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Lives do matter

Sun 19 Jun 2016 In: Our Communities View at Wayback View at NDHA

Bar La Madame on Mexico’s east coast and Orlando’s Pulse nightclub are separated by the Gulf of Mexico but linked by the horrific massacre of their LGBTI patrons these past few weeks.   Gunmen with AK47 machine guns burst into La Madame after midnight on May 22nd and began firing into the crowd, killing 7 people and injuring 12 (this is what officials have announced, some say many more died). Exactly three weeks later, a heavily armed gunman walked into Pulse Nightclub and murdered 49 clubbers. In both instances LGBTI people, many of Latino heritage, were murdered at a place that was designed for them to feel safe. Both massacres were at risk of being made invisible by officials and media outlets who sought to downplay the reality that both were attacks on LGBTI people. But here the similarities end because the murder of LGBTI people that made headlines around the world – was the massacre that took place in the United States. Most of the world still knows nothing about La Madame and the people who died there. Does this mean the world cares more about the clubbers at Pulse than those at La Madame? The reality is that the world doesn’t even know about the clubbers at La Madame: and that’s the challenge. This is because our systems, such as the mass media and our own networks, streamline what is deemed to be worthy or important. We need to recognise this reality if we are to challenge it. Mexican lives do matter. LGBTI Mexican lives matter as much as American LGBTI lives. Muslim lives matter. LGBTI Muslim lives matter. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that: “All humans are born free and equal in dignity and human rights.” The past weeks have shown us in horrific, heartbreaking reality that LGBTI people do not live free and equal in dignity and human rights: and sadly nor do we die free and equal in dignity and human rights. So where do we start? Let's actively be aware of how, when and why we get information and how, when and why we don't. Lives do matter. Richard Tankersley - 19th June 2016    

Credit: Richard Tankersley

First published: Sunday, 19th June 2016 - 11:40am

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