I’m a social critic by nature. Anyone reading this comic probably knows that by now. As a writer and artist I often have the liberty to cloak my messages in analogy and metaphor. Tell a story and let the audience sort it out is the mantra of the satirist. But there are some situations that require the blunt force of plain words. The mass murder of so many of our friends, loved ones, and fellow human beings at the Pulse nightclub this weekend is one of those situations. I’d like to break down the facts:
• This was a hate crime pure and simple. It was perpetrated by an acknowledged homophobe at a known gay dance club and nearly, if not all, the victims were from the LGBT community. Any argument that this was an attack on all of us is pure nonsense. I, as a hetero cis-male, may feel a similar amount of outrage, but I don’t live with the existential fear and anxiety that I see my LGBT friends suffering through right now.
• This massacre does not exist in a vacuum. Every proposition opposing gay marriage, every bathroom law attacking transgender people, every school that wouldn’t allow gay kids to dance together at prom, every hillbilly who’s made into a hero for not serving LGBT people in their places of business, every hateful thing said by certain politicians and faith leaders led to this crime.
• This is not solely an act of Islamic terrorism. The American Christian right has pushed and pushed and pushed for the dehumanization of the LGBT community all over the world. At the same time this Muslim man shot up the Pulse club, a white, Christian man was on his way to a gay pride event in Los Angeles with a car full of guns and explosives. This attack was a product of our society as a whole, not just one facet.
• This senseless blood bath would not have been possible without our legal ability to purchase a weapon meant for war that has the ability to mow down dozens of people at a time. It just wouldn’t. We have allowed our gun laws to get so lax that a man can publicly pledge allegiance to any known terrorist group, including ISIS or the KKK, and still legally purchase a weapon of war that can mow down dozens of people at a time.
So let’s cut the bullshit folks. No more prayers. No more sad-face emojis. No more comments of support. It’s time to do something. Call your representative and tell them you’ve have enough. Enough homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic distractions. Enough laying the blame on everything but the weapons used and the crazy people who were allowed to get them. Call them, write to them, make them see that you’re not taking this shit anymore. Don’t know how? You’ll find a link to identify your representative and their contact information below. Blue Staters, I’m talking to you too. Your leaders need to grow a goddamn backbone so make sure to write them as well.