Lies About Orlando We Need to Stop Now
In the days following the horrific event that occurred in Orlando, Florida, we’ve seen a number of ridiculous and outright harmful comments that have been made by people of prominence.
This blogpost is designed to speak directly to some of the lies, which if left unchecked have the harmful effect of minimizing the pain of people who are already traumatized.
Let’s jump right in!
1. Pulse Night Club Wasn’t a Gay Bar
We’ve already seen more than a few politicians claim that Pulse Night Club wasn’t a gay bar. Pete Sessions, a congressman from Texas 32nd Congressional District for example said the following as picked up by The Slot:
“It was a young person’s nightclub, I’m told. And there were some [LGBT people] there, but it was mostly Latinos.”
Sorry Pete and others who seem to think Pulse wasn’t a gay bar. It was. Your harmful, ignorant and stupid remarks only serve to minimize an already traumatized community.
2. Club Goers Should Have Fought Back
Perhaps one of the most harmful things being spread around is the myth that people should have fought back against the gunman. Just look at what Fox News host Geraldo Rivera said:
“When you’re in that situation and you have no weapons, you have two choices. If you can’t hide and you can’t run, you have two choices. You stay and die, or you fight. For God’s sakes, fight back. Fight back.”
Perhaps Mr. Rivera doesn’t realize that when people are being slaughtered with a military grade automatic weapon, it’s impossible to fight back. You can’t punch your way through hundreds of bullets.
3. Pulse Night Club Was a Latin Bar
Some people seem to think Orlando’s Pulse Night Club is a “Latin Bar”. They would be wrong. Pulse is a gay bar (LGBTQ bar) that has been around since 2004.
On the evening of the massacre, Pulse was having a “Latin Night”. There is also a large Latino community in Orlando, with the biggest swath represented by Puerto Ricans.
By perpetuating the myth that Pulse was a Latin Bar, it minimizes LGBTQ patrons, including Latino LGBTQ persons.
4. If Clubgoers Had Guns, Fewer Would Have Died
One of the most profoundly ignorant things that has been suggested is that if patrons at Pulse would have been armed with guns, less people would have died.
Republican Presidential Candidate, Donald Trump, has repeatedly made these kinds of comments in the aftermath of Orlando. What he fails to realize is that someone did have a gun.
According to the LA Times:
“Orlando Police Chief John Mina said an off-duty police officer working security at the club in uniform traded gunfire with the attacker.
Officials said that after police responded to reports of the violence, the attacker retreated to a bathroom with hostages. Police held back because the attacker made statements about having explosives, they said.”
And no Mr. Trump – bars, alcohol and guns don’t mix – ever!
5. The Gunman Was a Foreigner
As part of a wider assault on Muslim Americans, some people are spreading the lie that the man who perpetrated the killings at Pulse Night Club was “a foreigner.”
Sorry – he wasn’t. This radicalized ISIS terrorist was born right here in the United States. Specifically, he was born in Queens, New York and therefore was an American Citizen.
To suggest otherwise is to spread misinformation that feeds into a false narrative about the facts. Rather some people like it or not, the killer was homegrown.
A “ban on Muslims” as some have suggested, would not have stopped the hateful slaughter that took place at Pulse.