Tag Archives: Orlando Shooting

Anne Frank, George Floyd and Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells: Killed by Hate

I think it is pretty safe to say that in the nearly three weeks since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, the world has changed. Across the globe, millions are making their voices heard. George Floyd was one man, but he has come to stand for those who have been killed by hate.

Yesterday would have been Anne Frank‘s 91st birthday. Her diary has been ready by millions of readers over the last 70ish years. Like George Floyd, she has become a symbol of a life cute short by hate.

Among the issues that have been brought to the forefront is that Americans of color who also identify as transgender are being killed at an alarming rate. On June 9th, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells was murdered in Philadelphia. If this was not enough to make one’s blood boil, you know who has decided to roll back health protections for transgender Americans. Considering that it both Pride month and yesterday was also the 4th anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando, this rollback feels particularly painful.

I keep thinking that if the world had collectively protested in the 1930’s as they do now, would the Holocaust have happened? How many might have survived? Unfortunately, this question can never be answered.

I wish that we lived in a world in which our rights were immediately given to us at birth. I wish that we were not categorized and then based on that category, denied or approved for where we may end up in life. But that is the world we live in. But until that day in which that happens, we must continue to stand up and fight for those rights.

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Thoughts On the new Madonna Music Video

I’ve often spoken about the Columbine shooting and the unnecessary loss of young life twenty years ago. Back then, it was front page news for weeks on end.

These days, mass shootings in the United States are just another blip on list of daily news headlines. The headline may last a week at best on the front page before it slowly fades from the nation’s consciousness.

Earlier this week, Madonna released her new music video. Entitled God Control, the video tells the story of a fictional shooting in an New York City nightclub similar to the massacre at the nightclub in Orlando three years ago.

I will warn you that the video does contain graphic imagery.

There is enormous power in celebrity. In using her voice and her music, Madonna speaks of the heartache and grief that gun violence creates. We need sensible gun control laws. There has to be a way to respect the 2nd Amendment and responsible gun owners while protecting innocent people.

My hope (though it often springs eternal) is that one of these days, sensible gun laws will be the law of the land. Until then, we will continue to grieve for those who are killed simply because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Filed under Music, New York City, Thoughts On....

When Is This Madness Going To Stop?

Last month, when 49 innocent people were murdered in the shooting at the Orlando night club, I had hoped that this country would finally come together and move forward from the tragedy.

The truth of the Orlando shooting is that hate, prejudice and discrimination had as much responsibility for the murders as much as the gunman did.

This week, two African-American men were killed by police officers. Alton Sterling from Louisiana and Philando Castile from Minnesota had their lives unnecessarily taken.

In response to the shooting of the two men, a rally in Dallas ended with the death of five police officers.

That brings the death count to 7.

The same hate, prejudice and discrimination that was partially to blame for the Orlando shooting is also responsible for the death of these 7 souls.

It’s no secret that racism still has an emotional foothold on America. While I am not African-American, I can understand the perspective of those who feel threatened and abused by a system that keeps them down.

The truth is that all lives matter. We are still all human beings at the end of the day.

I’m going to end this post with a video from The Daily Show. As usual, they hit the nail on the head.

We have seen too much blood spilled on American streets this week. It’s time to end the madness.

Happy Friday.

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Enough Already

A few weeks ago, Americans woke up to the heartbreaking news of the shooting at a Latino nightclub in Orlando. 49 innocent people were murdered.

This year is the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Sadly, the news of terrorist attacks have become an everyday part of our lives since then. We are too used to turning on the evening news or opening the newspaper and reading about the murder of innocent people simply because of who they are.

Earlier this week, Hallel Yaffa Ariel, a 13-year-old American girl living in Kiryat Arba was murdered in her bed as she slept. The boy who took her life was a 17-year-old Palestinian boy, Mohammed Tarayreh from Bani Naim, a nearby village. This child did nothing to this boy, her only crime was being a Jew in Israel.

Adding to the death toll was the attack at the airport in Istanbul. 36 people were killed and 147 were injured.

Why do we do this? Is it possible to simply accept that some of us are different and that’s ok? Last time I checked, hate never solved any problems. It just creates more problems.

Enough already.

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We Can If We Try: Anne Frank’s Birthday, The Orlando Shooting And Our Shared Humanity

Today is Anne Frank’s birthday. One of the millions of Jewish children that were murdered in the Holocaust because they were Jewish, her legacy is that of hope, love and our shared humanity.

Last week I had a very interesting conversation.

I was talking to a friend from my martial arts school who is Muslim and in the middle of celebrating Ramadan. We were comparing the differences between Ramadan and Yom Kippur.  While there are some differences between the two holidays, there are is one major similarity: devotion to G-d. Both holidays require fasting, which as anyone who has fasted can tell you it is not easy. What comes with the fasting is believing in and praying to a higher being who I believe is akin to a third parent. While our religious practices and beliefs differ, we still believe in a higher power and we still follow the same ancient traditions that our families have practiced for thousands of years. We were able to have a conversation about our individual religions that was just that.

And now to the reason for this post: the horrific shooting at the nightclub in Orlando. We are all G-d’s children, made in the image of our creator. The only reason the patrons of this nightclub were targeted is because they are gay.  My heart breaks for everyone involved. This is not the America that I know, love and believe in. Today I pray for the victims and their families. I also pray for America, that we should learn from this tragedy and get over the b*llsh*t that says we are different due to an accident of birth. We are all human beings and deserve the same respect.

Happy Sunday.

 

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