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June 17, 2016
CP USA, Orlando: Unite against Hate! Submission from Communist Party USA 16 June 2016
Written by Communist Party USA
Thursday, 16 June 2016
Orlando: Unite against hate [En]
A time of great joy for the LGBTQ community celebrating Pride month turned into a moment of great horror in Orlando on June 12 – the worst modern day mass shooting in our nation’s history.
Our hearts go out to the LGBTQ community, the victims, their families and friends, and to the city of Orlando. We join with the overwhelming majority of Americans who are repulsed by this act of barbarism, and add our voices to those from allies and friends around the world which have demonstrated an outpouring of love and solidarity for the LGBTQ community.
This was an act of homophobic hate and terror. Just like the killer of eight African American parishioners at the AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, the Orlando killer sought to destroy a space of safety and solidarity.
All of these incidences of mass violence make our nation a little more fearful and frayed. Each incident encourages political paralysis.
Who and what are to blame for this horrific crime?
The response of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, instead of healing words, was inflammatory rhetoric. He again blamed “Islamic radicalism” for the crime. He called for a war on “Islamic terrorism” and renewed his calls to close the borders and ban all Muslims from entering the country, ramping up fear of Syrian refugees.
This is demagogy at its worst. It is meeting hate with more hate and fear with more fear.
It is using Islamophobia to divert from blaming homophobia and the flood of weapons, including assault weapons, in our communities.
It is stoking irrational fear by scapegoating migrants, including those refugees escaping violence in the Middle East.
It should not be lost that most of the victims were Latino, another community being vilified and criminalized by the likes of Trump.
The killer cannot be divorced from the reactionary right-wing atmosphere of hate and fear that has pervaded our politics for the past 35 years.
This makes him, like Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVey and the Charleston killer Dylan Roof, a homegrown extremist.
Such hateful ideas pervade right-wing radio. They pervade Trump campaign rallies. They pervade the halls of Congress and statehouses where the GOP tried and failed to block marriage equality, and is now trying to roll back these rights.
Homophobic hate is connected to the scapegoating of immigrants, to the misogyny and terror practiced against doctors who provide abortion care, and to the institutionalized racism and rampant police brutality and killing of African Americans and other people of color.
It is connected to efforts by the GOP and the right wing to legislative discrimination against the transgender community.
If we allow the U.S to take the path of hatred, of scapegoating, stigmatizing, and marginalizing the LGBTQ community, people of color, women, the disabled or immigrants, then we are headed to an ugly and dark place.
Instead let us join together and celebrate equality and our racial, national, gender, and identity diversity. These are what make for a beautiful nation, one the overwhelming majority of Americans want.
Each time there is a major shooting incident, whether in Orlando, Newtown, Pasadena, or in the streets of Chicago, the same debate takes place. And each time efforts to change the laws are blocked by the NRA and large weapons manufacturers and Wall Street hedge funds who have a majority of votes locked down in Congress, in statehouses, and among courtrooms across the nation.
Any effort to pass commonsense gun laws are blocked, despite the fact the majority of Americans support their passage.
Not only is legislation blocked, but the NRA and gun manufacturers declare that more people should be armed and availability of guns should be expanded. The more fear, the more profits.
This is an affront to the memory of those who died and the families and friends they leave behind. It is an affront to basic humanism when corporate profits are placed above people and their well-being.
The first step toward commonsense gun control is banning military-style assault weapons, like the AR-15, and adopting universal background checks that would keep weapons out of the hands of unstable individuals and those on terror watch lists.
Such a moment calls for unity and solidarity. It calls for action to outlaw such weapons and make real advances on gun control legislation.
It calls for a record turnout on Election Day 2016. Defeat any candidate who doesn’t support the rights of the LGBTQ community or who won’t pass commonsense gun control – beginning with Donald Trump.
We urge our members and friends to attend actions in solidarity with the victims and to engage in efforts to register, educate, and mobilize the largest demonstration against hate and for commonsense gun control on Election Day 2016.