The evident hypocrisy between the goals and endeavors of the LGBT community and their attitudes towards Muslims will only destroy their credibility and alienate a large and diverse group, says Morgan Ogryzek.
The past seven days have been long ones—ones of grieving, of trying to comprehend the deadliest mass shooting by a single person in United States history. Of course, we expected Presidential candidates to cling tightly to their twitter accounts, to alert the public of their assessments of the issue.
Secretary Hillary Clinton immediately called for unity behind her gun control proposals, as a necessary reaction to the shooting.
Then, we see Trump’s response:
While many of us anticipated the politicization of the tragedy to occur, Donald J. Trump’s public commentary was certainly new. Although his xenophobic remarks of restricting Muslim entrance to the country are, unfortunately, a part of his brand, the phrase, “Thank you to the LGBT community,” was something out of character.
War is Waged
Of course, the empathy expressed was quite brief, as it was not long before he sought a new political angle from the shooting: The LGBT community vs. Muslims. From his controversial tweets, to his most recent speeches, it has become clear that Trump has extended his support to LGBT Americans solely to strengthen his anti-immigration campaign.
This may even be the first time the letters “LGBT” have exited Donald Trump’s mouth. There was even a trending hashtag on twitter, #LGBT4DJT, to showcase support for him. However, attempting to understand the shooting must exclude “making America great again.” While Trump simply states whatever will further his success in the race, his words foreshadow a threat to the United States.
Gender and sexuality movements have historically shared tense relations with racial and religious movements. Despite both desiring political representation and social harmony, the movements have failed to acknowledge the intersections between the two. Yes, there have been intersectional advocates, but the support behind Trump’s message following the Orlando shooting suggests that any and all progress has been jeopardized.
Trump has waged a war between the LGBT community and Muslims. He has called for LGBT Americans to distrust and fear Islam and its followers. He has fueled support for his Muslim Ban and framed it as the solution to “cure” homophobic violence.
Frankly, this is illogical. His policy will not dismantle the deeply rooted heteronormativity of American politics. It will do nothing to reverse the homophobic commentary of politicians. It will not resolve the transphobic violence and the terrifying statistics of sexual violence towards transgender Americans. And finally, his policy will only continue to divide the nation on gender and sexuality issues, and race and religion.
There needs to be a dialogue among members of the LGBT community and Muslims, and then among members of the LGBT community who are Muslim. The evident hypocrisy between the goals and endeavors of the LGBT community and their attitudes towards Muslims will only destroy their credibility and alienate a large and diverse group.
The shooting was most certainly a tragedy, but intolerant and racist responses will only perpetuate more tragedies and more violence.