rebuild | orlando, islamophobia & unity

this is a response to today’s one word prompt


i don’t know how to write this, really.

i can’t adaqueately express the anger and sadness that i am feeling for the victims of tragic and senseless gun violence in the usa this past week, and for the victims of a tragic bombing in lebanon. i can’t imagine the pain and suffering brought about by the senseless loss, or the foolish backlash that the lgbtq+ & muslim community must be receiving.

i can be sorry, and i can pray that the god i believe in will have mercy, and i know that it isn’t enough. but i don’t know what else i can do.

fifty people were murdered at pulse nightclub in orlando, while almost fifty others were injured. fifty people had their lives taken for no reason apart from being in a space that promoted loving who you love. pulse is a beacon for so much of the lgbtq+ community in orlando, and because of a sensless act of cowardice, people have lost so much.

the entire lgbtq+ community has been shaken by the shooting. if queer people cannot be safe in a space for them, amongst other queer people, where can they be safe? a day after the shooting, a man carrying heavy explosives and weapons was apprehended. he was on his way to the l.a pride parade. he was headed to a space full of queer people with the sole intention to kill them.

what part of this doesn’t look like a hate crime? what part gives you the inclination that there was another reason, apart from rampant homophobia, for these attacks?

is it ignorance? is it trump? i hate to mention trump’s name. i believe that the guy from the apprentice is only in the posoition he is in because of the press we give to him. trump needs a mirror, but more so, he is a mirror.

the fact that so many of the senators tweeting their condolences and prayers voted against gun control, and can’t seem to realise that they need to answer the question, “how do these people get their weapons, and why is it so easy?” in order for us to make any progress is troubling.

the same people who called the lgbtq+ community animals are the ones offering their sincerest regards. those who claimed that the lgbtq+ community in bathrooms is a danger to public society are now looking at the slain members of the community, and finding something else to talk about. calling up islamophobia, and terrorism, ignoring the fact that crime after crime after crime like this can be so easily prevented if some fucking republicans would get their heads out of their asses.

what, then, do these muslim-hating republicans, have to say about the religions of the white perpetrators of the biggest mass shootings in us history? what do they say about the religion of the white people who shot children at sandy hook elementary school, who prayed with unarmed black people and then shot them? why are queer lives not valued enough for this to be seen as what it is – a crime against them?

i am beside myself. i feel selfish for being sad, when so many are directly affected. i feel helpless, because every time something like this happens, a ‘pray for’ hashtag is generated, and the president makes a speech, and some people cry and change their profile pictures and post things on instagram and nothing changes because it always happens again. america, it always happens again.

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in light of all of this pain, what is left? what is left but the countless souls who will mourn, who will bury the lost, who will have to continue with their fragmented lives – those who will rebuild. the lgbtq+ community will rebuild because it is what must be done when your entire existence is reduced to someone’s intolerance.

twitter is always wild when something like this happens. he-who-must-not-be-named with a nose and bad hair tweets something stupid and ignorant, someone makes a “joke” that’s hate speech, and so many of us spend hours fighting with people trying to stir up hate. i am christian, and my friend yasmin is muslim, and we spent three hours online yesterday trying to explain why islamophobia is (a) always senseless, (b) always unfounded, and (c) should always be avoided in every way. i got hate from several christians for advocating for lgbtq+ rights, as did yasmin from many muslims. i’d like to share a passage from the bible and the quran each with you:

There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are you to judge your neighbour?

-James 4:12 (NIV)

Whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.

-Qur’an 5:32

there is no place for hatred. there is no place for prejuciced christians who love selectively. there is love, and love wins. my god is a god of love, and love wins. as lin-manuel miranda said last night at the tony awards, “love is love is love is love is love is love, and cannot be killed or swept aside”. hate will never win.

“if anyone knows how to rebuild, it’s us.”  please watch this stunning & evocative piece by anna oakes-monger. to the entire lqbtq+ community: we are with you. i am with you. this is not and will never be okay, and we will fight with you. “if anyone can love through pain, it’s us.”

love and light,
shalom xo

INTRODUCING JESS

So I talk about her a lot, and she’s my super lovely super pale veggie twin, and I love her. So without further ado, the first of many guest blogs by the one, the only, Jessica Rachel Craven! *cue applause audience goes wild and starts eating tonnes of food because they are already so entertained ;)*  I love Jess, and she makes some valid points sometimes – okay, most times- and if they don’t leave you with a hunger for more of her work, it sure will leave you thinking. So be sure to take a look at her blog and give me your thumbs -_- no not really, drop a like or a comment and check her out 😀

http://nerdlymusings.wordpress.com

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*ahem* Is this thing on? Yes? Oh.
As you may or may not have been able to tell, I feel mildly out of place in this environment. ScootOn is to my blog what New York City is to some dinky little Southern town. My cover reason for being here today is to throw in a new voice to Scoot’s lovely blog. Of course, my genuine intention is to  get more people to read my writing… but no one heard that! Right, on with the show…
It fills me with disgust that we live in a world where discrimination exists. You may now be rolling your eyes at this worn out, done-to-death topic, but hear me out. I want to share with you a story shared by Scoot and I. It’s a story of how, many years after the abolition of apartheid, numerous feminist movements, slavery and many other battles for freedom, discrimination is still plaguing the so-called ‘born frees’. I find it fascinating that I can effortlessly find examples of every single prominent form of discrimination every day in my own life. I honestly believe that discrimination is far from dead. Instead, society wants to cover it up. Instead of completely eradicating discrimination, we are covering it in a facade of togetherness. We thought that it was all gone, but when we realised it remained, we chose to ignore the cancer rather than go to the effort of exposing and killing it.
I consider Scoot to be one of my best friends. We’re just two teenage girls who share some opinions and some adventures. Now, there is what I thought would be the irrelevant issue of skin pigmentation. So, I am a few shades lighter. Who gives a flying fuck? Well, apparently, far too many people. I know for a fact that there are many people in our school who would not associate with Scoot because her closest friends are white. That’s right. There are people in OUR SCHOOL who think that race mixing is wrong.
Another awful example of how racism is far from gone is the opinions of a girl I used to be friends with. She once told me that she failed to comprehend how I could be attracted to guys who were not white. She told me that if I chose to marry a black man, she would refuse to come to my wedding. Her justification? She claimed she could not change those thoughts because she was raised that way. If that’s not a prime example of spinelessness and straight out refusal to accept diversity, I don’t know what is.
The second form of discrimination I want to chat about real quick is homophobia. Lets create a little hypothetical scenario. You are a heterosexual woman in your mid to late twenties. You are attracted to men. You are opposed to homosexuality. You meet a homosexual man in his mid to late twenties. He is attracted to men. You immediately don’t like him. WHY? You obviously like people with penises, why can’t he? What’s the difference here? Are you scared that he’s going to steal your boyfriend? Yeah, well if you carry on with that attitude, your boyfriend probably won’t want you.
Human society at large is currently in a heated debate over the so-called ‘issue’ of gay marriage. I find that a lot of people who oppose gay marriage do so as a result of their religious beliefs. Religion is great and I, along with most open-minded people, respect that. Now it’s your turn to respect other people’s beliefs. You don’t think gays should marry because YOUR religion says its bad? Well sorry for you sweetheart, we live in the twenty first century, and what your religion says has nothing to do with the way anyone else lives their life. It seems to me as if a lot of people *ahem* *AMERICA* have forgotten this.
In conclusion, I believe it is time for us to remove that pretty facade we’ve thrown over our damaged society and reveal the ugly, damaged truth. We need everyone to realise that discrimination is far from over. We need to do this so that the racists, rather than those in interracial friendships or couples, are ostracized. We need to allow everyone to marry whoever they want. We need a society where anyone, regardless of what genitalia they possess, can dress as plainly or as fabulously as they choose, without being subject to ridicule.
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And that is the end of the Jess-Rant! Be sure to drop likes & comments & check out her blog! And now I shall put down her link AGAAAAAAIN: http://nerdlymusings.wordpress.com GO GO GO GO GOOO
All my love, all the time
-Scoot xx