50 dead, Islamic terrorism tie eyed in Orlando gay bar shooting
A hate crime took over at a Florida Night club — a shooting and hostage situation took place early Sunday at a place which describes itself as “Orlando’s hottest gay bar” — left an estimated 50 people dead, including the gunman, and more than 50 injured, officials say.
You might wonder why I am bringing something that happened many months ago back again. But ask yourself, aren’t these headlines common? We read them so often in our newspapers and turn an ignorant eye or take a moment to sympathize before returning to our busy lives, forgetting all about them. We openly express ourselves without even considering its impact on the person, blatantly criticizing or dismissing any view that doesn’t match our own.
So how do we expect our children to be any different? We push them into stereotypes that they have to fit in. If you’re a boy, act like one. Act aggressive and competitive. If you’re a girl, be sensitive. Help your mother with the household chores that you’ll be expected to take up when you become a wife. Love men. Marry men. Then why do hate crimes astonish us? Do we really not anticipate it? These haters were only playing by the norms, weren’t they?
It doesn’t have to be on a large scale. An act as small as mocking someone just because they are a little different, is just an extent of a hate crime. It is something we have all done sometime or the other during our lives. How does it make us any different? After all, the extent does not decide the justification or importance of the act. A hate crime is a hate crime.
Its not just about sexual orientation, but everything that makes someone distinct. As many of you may know, the Orlando killing was a hate crime as well as an act of terrorism. The shooter was trying to avenge the death of the victims of US air strikes. He chose to make his point by doing exactly the same—killing more people.
Violence has become a successful weapon to put a point across, to make a statement and attract attention. But by harming another person, emotionally or physically, we’re not only affecting the person and all the people associated with that person but also proving that we do not deserve the intellectual capability that we are blessed with.
I hope this article is serves as a reminder. Even though we might be of different ethnicity, gender, race, religion and have different beliefs, in the end, we are all just humans. Our humanity is what binds us and we need to protect it.
“The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.”
“Why Hate Crime Does Not Surprise Me Anymore” has been edited by Aashna Kanuga