Goddammit…People Are Dead!
Posted on June 13, 2016
Dictionary.com defines “tragedy” as “a lamentable, dreadful, or fatal event or affair; calamity; disaster: as in stunned by the tragedy of so many deaths. And while tragedies have remained true to their definition, it’s many of the reactions that haven’t. Several of these reactions can best be defined by the word “stupidity”: “the state, quality, or fact of being stupid.” This is exactly how I felt Sunday morning after waking up and reading about the shootings, wounded, and fatalities at the Orlando nightclub, Pulse.
“it probly one of those fags that got dumped by his lover for another fag” (Rickey Cooper commenting on USA Today’s website)
Yes, it was a gay club. Like many of you, this was the first time I’d ever heard the name. Not that my learning the name of it Sunday morning matters. It doesn’t. It really doesn’t even matter that it’s a gay club because it doesn’t take away from the fact it’s a tragedy and people were hurt and/or died. Naturally, people want to know who the gunman was.
“I seem to remember a recent incident involving a right wing christian nut job and an abortion clinic. Walking in to a gay night club with what’s reported to be semi automatic weapons sure sounds more like christian nut job than anything a radical muslim would do… If I am right, you owe me a beer!!!” (Christopher Bourne from Central Texas College commenting on USA Today’s website)
There’s also a curiosity, of course, as to just what would drive someone to be so organized and well-prepared in executing such an act.
“The media and the Democratic Party have been so forceful in trying to make the public accept alternative lifestyles that it probably set this gunman off. Liberals and the LBGT community are the real culprits here.” (Donovan Farr commenting on USA Today’s website)
And then there’s this follow-up by Ricky Cooper:
“god made theys fags pay for there sins its not ok to be gay” (Rickey Cooper commenting on USA Today’s website)
Many barbs were traded between readers about the NRA, pro and con, but that’s almost to be expected. Why? Because it always happens, and yet nothing ever changes. Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Doing or saying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Surely there must be a voice of sanity who can explain this tragedy.
“Democrats are the war criminals and traitors who lied to start wars for profit and slaughter our soldiers for greed. That’s what rightist anti American Republican puppets for warmongers do and the world has seen proof of that repeatedly.” (Don Smith from Wayne State University commenting on USA Today’s website)
That wasn’t it.
And when Jordan Petersen left a message sending love to the gay community as well as their friends and family in Orlando, Earl Tucker (Instructor at Gun shop in Jonesborough, Tennessee) replied with “F em. Oh . . .and wipe your chin.” This was followed up by someone originally from my area, Anna Robenbow (who works at Microsoft and went to Chippewa Valley Schools) who said “One should be ashamed to be a homosexual and have this perverted life style. There is nothing to be proud about.” And she includes an additional comment a bit later on: “Delegalize gays problem solved.” (All the comments here appear in the comment section of the article.)
The United States has a 97.9% literacy rate for persons over the age of 15. You really wouldn’t notice it after reading so many of these comments.
But to the point, people died! Lives were lost. They were someone’s son, daughter, boyfriend, girlfriend, grandchild, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, and even a spouse. How do we begin to comfort those people who survived? And the families and friends of those who didn’t? Surely we can come up with something to say, something to post, something that lessens the pain a little or lets them know we’re thinking about them. How deep can we dig inside ourselves?
“Hope Obama was there, didn’t make it out, he probably with his mouth stuffed. Lol” (Benny Fussell of Urania, Louisiana commenting on USA Today’s website)
Apparently not deep enough.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
7 Responses to “Goddammit…People Are Dead!”
Eddie Lam says:
June 13, 2016 at 7:13 am
Orlando shooting is a tragedy. Most of the human being hear a massive shooting like that will feel sorry and heartbroken. Every life is precious. Imagine your love one who is in the night club and they are helpless and hopeless. What I don’t understand is those moron who gave out comment to try to harm/hurt our community in a situation like this – It is so not necessary. Why Mateen target gay club, I do not know. But what I know is terrorist attack could happen anywhere. We all know it is not first one and it won’t be the last. The only way to make our community safe is to ban gun. Why do we need a gun nowadays anyway? Of course, American never learn and banning gun will never happen.
For those moron who leave outrageous comments, please be considerate and respectful. Hatred is not the way to make our world peaceful. Open minded and acceptance are.
Brent Seth says:
June 13, 2016 at 8:30 am
I am glad you included the names of the commentators you quoted. Anyone who speaks such ugliness should own it and be remembered for it.
June 13, 2016 at 10:36 am
I have no words for the sadness and disgust i feel reading this. What is wrong with people that they can feel so much hate for there fellow human being
Eden Winters says:
June 13, 2016 at 5:58 pm
It saddens me (and scares me) that people can be so unfeeling and hold such hate. Hate is a spreading poison. But along with the horrid comments, I have read some heartwarming ones. The response from blood donors is incredible, and those wanting to help in other ways.
My heart breaks for the victims, their families, and their friends.
And I, like you, wonder what the family and friends of the rude commenters think.
June 13, 2016 at 9:39 pm
Of all the articles and posts, this is the one that made me cry. It brought up painful memories. Few GLBT people I’ve met live openly without expiriencing some level of violence, this horrible event is just one of the darkest. Even before I came out, I’ve been assaulted on the “suspicion” of being gay, before I could even understand what that really meant or why I couldn’t be “normal”. I once thought that GLBT youth of today have it easier, but it feels we haven’t made it far at all.
G. A. Hauser says:
June 14, 2016 at 11:34 am
I hate this world.
Kiernan Kelly says:
June 14, 2016 at 11:53 am
All those hateful comments proved is that even inbred, misogynistic asshats have access to the Internet.
As an ally, I am heartbroken over what’s happened, and incensed by the idiotic hate-mongering I see popping up everywhere.
I am also encouraged and warmed by the heartfelt outpouring of support and love I’ve seen coming in from all over the world.
There is hope for us as a species yet.