There isn’t much more that can be said about the terrible shooting in Orlando that has left 50 dead and more than 50 wounded. As we are prone to do whenever these kinds of mass shootings happen in the western world, we’ve been speculating, trying to assign blame and doing our best to comprehend what happened. These sorts of events tend to raise emotions, force people to react quickly and sometimes in knee-jerk fashion, but the actual facts will not be immediate. What we do know is that a man walked into a nightclub in Florida, killed 50 people and left another 50-something wounded before he himself was killed. That nightclub happened to be an LGBT-friendly one during Pride month.
Needless to say, those within the LGBT community and sympathizers see it as a rather clear assault on the community, which seems more logical than Donald Trump’s victory lap earlier in the day about being “right” about Muslims. So when Sky News had British writer and activist Owen Jones on to discuss the Orlando shooting, he felt that host Mark Longhurst and Julia Hartley-Brewer were dancing around the topic of outright calling it a hate crime aimed at the LGBT community and found himself frustrated.
“If he walked into a synagogue and massacred dozens of Jewish people you wouldn’t be saying what you are saying now,” he argued. “You’d be saying that it was an antisemitic attack. This was a deliberate attack on LGBT people, a deliberate attack on the LGBT community. This bizarre attempt to…” he was cut off. “This was an attack on LGBT people, this was a homophobic attack.”
The conversation continued while Jones sat, stone-faced in disgust and disbelief, while the other two were trying to steer the topic away and towards stuff like Trump’s reaction, only for Longhurst to attempt to placate Jones and for him to rip off his microphone and storm off while Hartley-Brewer tried to calm him down. His point is salient, though, with the evidence that is out there, especially compared to recent attacks and how quickly blame and motive have been assigned, the media has been mostly focusing on the Islamic angle of the story, not that it was an attack on LGBT people.