This isn’t meant to start any arguments. I simply felt compelled to express my feelings and remorse, guilt and sadness for everyone impacted by the shooting at Pulse Night Club in Orlando. I’m simply one person looking for answers and with feelings to express – and this is where I can.
If you’re like much of the country and world, you too have seen the ongoing news coverage about the shooting in the Orlando nightclub. There are more and more news articles and videos coming out with names and stories of those who were murdered this past weekend and those who were injured.
As a human being, I can’t imagine the terror everyone in that club endured that night. My heart is sick for them. And, I fear for the survivors and hope they are able to find some comfort in the long days, weeks and months ahead.
As a Mom, I cannot even imagine the grief and loss of all of these young people. Seeing parents in the news talking about losing their kids and even getting texts from them during the shooting. Chills and tears grip at my core. As a sister, daughter, aunt and cousin the loss is haunting too.
As a friend to many LBGTQ people, all I can say is I AM SORRY. I’ve listened to this interview on WGVU radio with Shelley Irwin and Tommy Allen. It opened my eyes a bit and made me proud of our community here in West Michigan. And this post on Facebook from Alex Darke who clearly tells what it is like to live in constant fear. If you haven’t read this – you must, I don’t care who you are.
Having a fairly diverse set of friends and acquaintances, and being involved in different organizations with very intentional diversity and inclusion programming, there seems to be guilt mixed in with all these emotions over the last few days. I think I even called myself a “lucky white girl” in my head the other day. Why?
I have no idea what it is like to live constantly in fear of what others will do or say about my life choices. And, anything that would come up in my world is pretty minuscule considering events like this mass shooting and hate crimes.
I have no idea what it is like to be judged due to my race. I could play the woman card, but again that seems petty in all of this.
I have no idea what is like to have so much prejudice and hate directed at me. No idea what it is like to not be allowed to marry who I love and want to spend my life with. To not have legal rights that other citizens have, or having to fight so hard to get them.
While there are arguments, petitions and even fights about gun control, terrorism, Muslims and religion – right now that all seems so frustrating. Yes, there has to be a way to improve guns laws. Yes, when someone is evil and filled with hate, there doesn’t seem to be a lot you can to do prevent these acts. We can arm chair quarterback and talk about “What If’s” and, Heaven forbid, the next time something like this happens.
These are all other important issues and conversations, but since Sunday and throughout this week, and many days ahead we should FEEL for everyone who has been touched and impacted by this tragedy. Worlds are changed forever, whether you knew anyone who was killed, injured or connected to them. So anything that you and I can do to be more accepting, compassionate, supportive and just generally nicer to everyone we run into – DO IT. Be Nice. Be compassionate. Be Accepting. Be a Good Human Being to your fellow man or woman – regardless of their race, religion, background, lifestyle. We are all people, and we are ultimately all in this together.