A man walks into a bar.
It’s the horrific reality of a nightmarish joke, almost causing you to be expectant of a similarly terrible punchline.
The only problem is that it’s not a joke. It’s an atrocity committed for unjustifiable reasons and an equally disgusting hatred. I don’t even know what to say. There is nothing to say to this. To make it worse, the general media response (i.e. their pathetic attempts to ‘depoliticise’ a – specifically – homophobic hate crime) has only further served the purpose of eliminating the voices of the LGBT community at a time when their voices should be the loudest.
Today, I watched the video of Owen Jones walking out of a live Sky News interview. To which I say, good on him; he had every damn right in the world to. How dare they accuse him of ‘monopolising’ a tragedy?! Like what the hell? This is literally a specific attack on the LGBT community and all the news want to do is make out as if the gunman was an ISIS terrorist (because YES let’s blame the Muslims again, it’s not like you have an issue with gun laws or anything…) whose target of ‘insanity’ JUST HAPPENED to be a well-known gay club?
It’s ridiculous that people are trying to make this an ‘inclusive’ attack. Why does everything have to include you?! As Owen Jones rightly said, if this was an attack on a synagogue, it would be labelled anti-Semitic, so what’s the difference here? Why is this attack called an attack on ‘human beings just trying to have a good time’? They’re gay. Gay people were targeted. The LGBT community is under threat and all you’re focused on is the religion (or, in this case, ex-religion) of the gunman? Are you for real?
This, is why equality doesn’t exist. Because this attack is being used to further Islamophobic agendas, and we are completely ignoring the SPECIFIC group and trying to ‘depoliticise’ an event which is VERY political, and VERY specific. Because the LGBT voices right now are being ignored, and the ones that are being listened to are the ones that are saying, “He was a Muslim terrorist” and ignoring the fact that this was a homophobic hate crime. Because ‘some people’ were shot and they ‘just so happened’ to be gay.
I don’t care what you think. I don’t care if you have religious motivations or personal experiences or political opinions. It doesn’t matter what you think about people’s lifestyles, or genders, or sexuality. Everyone deserves the right to live. Your opinion means nothing in the grander scheme of things. Nothing gives you the right to take lives. Nothing gives you the right to take anything.
Nor does anything give you the right to take what you have not been given; but apparently Brock Turner didn’t get that memo.
The media love giving us the unnecessary facts. ‘Omar Mateen was a Muslim.’ ‘Brock Turner is a swimmer.’ As if their religion or personal hobbies justify their crimes.
How about this? How about we replace the words with what they’re supposed to be?
Omar Mateen was a
Brock Turner is a
In Turner’s case, his athletic past should have had absolutely no relevance in determining how light or heavy a sentence he carried in court. Why should his life be considered? Why should the ‘severe impact’ on HIM be counted as more important than the ‘severe impact’ he has had on his victim, psychologically and mentally, and even physically? Why should we care about him? Did he care about the girl he raped?
And here’s a question for the so-called ‘Justice System’: how can someone who is the criminal and perpetrator be treated in sentencing as the victim? How does the letter (the very BIASED letter) from said criminal’s father hold a greater sway than the testimony of the victim herself?
For the rape of an unconscious woman behind a dumpster (or “20 minutes of action”, as was referred to crudely by said father) to the point where he had to be stopped by another witness, and forcibly pulled off the woman, for the woman’s subsequent discovery of said rape only after she had come to in a hospital, for the psychological and mental damage that ensued, he was sentenced to 6 months.
6 months in a county jail with protection from other inmates.
6 measly, pathetic months, of which he is only expected to serve 3.
6 months, which could have been up to 14 years, but was made lenient because why?
Because he was a ‘good boy really’. Because his ‘character profile didn’t ring true with his crime’. Because he has goals and ambitions. Because he goes to Stanford. Because he’s a swimmer. Because his daddy cried “White Privilege!” and suddenly all was fixed. Because this was his ‘first rape’. Because his athletic career would never recover. Because apparently, ‘raping someone does not make you a rapist’.
Because we don’t want prison to have a ‘severe impact’ on him, oh no. God forbid he learns the severity of his crime in a system created specifically to punish those who commit criminal offences.
This, is why Justice doesn’t exist. This, the fact that the system caters more for the criminal (if he is white and male and straight) than the victim and attempts to make his life as cushy as possible, even though he has committed a crime. When he can serve half of his already-pathetic and inadequate sentence, and this is seen as acceptable because the judge has some ‘very justifiable reasons‘, naturally, and Justice is forgotten. Justice is an ideological concept.
I am so sick of hearing all these stories. I am so tired of being reminded every single day, whether it’s on the news or through personal experiences, that there is no such thing as Equality or Justice. I am saddened to hear of all these people (all the victims of the shooting RIP, the victim of rape) who are affected by the hateful, hurtful actions of hate-filled, small-minded criminals. Because, let’s call them what they are, thanks. Criminals.
I want to talk about the refugees. I want to talk about the bombings in Beirut. I want to talk about the flooding in Ghana. I want to talk about everything. My heart hurts so much right now, so I cannot even begin to imagine how the families of the Orlando victims or the victim of Brock Turner, or the refugees or the victims of the recent international bombings, or the victims of the flood in Ghana, feel right now – and I won’t pretend that I can.
My heart goes out to everyone I have – and haven’t – listed. Wherever you are.
Love from Rianna x