STATEMENT ON ORLANDO MURDERS
UNITED NATIONAL ANTIWAR COALITION
The Orlando murders were a horror and a tragedy, but not a surprise. As our hearts go out to the innocent victims and their loved ones, we see that the targets of the shooter’s rage – in this case, mainly LGBTQ individuals and Latinx’s – are not accidental. These are maligned groups in a society that is historically racist, homophobic, and against all immigrants who are not white Europeans. The United States commits the most violent, extremist, xenophobic, racist and murderous hate crimes on a giant swath of the world and glorifies domestic violence as well in the interests of the corporate class, including the weapons industry. Of course, the fact that this shooter was a Muslim triggers the Islamophobia that has been particularly virulent since 9/11. Mass murders in the U.S. are becoming almost routine with only the targets and the numbers of victims varying.
What we also see is a government apparatus that immediately takes advantage of calamities and the attendant heightened fear of the population to cause greater repression and the scapegoating of targeted groups. The destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001 was used to promote anti-Muslim bigotry, to justify wars in the Middle East, to facilitate the quick passage of the USA Patriot Act that abridged the civil rights and liberties of us all, and to intensify the militarization of the police.
Likewise, this horrendous event will be used to generate increased homophobia, Islamophobia, anti-immigrant and anti-refugee bias and calls for greater repression, involving heightened surveillance and punishment for thought crimes and saying the “wrong” thing, acts for which people are already being incarcerated. The initial target will be Muslims, but as always, repressive measures will be used against people of color and dissidents of all sorts. We will also hear the drum beats for expanded war against ISIS, an entity that is, in fact, used as an imperial asset.
While Republican presidential candidate Trump spews forth hate speech towards Muslims, the Democratic President Obama and candidate Clinton, although initially sounding more moderate, carry out de facto anti-Muslim policies with endless war. While Trump tells us what he will do, the Democrats, with Republican support, are committing heinous war crimes at home and abroad.
We must stand in strength and solidarity with all people victimized by the military/industrial/financial powers which are on course to destroy all life as we know it. We must expose and oppose all the leaders who shamelessly commit acts of terrorism around the globe in their mad pursuit of profit.