The Orlando killings and the message of Muhammad Ali’s funeral

Dave Zirin writes:  There are no words regarding the emotional whiplash I feel, having attended Muhammad Ali’s funeral on Friday and now, on Sunday, attending a vigil in Washington, DC, for the 50 — and counting — slaughtered at the Pulse in Orlando on Saturday. Was this really all the same weekend? The juxtaposition is beyond tragic.

To hear about the remorseless killing of predominantly Latino LGBT people during Pride month is shattering enough. To then see Donald Trump and a collection of the worst anti-gay bigots be boastful, almost gleeful, about it because the shooter was Muslim is all the worse. Muhammad Ali, as eulogist Billy Crystal said, truly devoted the last half of his life to building bridges. These bridges are fragile; that’s what makes them matter. It is so much easier to just burn them down, and that is exactly what one shooter aimed to do, and now in death he is being assisted by an entire right-wing apparatus, which despises bridges about as much as it detests irony.

Never mind that by all accounts, we know that the shooter — whose name I will not write — was an American citizen. Never mind that he bought the automatic weapons legally, or was a violent misogynist, or worked for one of those shadowy global private security firms for almost a decade, or wasn’t even religious. The fact is that powerful people are demanding their villain of choice. So it won’t be the gun nuts, or those poisoned by seeing women as objects of violence, or the internal culture of these private security firms. It will be Muslims. That’s their narrative of choice. [Continue reading…]

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