The following is an excerpt from an article by Sebastian Deken which was published on June 13, 2016:
The Orlando massacre "was meant to remind queer people, specifically, that despite all of the progress of the last two decades, we can still be made to feel that we exist only at the mercy of others. It was designed to humiliate as much as it was to exterminate — to trick us into believing our breath is a luxury rather than a right....
Our elected officials might be tempted, as any of us might be, to treat this shooting as a gun rights issue alone or as an issue of terrorism or national security.
It is certainly those things: Calls for reforming gun policy, and calls for love instead of terror are valid. But this attack did not occur randomly; it was not aimed at the general public. It was aimed at queer people. And addressing it as though the identities of the victims are of tertiary importance — identities for which real people bled to death — is more than dishonest. It’s a new kind of erasure, a quieter kind of violence."
Deken could not be more spot-on.
Meanwhile, a very long time friend of mine posted something on her Facebook page after this massacre and made no mention of the fact that the shooter specifically targeted the LGBT community. Other than myself, everyone commenting on that post also ignored that reality.
I then raised the issue and the fact that many people were applauding the shooter for killing so many gay people. Then, I got into a nasty argument with a brother and sister tag team. They had previously expressed their political views against gun control and the the problems they believe our country is experiencing as a result of what the brother referred to as "50 years of Leftist social revolution" and later in the discussion mentioned that they were Christians.
That brother / sister tag team made light of the reality that many people were applauding the shooter for killing so many gay people and refused to acknowledge that the LGBT community was specifically targeted for a reason. The brother then kept taunting me by repeatedly saying, "anti-gay rhetoric - definition: disagreeing with gays about anything."
When I flew off the handle, they continued referring to "sadness for the victims", with no acknowledgement that the LGBT community was deliberately targeted. The sister actually had the audacity to say, "Amazing how you turned the support for the victims of the shooting into an attack on gays."
I then became the focus of hate - I became the hater and they were all innocent victims of my venomous hate. My friend then told the sister, "no need to apologize. I did not intend for my comment to incite a firestorm. What is important is that we all have a forum to express our opinions and hopefully can do so in a respectful way. I certainly tried to do that and I believe you have as well."
In other words, their "quieter kind of violence through erasure" was respectful and when I flew off the handle because of their "quieter kind of violence" and continued "erasure" despite my efforts to raise the issue, I'm the only one who wasn't "respectful."
Meanwhile, on June 15, 2016, the Los Angeles Times reported "San Diego police are investigating an ominous post reported on Craigslist that referred to the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., and warned that 'San Diego you are next."
Moreover, on June 13, 2016, Rachel Maddow "ran through a timeline of hate-motivated attacks on gay bars carried out in the last half century, the same period when gay communities began to organize and associate publicly."
In any event, my experience in having engaged in the above discussion led to my publishing my articles titled "On Behalf Of The LGBT Community, We Don’t Want Your Pity" and "Those Holding ‘Anti-Gay’ Sentiments Need To Stop Making Things Worse By Expressing Outrage Over The Florida Massacre."
Almost immediately after I posted about my experience on my Facebook page, a straight friend commented as follows:
"You know that's gaslighting - I know you know that, I am validating it. Saying: "anti-gay rhetoric's definition = disagreeing with gays about anything" is bigotry. I hate that this happened.
I responded as follows:
"I know and thank you for validating that reality. The reason why I flew off the handle was because I was being gaslighted. I know gaslighting when I see it. The entire discussion was a form of bigotry against the LGBT community and they all made me feel as though I were crazy and they had done nothing wrong. I hate that this happened as well. No doubt, if the incident had occurred at a Jewish Temple and people were trying to "erase" that reality, my friend and her husband (both of whom happen to be Jewish) would call it out. I am disgusted that my friends both participated in such quiet violence and weren't recognizing it when I called it out and failed to recognize that their friends were even doing a more egregious form of gaslighting and bigotry."
My Facebook friend responded, "You have to call it out. Silence adds to the oppression. Good for you, Mark. I hope there will be one person who reads it and gets it. One epiphany."
Julie Rogers said a mouthful in her June 16, 2016 article titled "Christians Must Repent for Devaluing L.G.B.T. People", as did David P. Gushee in his article of that same date titled "Without Full Acceptance by Christians, Gays Are Demeaned and Hurt."
Erase other groups if you want (although I don't care to partake in such quite violence), but don't think I'm going to sit back while you attempt to erase a group of which I'm a member.
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