Commentary

Dividing America

Screen shot 2016-06-15 at 6.05.01 PM

The terrorists are winning.

Leave no doubt about that when the New York Times, the country’s premiere news organization, editorializes in this way:

“Omar Mateen shattered the tenuous, hard-fought sense of personal safety that many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have begun to feel as the movement for equality has made significant gains in recent years. His bullets and the blood he left behind that early morning were a reminder that in many corners of the country, gay and transgender people are still regarded as sinners and second-class citizens who should be scorned.”

When The Times heaps the blame for the Pulse massacre on the shoulders of all of us hicks living outside of The Big Apple, the terrorists are winning. When the dean of  American journalism stands up at a time like this to drive Americans apart instead of bring them together, the terrorists are winning.

They started winning after the Oklahoma City bombing and 9-11 as a government that was supposed to be “of the people, by the people, for the people,” as President Abraham Lincoln so eloquently put it, retreated into bunkered outposts, and airports became military checkpoints.

They are winning again as Americans afraid to confront global realities point fingers at each other in an effort to explain the madness in Orlando. The nightmare there isn’t about sinners or scorn. It is about murder.

Yes, there might be some in American who believe members of the L.G.B.T. community are sinners and should be scorned, but they are not the ones stoning people to death or throwing them off buildings to die or executing them with a bullet to the head because they are judged guilty of the “crime” of homosexuality.

Homosexuality ceased to be a crime in this country in 2003 when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that consenting adults have a right to engage in sex in any way they want. No doubt there are still people prejudice against homosexuals in the U.S., but they are not the ones engaged in wholesale slaughter.

The people doing this killing are religious fanatics in Syria, Iraq, Iran, and elsewhere. That many of them are Muslim or Muslim inspired is secondary to the fact they are religious fanatics. They are the instigators in a global culture war and no matter how Mateen connects to them – be he a sympathizer, a sexually-conflicted malcontent or a sociopath – he connects to them.

The fanatics somehow reached into America to, at most, inspire a madman or, at least, give him an excuse for his madness. He was singing their praises as he killed helpless Americans. And The Times, the supposedly most respected newspaper in the country, wants to blame what he did on differing American views on bathrooms?

Honest to God, that is what the editorial suggests:

“That restrooms have become such a fixation, particularly at the state level, is a worrying reminder of the entrenched stigma the community continues to face. The loudest advocates of this odious effort have been Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina and Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, who has worked in lock step with the Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton.”A simple question needs to be asked here. If we’re going to let people pick restrooms based on which gender they prefer, why have “men’s” and “women’s” restrooms at all?

Why should someone’s decision that they don’t like the gender into which they were born trump the need of someone else who just really, really, really has to take a piss? Why not just dump the whole “men’s-room/women’s room thing as Denise Wells did 26 years ago when she couldn’t take standing in line any longer outside a women’s restroom in Houston and grabbed a seat in the men’s restroom?

Does The Times really believe public discussions about whether to maintain the tradition of men’s and women’s bathrooms (look, you can’t just get a little bit pregnant on this one) is “a reminder of the entrenched stigma the (L.G.B.T.) community continues to face?”

And even if someone at The Times believes such nonsense, it’s ludicrous to connect it to the Pulse massacre.

Mateen wasn’t shooting his way into a bathroom. He was killing people as an act of terror. He proclaimed himself a terrorist. Unlike with suicide bombers, nobody has to wonder what he was thinking. He told people. He called 9-11 to claim allegiance to ISIS. He told those inside the club he was on a murderous rampage because he wanted “Americans to stop bombing his country (Afghanistan),” according to the Washington Post.

It doesn’t even really matter if he was lying. He either got inspiration or cover from ISIS and because of that 50 innocent people are dead. And now The Times wants to blame it all on Republicans? Indeed.

“Tragically, this is the state of American politics, driven too often by Republican politicians who see prejudice as something to exploit, not extinguish,” The Times proclaims as it uses a tragic moment in our history to exploit, not extinguish, the differences between Americans.

The terrorists are most clearly winning. The Times has gone over to their side. In the view of The Times, it is not the bloody, corpse-laden hatred spread by ISIS and Al Queda that is the problem; it’s you and me with our petty arguments over bathroom rights and our “corrosive politics” as the headline on the editorial puts it.

And The Times helps mend this corrosion how? By pouring battery acid into the mix?

 

 

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4 replies »

  1. It is hard to say the “terrorists” are winning since NATO forces lead by U.S. Command have killed around 150,000 people in Pakistan & Afghanistan since 2001….and if I recall, the alleged “terrorists” were from Saudi Arabia.

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