The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Shooter Acted out Violence Promoted by This Society

Jun 20, 2016

The FBI, Obama, and the media say that Omar Mateen, the shooter at the Pulse gay nightclub, did this for ISIS.

No one will ever know what went on in his mind. Only his actions can be known. And the actions of Mateen, who happened to be a guard, were to kill gay people, mostly Latino.

This was a guy who wanted to be a cop, who did everything he could to be cop. He earned a degree in criminal justice, worked as a correctional officer at the Martin Correctional Institution for adult males. Then for nine years, until his death, he worked for G4S Secure Solutions as a contract armed security guard for the company. Mateen was assigned work at various places including a facility for juvenile delinquents, a gated community on a golf course, and a courthouse.

Why gay people? ISIS is not alone in killing gay people. The U.S. has a long and vicious history of violence carried out against gay, lesbian or transgender people.

Thirty-two people were burned to death in June of 1973 when an arsonist turned a gay bar in New Orleans into an inferno. Five people were hurt when a bomb exploded at a lesbian bar in 1997. A gunman opened fire at a gay bar in 2000 after seeing two men hug each other. And of course, the infamous 1969 police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York City that touched off riots and the modern gay rights movement. No, the shooting at Pulse was not the first such homophobic violence. That violence doesn’t spew up out of nowhere.

That violence is promoted by Christian preachers. Just hours after the massacre in Orlando, a Sacramento Baptist preacher praised and celebrated it exclaiming, “Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today? Um–no–I think that’s great! I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida is a little safer tonight.” The preacher’s argument represents the same reasoning behind all the controversy surrounding who can use what bathroom.

This society, through its laws, and supported by fundamentalist religions of all sorts, says homosexuality is a crime and a sin. Mateen’s own father said “God will punish those involved in homosexuality.”

It shouldn’t be a big surprise that someone, who wanted to be a cop, murdered in cold blood 49 mostly gay men. It is not different from all the vitriol and hate espoused by this society against all of its victims and scapegoats.