We invite you to march with us this Sunday in the “Against ALL Hate” contingent of the Chicago Pride Parade. The horrific massacre of innocent LGBTQ people at The Pulse Club in Orlando is being used to justify once again yet more bombing of the people in Syria – by both candidates, Trump and Clinton. Once again, it is on us, people living in this country, to speak out against hatred aimed at the LGBTQ and Muslim communities here in the U.S. AND to much more visibly resist the U.S. wars for empire that have given rise to ISIS and require the vilification of Muslims worldwide. “If people really want to stand up to anti-Muslim hatred and be supportive of Muslim people, then they can’t continue to ignore the role that the so-called global U.S. war on terror has had in shaping the horrific events like in Orlando.” Please read “Giving Heart to People All Over the World,” by Jill McLaughlin (below), and join us this Sunday!
When: Sunday, June 26, meet at 11 am
Where: In front of the Uptown Target store, 4466 N. Broadway, Chicago (south of Wilson)
What: Look for our banner (below) in the “Against ALL Hate” contingent
Giving Heart to People All Over the World
by Jill McLaughlin, World Can’t Wait steering committee and Chicago chapter
When I woke to the news Sunday morning June 12 about the horrific massacre at the LGBTQ night club, Pulse in Orlando FL, my heart was very heavy and my gut twisted. As speculation by the media and officials about the shooter were being made, I became very worried. Would this act of violence against LGBTQ people by a man who they said claimed allegiance to ISIS be used as justification for yet more bombing of innocent people, more indefinite detention, more repression of civil liberties by our government?
The answer is yes, it will be used in that way by the ruling forces of this country, whether Democrat or Republican. But does that mean we as people of this country should go along with that, either by ignoring that it’s happening or being silent? No, we should not.
Yesterday I thought about all the times I experienced a sense of fear or loneliness when a homophobic slur was thrown my way, or subjected to stares and whispers when out and about, or the time I was actually followed and threatened with violence just for being lesbian. I thought about that and thought, this must be what it’s like to be Muslim in this country. But I also felt a sense of frustration because while I am heartened by the sentiments expressed by so many of my LGBTQ brothers and sisters that this event in Orlando not be used as justification for hateful rhetoric and acts towards Muslim people in this country, they are not enough. These sentiments do not go deep enough nor do they reflect the reality with which too many in the world are faced with today. There is much more that needs to be grappled with here. We need to be thinking about the whole world.
I can’t help but note these are some of the same types of sentiments that were expressed about the refugees from countries like Syria who were coming under vicious reactionary anti-Muslim assault in the U.S. and Europe in the wake of the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino. As I expressed at the time these are good sentiments… important sentiments… but people need to dig deeper and understand the role of U.S. imperialism that has given rise to the likes of ISIS and the refugee crisis.
If people really want to stand up to anti-Muslim hatred and be supportive of Muslim people, then they can’t continue to ignore the role that the so-called U.S. global war on terror has had in shaping the horrific events like the one in Orlando. I encourage people to read the statement put out by Revolution Newspaper which denounces the ideology behind this attack but holds U.S. imperialism to account. We are reminded in this statement about the horrible role of both: “There is in fact nothing ‘radical’ and nothing at all even remotely progressive about this ideology. Its role in the world in attracting angry people to its banners to carry out vicious and misguided acts only reinforces the oppressive relations of the world, and actually strengthens U.S. (and western) imperialism, as people feel driven to choose between two oppressive alternatives. Both U.S. imperialism and jihadism must be opposed, with no quarter given to either by anyone who hungers for justice and human emancipation.”
As people living in this country must now more than ever take a more visible stand of resistance to these U.S. wars for empire with the lives of people all over the world in mind and heart.