June 12, 2016
I've been watching non-stop TV coverage all morning about the mass killing of 50 or more gay people in a club in Florida. Its the worst mass killing in American history; that's the statistic for what its worth. What does it all mean? The early reports are that the killer "saw two men kissing a few months ago" and that was what set him off.
So, a kiss prompted a killing; we have an act of love setting off an act of hate.
He saw two men kissing. It could have been two Black or two Hispanic Americans, or two Christians, two Jews, two Muslims, or two Americans of any kind, or simply two humans, that made him want to kill in response. The point is that this was not simply an assault on gay people. It was at the very least an assault on America, on every American who lives in freedom. Like the killings last year in Paris, it was an assault on humanity.
What we gay people can say is "We are Americans!" This was an attack on us as a nation. As Gay Americans who have proudly and patriotically volunteered to serve in our nation's armed forces we feel that assault doubly on our identity, on who we are. This afternoon, President Obama said simply and properly that "this was an assault on all of us."
So, what happens next? Dead people will be outed; life stories will be told; many who were murdered were Hispanic, some will have been veterans, funerals will unfold. Just now, this afternoon, it was announced that the White House has lowered its flag to half mast. Every last victim deserves an American flag on his coffin whether a citizen or not; as their lives were taken in an attack on America.