By Kathleen Maksymec, World YWCA Head of Communications
In the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, there’s one thing that’s starting to disturb me almost as much as the tragedy itself. And that’s how this tragedy is dividing us. And how groups and individuals are using the deaths of 50 people as a platfom to advocate for their own interests.
In all the speculation about why this happened, the endless discussions about the ideological and sexual preferences of the shooter and his victims, and the subsequent political manuvering, we’ve somehow missed the point. Fifty people are dead. These people were someone’s brother, someone’s boyfriend, someone’s son, someone’s favourite aunt, someone’s grand-daughter.
Does it really matter if they were gay, straight, black, white, young or old, or practicing Christianity or Islam? At the end of the day, aren’t we all just people who want to be able to go out on a Saturday night and have a good time without having to look over our shoulders fearfully for a man with a gun?
To all the good Conservative Christians who’ve suggested that the homosexual lifestyle is somehow to blame for this attack, perhaps you need to review your Bibles. Christianity is a religion based on the principles of unconditional love, peace and compassion for all people.
To all the good Democrats who staged a political protest by walking out of the U.S. House of Representatives during a moment of silence for the victims, is this how you intend to lead? Can you not stay still and stop fighting for one minute—it was one minute of silence folks–to show your respect for the victims of this attack?
And as for Donald Trump, and all other political candidates who are so blatantly using this tragedy as a platform for spreading hate and fear for their own political gain, you should be deeply ashamed. This is not a time to divide people; it’s a time to bring people together. Any leader who doesn’t understand that, doesn’t deserve to lead.
What happened in Orlando is a tragedy. Fifty people are dead, and for their friends, families and loved ones, life will never be the same. Our hearts and prayers are with you, because we can’t change that. But let’s not make this an even greater tragedy by allowing this senseless act of violence to create even larger divisions among us. This is a time to unite. A time to mourn. A time to set aside our differences and come together to find solutions to the pervasive violence in our society.