New York Times columnist Frank Bruni, along with many in the mainstream media, are sure the Orlando massacre wasn’t just an attack on LGBT Americans. Bruni writes:
By Kerry Eleveld | Daily Kos
But let’s be clear: This was no more an attack just on L.G.B.T. people than the bloodshed at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris was an attack solely on satirists.
Bruni, who is gay, frames the shooting as a broader attack on „freedom.“ Sure, freedom is under attack. But let’s be clear, at least 49 LGBT Americans were slaughtered at the hands of a mad man, and another 53 are still fighting for survival in a hospital. Any way you slice that, LGBT people were the victims of Omar Mateen’s rage after he reportedly witnessed two men exchanging a kiss, according to his father. Prior to the attack, Mateen was also making specific efforts to reach out to other gay nightclub owners on Facebook.
So one can perhaps make the intellectual argument that the massacre wasn’t just LGBT specific, but as a fellow LGBT American, allow me to say what a completely bloodless argument that is. For the mainstream media to embrace the broader argument while bypassing the root of the anger is to deny the palpable fear that many LGBT Americans still feel while doing something as simple as holding hands while they walk down the street. In fact, far from being a random act, Mateen’s rampage fits a global pattern of violence that’s centuries old. As veteran LGBT activist David Mixner noted: