Posts Tagged As: Lindsay Graham

They Can’t Even Say Who Was Attacked

Jim Burroway

June 13th, 2016

They can’t even say our names. But they are perfectly happy to appropriate what happened to us.

“The nation’s prayers are with the victims and their families in the wake of this terrible tragedy. We thank the citizens and first responders who helped rescue and save lives amidst horror and chaos. We will continue to monitor developments from local law enforcement and the FBI to determine the exact nature of this crime and whether it was connected to international terrorist groups.”

— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

It is horrifying to see so many innocent lives cut short by such cowardice. Tonight, and in the long days ahead, we will grieve with the families. We will thank the heroes. We will hope for a swift recovery for the injured.

As we heal, we need to be clear-eyed about who did this. We are a nation at war with Islamist terrorists. Theirs is a regressive hateful ideology that respects no borders. It is a threat to our people at home and abroad. Our security depends on our refusal to back down in the face of terror. We never will.

— House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)

“This is a horrific day for America. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims, survivors, and those touched by this terrible tragedy. I fear this will prove to be system failure. Congress should immediately restore the budgets for our intelligence and law enforcement communities which have been suffering. My goal is to prevent future terrorist attacks, not simply respond to them. We are fighting a war against radical Islam and a hateful ideology, not a crime.”

— Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC)

To be fair, some Republicans are naming the victims directly as members of the LGBT community. (Sen. Marco Rubio,for example, has named the LGBT verbally on TV, but his official statement erases our existence.) But others treat the LGBT community as the people who they “dare not speak its name.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has got to be one of the worst offenders of this. He has been in front of every television camera in Orlando and his office has issued an avalanche of press releases — and one Executive order — without uttering even once the who the victims actually were. In this release, it was “an attack on our people… an attack on all of us.” In this one, it was “an attack on our state and entire nation.”

It’s true that it was an attack on “our state and nation,” if you mean that in a sort of an-attack-on-the-LGBT-community-is-an-attack-on-all-of-us kind of way. But if he meant it as a statement of solidarity, it should be pretty easy to do so. “The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live… “So this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American — regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation — is an attack on all of us.” Obama said that, and it’s pretty clear the “all of us” line is one of solidarity.

But if it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that when someone doesn’t want to speak clearly, then watch out. When they need to reach for euphemisms and jingoisms instead of speaking plainly, then you can bet that their intention has nothing to do with any sort of solidarity with the gay community.

And so let’s just be clear, in in case anyone is confused about what Omar Mateen did. He did not attack “all of us.” He attacked some of us. Some particular of us. He didn’t go to Disney, Universal, or to Orlando’s tourist strip packed with restaurants and nightclubs where all of us go. He didn’t go to a shopping mall or a sporting event where all of us go. No, he picked a partucalr night club where some of us go — a gay night club. A night club that was tucked away from the crowds of all of us, and to a particular crowd of some of us. A crowd that Mateen sought but too many political leaders find it uncomfortable to name.


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