At least fifty people have lost their lives at the hands of a homophobic murderer in Orlando, Florida in the Pulse gay nightclub. The number of dead is likely to increase since many of those taken to hospital are described as critical, and many more will spend the rest of their lives with crippling injuries.
One might think that such a tragedy would evoke huge human empathy but apparently not.
The Lieutenant Governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, tweeted as follows:
[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”auto” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]
Do not be deceived:
God cannot be mocked.
A man reaps what he sows.
Mr Patrick later deleted his tweet, explaining that it was all an unfortunate misunderstanding, but the Westboro Baptist Church was under no such illusions.
[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”auto” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]God sent the shooter to the Orlando fag club![/dropshadowbox]
Still, with the WBC, at least you know what you’re getting, though not so much with Donald Trump, who immediately began tweeting, firstly with a cursory nod to the relatives of the victims and then with a full-blown chest-thumping congratulation of himself for warning about keeping Muslims out of the United States.
Now, it’s true that the killer, Omar Mateen, was a Muslim, but in much the same way Donald Trump is a Christian.
It’s also a fact that the killer was a US citizen, born and bred in the USA. But what’s even more undeniable is that, even though Omar Mateen was a private citizen and not a gang member or part of any political grouping, he was still able to purchase perfectly legally the sort of firepower that allowed him to massacre at least fifty people and maim as many more.
It’s also a fact that the murders took place in a state where anti-gay attitudes are deeply entrenched and where the State legislature has reluctantly rolled back its anti-gay laws only as a result of vigorous arm-twisting by the US Supreme Court. It’s a fact, furthermore, that these murders happened on the edge of the Bible Belt where fundamentalist Christians regard homosexuals as an abomination and where many people would hardly shed a tear at the killing of a gay man or woman. In addition, it’s a fact that these murders happened in a state where the gun laws are extremely lax.
Yet, despite all these things, cynics like Trump are getting away with the most outrageous conclusions.
According to Trump and his fellow travellers, the massacre didn’t happen because Orlando is in a state where gays are still a marginal community.
The massacre didn’t happen because rednecks would as soon string up a gay person as a black.
The massacre wasn’t facilitated by the fact that every random lunatic can buy an assault rifle.
The massacre didn’t happen due to extreme religious prejudice, or at least, not the sort of extreme religious prejudice we approve of.
No. The massacre occurred because of the other extreme religious prejudice. The sort we don’t approve of.
It makes no difference that both sorts of extreme religious prejudice come from the same book, the same band of wandering, murderous ignorant sheep herders and yet, as it turns out, the killer wasn’t even very religious, according to his ex-wife. In fact, he was just your average non-religious controlling wife-beating scumbag.
Or to put it another way, he was just another prejudiced anti-gay chest-thumping redneck.
Of course, that wouldn’t suit the agenda of Trump and his associates, so instead Omar Mateen has to be painted as a follower of ISIS who, of course, were more than happy to claim his actions as their own.
Normally in America (and how sad it is that anyone would be able to use the word normally but such is the state of things in that country) when a madman kills a large number of people, the authorities investigate and conclude in the end that the mass murder was committed by an unhinged person or in exceptional circumstances like Oklahoma, a domestic terrorist.
I have yet to hear of an American mass murder where a killer was described as a Catholic extremist or a Protestant extremist or a Shinto extremist and yet, somehow, when the killer has the remotest connection to a Muslim country, he can’t simply be a homicidal maniac like any normal Christian. The explanation has to lie in his religion, or in the religion of his parents or in the religion of someone he was descended from a thousand years ago, because that’s how Americans have been led to view the world: through a lens that allows only for good guys and bad guys, with the current bad guys being Muslims. One quarter of the world’s population, including the late Muhammad Ali.
Japanese-American people will understand this sort of thinking very well indeed since they were all imprisoned for the duration of World War 2 purely on the basis of their non-European features, in horrible concentration camps like Manzanar. Meanwhile, people with European faces suffered no such imprisonment, even though they bore the names of the arch-enemies. No German-Americans were imprisoned. No Italian-Americans were put in concentration camps. No Hungarian-Americans. No Croatian-Americans.
Indeed, a man with an Americanized German name, Eisenhower, was made Supreme Allied Commander and later became President. It’s hard to imagine, even today, a President Hashimoto or Katsumata.
It’s also hard to avoid the conclusion that despite the great talk about separation of church and state, America is, and has always been in its essence a European Christian project, conceived in an act of genocide and maintained in a huge act of continuing global warfare without end.
You’d have to conclude that in situations like this, Trump and ISIS are best buddies. A coincidence of interests, so to speak, between two equally unscrupulous political enterprises.
A very dangerous confederation of criminals and possibly one that could lead to another world war.