Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Obama's Sane & Heartfelt Response to Orlando Shooting #LoveIsLove

In the aftermath of the awful, brutal massacre in Orlando it was a relief to see how many people responded with sanity. News outlets sensationalized sickeningly, capitalizing on fear, but from local LGBT leaders right up to President Obama, and including Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, who spoke independently of each other but were of one mind, the call has been to fight against hatred and to remember the power of love; to continue to work hard for inclusiveness and equality. And these voices of wisdom speak for LGBT communities around the world. 

Donald Trump was the lone voice exploiting the shock, pain, horror and sorrow for political gain, whipping up fear and making it all about Muslims and Islam. But for once his voice was drowned out. You can't fight hate and violence with more of the same. You fight it by reaching out to those who feel so isolated and misunderstood. It's the long road and the difficult one but it's the only one that can work, long term.

Below are extracts from Barack Obama's response.

 “What is clear is that he was a person filled with hatred… The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live. The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub—it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights. 

“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 and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country.  And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.

“Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history.  The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle.  This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub. And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well.

“In the coming hours and days, we’ll learn about the victims of this tragedy. Their names. Their faces. Who they were. The joy that they brought to families and to friends, and the difference that they made in this world. Say a prayer for them and say a prayer for their families—that God give them the strength to bear the unbearable. And that he give us all the strength to be there for them, and the strength and courage to change. We need to demonstrate that we are defined more…by the way they lived their lives than by the hate of the man who took them from us.

“…In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another. We will not give in to fear or turn against each other. Instead, we will stand united, as Americans, to protect our people, and defend our nation, and to take action against those who threaten us. 

May God bless the Americans we lost this morning. May he comfort their families. May God continue to watch over this country that we love.”