skin, or hair, or her beliefs; a world that may hate her gender, or sexuality. The hate may spread to her religion, or lack thereof. A man may murder her after refusing to have sex with her, and be acquitted. Or, may rape her while she is unconscious. I cannot protect my child from this world, and that makes me angry, and sad.”
The bright sun continues to rise everyday, oblivious to the massacre that seems to put an end to many lives and stories of those who yearned for a life full of love and passion. Love, that had no boundaries or definitions in the dimensions of age, sex , faith or opinion. Yet, despair and pain has found its place amidst the families of those who happened to be at the pub for a drink, that happened to be their last. Our hearts grieve for those who went away, leaving a silent question mark on the future that lies ahead. We end on a grief stricken note by Shailaja, praying for the departed souls sending all the light to their families.