Owen Jones, the best left journalist of this decade, has walked out of a TV chat show after the host and a guest denied the Orlando killings were homophobic:
He has written a fantastic article about exactly what this attitude means. It includes this video:
Orlando was both a terrorist attack and a homophobic attack on LGBT people. It was both the worst mass shooting in US history, and the worst targeted mass killing of LGBT people in the western world since the Holocaust. It is possible for an atrocity to be more than one thing at the same time. You are not compelled to select one option or the other.
He’s right. It can be both homophobic and a terrorist attack. It is exactly that. What it absolutely is not is an excuse to wheel out cringe worthy faux populism as David Seymour attempted yesterday. Or, even worse, to try and top that with a undignified burst of ‘other’ hating during a commemoration of those murdered in Orlando, as Winston Peters has done this afternoon.
Both men should be ashamed of trying to out Trump each other. Both should apologise and talk about what this brutal attack really is; weaponised homophobia.
All mass shooting are terrorist attacks. Some are politically motivated terrorism. That doesn’t change their essence; which is to terrorise. Power and control, power and control.
There are news reports suggesting that the killer may have been LGBT himself. That changes nothing.
He chose a very specific target. He knew who he was hurting.
He knew it was homophobia.
Why can’t the likes of Trump, Seymour and Peters call it for what it is? And is ignoring the true nature of the attack to score political points, well, homophobic?