Over the weekend, our nation faced yet another tragedy when an armed man wounded more than 100 people, killing at least 49, at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Some have called the mass shooting an act of hate; others have called it an act of terror. Though the mass shooting involved both hate and terror, love was clearly also present – as shown by responses to the tragedy from families, friends, law enforcement officials, medical personnel, and bystanders.
As I’ve written before, we cannot let fear squelch our courage and compassion. Solutions to some of our biggest problems – including mass violence – rest with those who create and sustain a commitment to freedom, love, and justice. Social movements on the forefront of progress emphasize intersectionality and the importance of protecting all marginalized populations, including the LGBTQ community targeted by the mass shooting.
A statement signed and released yesterday by Arcus Foundation and other organizations calls for unity, noting that a compassionate response “in the face of hatred is what we owe the fallen and the grieving.” The statement appeals “to all in our movement and all who support us to band together in rejecting hatred and violence in all its shape shifting forms.” It asks for “collective resolve across national, racial and political lines…to turn the tide against anti-LGBTQ violence” and concludes with,”Let us stand united as a diverse LGBTQ community of many faiths, ethnicities, nationalities and backgrounds.”