Today’s Agenda Is Brought To You By…

Jim Burroway

June 15th, 2016


Top Row: Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old • Amanda Alvear, 25 years old • Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old and Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old • Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old • Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old • Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old • Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old • Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Second Row: Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old • Cory James Connell, 21 years old • Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old • Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old • Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old • Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old • Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old • Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old • Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Third Row: Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old • Frank Hernandez, 27 years old • Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old • Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old • Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old • Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old • Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old • Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Fourth Row: Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old • Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old • Kimberly Morris, 37 years old • Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old • Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old • Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old • Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old • Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Fifth Row: Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old and Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old • Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old • Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old • Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old • Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old • Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old • Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old • Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Botton Row: Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old • Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old • Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old • Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old • Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old • Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

We wil be hearing a lot about the shooter over the next couples of weeks. I think it’s important to know those who were taken away from this earth far too early because of him. Over the next several days, I will use this space to provide a brief introduction to each of those who died on Sunday.

Edward Sotomayor

Edward “Top Hat Eddie” Sotomayor, Jr., 34 years old.

Eddie was the first to be identified to the public. That made him the face of the massacre for much of Sunday. The Sarasota resident loved to travel around the world and he made friends easily. He got the name “Top Hat Eddie” for the hats that he wore. Many of the online tributes on social media made use of black hat emojis.

“Eddie was one sweetheart and I will miss talking and working with him. That smile and top hat is burned in my memory,” Nikki Stjames posted.

“He was a kind and loving man. A man that lit up the room with his great smile,” said friend Jason Howell. “Always there to try and solve a problem whether small or big. Just the posts on all of the social media sites show how much he is loved and how he touched so many lives … he will truly be missed.”

Edie worked as a brand manager for Al and Chuck Travel, which catered to the gay community. He was also one of the company’s tour leaders:

“He was one of our tour leaders, known for wearing his top hat, and for being a really nice guy,” Robin Ziegler Suess posted on social media. “He was also a tour leader on our recent Caribbean cruise in January, where I had the honor of wearing his top hat.”

He had recently returned from Cuba after coordinating the first-ever gay cruise to the island last April. In 2015, he was the national coordinator for the “Drag Stars at Sea” cruise, which featured a number of stars from the TV Show “RuPAul’s Drag Race”:

Drag performer Pandora Boxx also remembered Sotomayor for his top hat — but also so much more. He said he first met Sotomayor on a cruise and “everyone was talking about Top Hat Eddie (he wore a top hat the entire time!).”

“Not only was he good-looking but he was so super sweet and friendly. I never heard a bad word spoken about him,” the performer said in an email to NBC News. “My heart is broken that he was taken from us by a senseless tragedy. He will be remembered with love. So much love.”


Eddie and his boyfriend were at Pulse for Latin Night, and he tried to get his boss, Al Furguson, to come out to the club to join in the fun:

“He was with his boyfriend and they sent me a video text from the dance floor at Pulse, trying to get me to come over from where I was at,” recalled Ferguson, who owns the travel company where Sotomayor was national brand manager.

The shooting began twenty-three minutes later. Eddie was shot in the back as he helped his boyfriend to safety.

“What I will say, over and over again, was he was a person who said, ‘We cannot be afraid,'” said Ferguson. “I know his friends are going to be the exact same way… we are not going to be afraid.”

Eric Payne

June 15th, 2016

It didn’t take long for the narrative to change.

Now, even MSNBC is emphasizing possible animus toward Latinos as the motivation for this weekend’s massacre.

That cowardly asshole trolled gay clubs; he messaged men to question where the most popular gay clubs were. He’s been reported as having patronized gay clubs, including Pulse, for months prior to his actions. The very first reason his father could think of as a motivation for his son’s actions was he was angered over seeing two men kiss.

That most of the victims lost were Latino is because it was “Latin night” at Pulse.

Yes, most of the victims were Latino, but first and foremost, they were killed because they were at a gay club.

Eric Payne

June 15th, 2016

I should note, I am referencing the second live Rachel Maddow show that aired last night at 11:00 PM EST. In her 9:00 hour, Maddow had as a guest openly lesbian Orlando City Commissioner Patty Shhehan, who did emphasize this was an act of hatred directed toward gays.

In the special election coverage 11:00 hour, though, Maddow spoke with a female spokesperson of an Orlando Latino outreach group who spoke of an attack against the Latino community, and how the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, and the GOP themselves, had created a climate in which violence against Latinos was expected, and cited the assault on a homeless Latino man by two Trump supporters following a Trump rally as proof. Then, at the very end of her segment, she squeezed in “we stand for the Latino community, and the LGBT community” against this hatred.

What really bothered me was Maddow consistently referring to Pulse as “nightclub” without a “gay” qualifier.

Maddow did two different segments in two different hours. In one, she stressed gay animus — even folding in three examples of members of the Christian Right publicly admitting that, in their eyes, gays should be killed, but killed through legitimate “channels… just going in and shooting up the place is wrong.”

But it almost seemed as if Maddow, in her two live shows last night, was speaking of two different clubs. The media has to constantly, consistently, reinforce this hatred was directed at gays AND Latinos simply because the victims were gay AND Latino.

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