American Islamophobes have called the Orlando massacre “radical Islamic terrorism” (or some close version of that) since this conveniently fits their (usually homophobic!) worldview, even though it apparently has been much more about homophobia than about Islam, and even though fundamentalist Christians and Jews are quite homophobic, too. (Less than a year ago, an “ultra-Orthodox” Jewish man stabbed six people at a gay pride event in Jerusalem. This was after he’d already similarly stabbed people in 2005 and served prison time for it. Um, yeah.)
Of course the Orlando massacre has resurrected the pro- and the anti-gun-control camps, who focus more on the weapons that were used to commit the violence more than they focus on the victims of the violence and on what drives unstable people (usually men) to violence.
And race hustlers — you know, self-serving, egomaniacal people of color who, ironically, are as obsessed with race as are white supremacists (and who, just like white supremacists, paradoxically, usually consider their own race to be superior to others) — have tried to make the Orlando massacre all about race. In (Only) Black Lives Matter style, some race hustlers even recently jaw-droppingly utterly shamelessly commandeered a vigil for the Orlando victims and proclaimed that the massacre actually was all about race (most of the 49 victims were Latino and some of them were black*:
It’s correct that race and sexual orientation (and age and gender and…) often intersect, but Jesus Fucking Christ, early on it was pretty crystal clear that Omar Mateen shot up the gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12 not because it was filled with brown-skinned people whom he hated for being brown-skinned, but because it was filled with non-heterosexual people (indeed, most of the dead in the carnage were gay men).
In fact, ironically, a gay Latino man who claims now to have been Mateen’s down-low lover has claimed that Mateen liked brown-skinned men.
Omar Mateen, the Muslim gunman who committed the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, was “100 percent” gay and bore a grudge against Latino men because he felt used by them, according to a man who says he was his lover for two months.
“I’ve cried like you have no idea. But the thing that makes me want to tell the truth is that he didn’t do it for terrorism. In my opinion he did it for revenge,” he told Univision Noticias anchor Maria Elena Salinas in an exclusive interview in English and Spanish [yesterday].
He said Mateen was angry and upset after a man he had sex with later revealed he was infected with the HIV virus [sic — “HIV virus” is redundant].
Asked why he decided to come forward with his story, he said: “It’s my responsibility as a citizen of the United States and a gay man.”
The man said he had approached the FBI and been interviewed three times in person by agents.
Univision was unable to independently verify his account. The FBI confirmed to Univision that it had met with him.
The man, who did not want his true identity revealed, agreed to an interview wearing a disguise and calling himself Miguel. Speaking in fluent Spanish and accented English, he said he met Mateen last year through a gay dating site and began a relationship soon after. He and Mateen were “friends with benefits,” he said.
He described Mateen as “a very sweet guy” who never showed a violent side. He loved to be cuddled. “He was looking for love,” he said.
When Miguel heard about the massacre on the news he said he was stunned. “My reaction was that can’t be the man I know. It’s impossible that the man I know could do that,” he said.
Mateen opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle during a Latin-themed night at Pulse in the early hours of June 12, killing 49 people and wounding dozens more. He was killed in a shootout with police hours later. Most of the dead were Hispanic.
Investigators are still looking into the motives for his rampage.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch told reporters [yesterday] that investigators may never be able to pinpoint a single motive and have not ruled out witness reports suggesting Mateen might have had gay interests. “While we know a lot more about him in terms of who he was and what he did, I do not want to definitively rule out any particular motivation here,” she said.
In a 911 call from the club, Mateen pledged solidarity with the Islamic State group, and officials say he had explored websites of armed Islamic extremists.
Miguel recalled on one occasion Mateen expressed his criticism of the U.S. war on terrorism and the killing of innocent [Muslim] women and children. “I told him, ‘You’re totally right,'” said Miguel.
Mateen never revealed his name to him, saying only that he was 35 years old and married with a son [at the time of his death Mateen was married and had a son, but was 29 years old], Miguel told Univision. He said they met 15 to 20 times, the last occasion in late December. He said he believed Mateen’s second wife knew he frequented gay bars and that his marriage was a smoke screen to hide that he was “100 percent” gay.
“He adored Latinos, gay Latinos, with brown skin [emphasis mine] — but he felt rejected. He felt used by them — there were moments in the Pulse nightclub that made him feel really bad. Guys used him. That really affected him,” Miguel said. “I believe this crazy horrible thing he did — that was revenge.”
Mateen, who liked to drink, expressed frustration over his father’s extreme views on homosexuality, which included a belief that “gay people [are] the devil and gay people have to die,” Miguel said.
Mateen was especially upset after a sexual encounter with two Puerto Rican men, one of whom later revealed he was HIV positive, he added.
“He [Omar] was terrified that he was infected,” he said. “I asked him, ‘Did you do a test?’ Yes. He went to the pharmacy and did the test. … It came out negative, but it [the virus] doesn’t [show up on a test] right away. It takes four, five months.”
“When I asked him what he was going to do now, his answer was ‘I’m going to make them pay for what they did to me.'”
As Univision noted, this new information has not been independently verified, and of course it’s possible that “Miguel” is an attention whore who has made some, most or even all of this new information up, but “Miguel’s” details are so specific that I surmise that he’s telling the truth, at least for the most part.
Lots of things have intersected here. It’s true that the United States and Israel have slaughtered far more Muslims than vice versa over the past many years, and while I’m not Muslim (I don’t believe in “God” any more than I believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy), I’ve long noted the nauseatingly disproportionate body count, perhaps especially between the Palestinians and the Israelis. If it pisses me off and I’m not even a Muslim, I can’t blame any Muslim for being pissed off at how Christians and Jews have slaughtered Muslims in far greater numbers than vice-versa.
And indeed, the continued slaughter of innocent Muslims by the West keeps the jihadists going. Of course, that’s what the war hawks (most of them chicken hawks) in the United States and Israel want.
And I don’t for a nanosecond believe that the Second Amendment covers military-grade assault rifles, for fucking fuck’s sake. Nope. It couldn’t have, not when the Second Amendment was written long before these killing machines even existed.
And I applaud those Senate and House Democrats who recently have stood up to the Repugnican Tea Party in Congress, most of them treasonous whores for the National Rifle Association, on the subject of gun control, but one wonders if the Congressional Dems would have done this if it weren’t a presidential election year and if it weren’t a safer subject to go after. (Big corporate money in politics, for instance, is something that even most so-called Democrats don’t want to seriously address, because most of the legislators in D.C. are shameless corporate whores. Being against gun violence is about as safe as being steadfastly against terminal cancer and baby raping. It’s not what I’d call a particularly courageous stance.)
I never said that I’m not subject to the national Rorschach test myself.
As a gay man, I can’t help seeing the No. 1 cause of the Orlando massacre as having been homophobia.
While we may never know exactly what happened, Omar Mateen apparently was a closet case who chose to shoot up the gay nightclub because most of its inhabitants were gay. (That apparently is the truth, whether or not his motivation at least in part was concern about possibly having contracted HIV from one of the brown-skinned men whom he loved to be with.)
How devout a Muslim could Mateen have been if he drank and partied so much, as has been widely reported? If he did claim that he was acting as a jihadist, as has been reported, it could have been part of his closetedness — he was using Islam and the macho, macho jihad as his beard, so to speak — and/or out of his reported anger at how Muslims have been treated on the world stage.
But my money on the No. 1 cause of the Orlando massacre is homophobia.
Had Omar Mateen not grown up and lived in a homophobic environment — reportedly his home life was homophobic (his father says that he hasn’t forgiven him for what he did, but his father probably should be asking us for our forgiveness for the way that he apparently raised his son), and of course the world remains homophobic — then his reported quest for love might have been fulfilled.
And those 49 people whom we lost on June 12 most likely still would be with us today.
P.S. Out.com has bios on all 49 victims of homophobia here.
P.P.S. to the race hustlers and other identity-politics Nazis: You’re not progressives. You’re not helping anyone. Ironically, you’re not even helping yourselves, but are harming yourselves, and you need to stop hijacking public gatherings and trying to make them all about you, you sanctimonious, self-righteous, hypocritical, whiny little bitches.
Your interest group is one of many interest groups, and E pluribus unum. It’s long past time for you to stop acting in your own selfish, narrow interests and start acting in the interests of the whole.
That means stepping back and letting other interest groups have the spotlight sometimes, you stupid fucking selfish assholes.
P.P.P.S.: If you think that the issue here isn’t homophobia, but Mateen’s concern that he might have had contracted HIV (and sought revenge), know that where homophobia thrives, such as in the black and Latino communities, the contraction of HIV in “MSM” — “men who have sex with men,” which often is a clinical euphemism for closet cases but also includes out gay and bisexual men — is much higher than it is within the general population.
Homophobia kills. Every day.
*And many of the victims were Puerto Rican, and many Puerto Ricans are a mix of Spanish and African blood.