By now, most if not all of you have heard of the tragedy that befell a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, when a gunman opened fire and systematically took the lives of over 50 LGBT identifying individuals. I have many thoughts following this awful incident.
About this being a consequence of the refusal of certain senators to progress gun-control laws to keep automatic weapons out of the hands of potentially unstable individuals.
About the members of the Christian right who are attempting to turn this into yet another excuse to spew bigoted vitriol towards the Islamic community, despite themselves being the source of over 200 different anti-LGBT bills in the past six months.
About how once again the NRA lobby wants to trot out the scapegoat of “mental illness” to somehow convince us that this is yet another “exception to the rule” (in a week where the US has had 7 mass shootings since last Monday).where a crazy person somehow got a hold of a gun. How they want to shrug and, in response to yet another building filled with the decaying bodies that once held the promise of dozens upon dozens of lives, say that “These things happen.”
However, this post is not about that.
This post is about the thousands upon thousands of Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, and social media mouthpieces talking about “how tragic this is”, or that “their thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who fell victim”. or even those who “stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community”
Notice how none of these statements have anything remotely approaching a stance. A call to action. A call to accountability. Something that requires you to actually put yourself out there and take a stand and say that something HAS TO CHANGE in order to keep this from happening again. The closest thing resembling a position in any of these is perhaps, “Shooting civilians is bad.”
But when you stop there, when you refuse to (god forbid) risk alienating some part of your fucking market demographic by saying something like “we need better gun controls” or “we have to address toxic masculinity” or “this is a product of the anti-LGBT bigotry we’ve allowed to spread”, YOU DON’T GET TO clutch your pearls and look like the tragic, compassionate onlooker who looks at the events as they unfold and say, “Oh no, what are we TO DO?!” You don’t get to pretend like you stand in solidarity while you sit idly by when it actually counts. When you COULD use your voice to contribute to some real, positive progress ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
Fuck every single celebrity, corporation, or brand that hides behind their marketing-and PR-team approved, non-committal sympathy. Fuck every single person with even the SLIGHTEST bit of societal pull who has the gall to give their condolences and then conveniently fail to show the fuck up when its time to put their money where their mouth is.
Know that you are complicit in this. Every time you choose to say nothing, to DO. NOTHING. You make it that much easier for this to happen again. You’re not shaken. You’re not sad. You’re not even sympathetic. You’re just a leech, nourishing your own goddamn public image off of the spilled blood of a tragedy.