In light of the inconceivable tragedy that took place at Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida, the staff of The Vindicator would like to extend its condolences to the survivors, to the victims' families and to the LGBT community, all of whom have been devastated.
50 people killed in one room. 50 people.
The death toll written in numerical form is void of emotion because it fails to convey a sense of humanity. In reality, behind each digit is a complex life, a long struggle, a radiant smile, a family and a body which once harbored consciousness, emotions and aspirations. It goes without saying that any death is a tragedy, but this mass shooting in particular has caused a great number of people immense pain.
On June 13, news of the shooting spread like wildfire across the globe and the tragedy soon became a burden of the entire world. Sympathizers across nations have since united to show their support for the LGBT community and the victims. Its members and worldwide allies have been overcome with sorrow and stricken with grief. The Vindi now joins hands with them in solidarity.
Every time the world experiences an unforgettable tragedy of this nature and magnitude, it evokes bouts of both sadness and anger. Although the background of the shooter should be considered, we cannot place blame on an entire group of people for the actions of one person. In doing so, we further perpetuate hate and exclusion. We cannot allow ourselves to channel our pain toward Muslims because the shooter has been allegedly associated with ISIS. That response only heightens irrational Islamophobia. The only person to blame for this shooting was the man behind the gun, but even he was a victim of a mindset charged with intolerance and ignorance.
I remember learning in my Human Diversity class about the biological explanation of the gender and sexuality spectrum, dispelling any myth about one choosing their identity instead of it being a natural occurrence. We learned about the anthropological roots and evolution of humankind and how race is a social construct, a classification based on environmental factors. I remember learning in my Philosophy class about how people have raged wars on others who've held divergent opinions, theistic or not, but how the baseline was always intolerance. I'm telling you this because what I've truly learned is that by equipping oneself with knowledge, one can see past the façades of homophobia, Islamophobia and racism. One can begin to see the common humanity which binds us all together as one.
It is the goal of The Vindicator to be a voice of diversity and inclusion. We accept all people from all faiths, genders, sexual orientations and ethnicities, regardless of our individual abilities to directly relate to each perspective and lifestyle.
What happened in Orlando was an act of ignorance, of injustice, and of blind hate and shall not be tolerated. We must constantly remind ourselves of the importance of accepting others and their differences, for this is the only way to foster and sustain peace. In this time of tremendous fragility, we must not let our differences divide us. We must come together, bonded by love and empathy.