Hello, MARtians everywhere!
Last weekend was a terrible moment in our history. The place was the Pulse, a nightclub in Orlando. It was 2:00 a.m. For some, “last call” was to horrifically, poignantly apt. A gunman entered the building and open fired on the crowd killing and injuring about 100 people. He did not survive the night.
The brutal, senseless slayings in Orlando will go down in infamy as the deadliest mass shooting to date in US history. I wish I could say I am shocked, but sadly and for many reasons, I am not. Whether we begin with tolerance, fanaticism or unregulated gun violence, we have a lot to address before moments like this are truly in our past.
At a loss for words, I take a cue from the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. In his recent speech on the massacre, he states the gunman was driven by fanatical hatred and believed he had the right to kill anyone who was not just like him or did not believe what he believed.
The Prime Minister continued, calling upon the world to reach out to the LGBTQ community and comfort them. “Tell them we stand together as one, and that they will never be alone. After all, we are one family. It was not just an attack on the LGBTQ community it was an attack on all of us, on our common values of freedom diversity and choice.”
Netanyahu stated, “We will not be terrified into submission. We will fight back and we will triumph. Those who seek to spread hate and fear will be defeated, especially when we are all united in this cause. Stand united and resolute that all people deserve respect and dignity.”
I agree and so do a lot of others. The lines of people waiting to give blood hearten me. The high-profile people showing solidarity buoy me – the list includes such varied names as Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Oprah, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Seth McFarlane, Minnie Driver, Rob Lowe, John Legend, John Leguizamo, Josh Groban, Patricia Heaton, Kim Kardashian and some surprising political figures. UtahLt
Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican, offers hope that hearts can change. He recently stated in a speech to the LGBTQ community during a Utah vigil for those killed in Orlando, “I grew up in a small town and went to a small rural high school. There were some kids in my class that were different. I didn’t know it at the time, but I know now that they were gay. I will forever regret not treating them with the kindness, dignity and respect – the love – that they deserved. For that, I sincerely and humbly apologize. Over the intervening years, my heart has changed. It has changed because of you.”
Join me in a collective hug for the entire world in hopes that we finally realize we are all one. Someone hurts one of us, it hurts all of us, because love is love.