There are no Words In solidarity with our 49 brothers and sisters killed in Orlando
By INDRA ARRIAGA
Ilustración / Illustration: Cecilia Karoly-Lister
Our hearts are heavy and our mourning is deep. We must honor our loss and our feelings, but not forget that we have a responsibility to overcome our own feelings of hatred, and be accountable to ourselves and to one another. The question is, how and where do we begin to find a path towards healing and towards changing our world that runs amok with senseless deaths caused by hate crimes, fueled by fear? There are no words we can write to comfort the families, friends, and lovers of our 49 brothers and sisters that were victims on the early hours on a Sunday morning in Orlando, Florida, when a lone shooter massacred innocent people at a gay club. Just as there are no words to comfort and express the rage that came when the same thing happened at a gay discotheque in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico in May 2016. Shooters came in, murdered 15 people and walked away free and under a cloak of impunity. Not even the Mexican news outlets brought the massacre to light. This particular lament is as dark as it gets, and leaves Mexicans further in isolation, feeling hopeless with no solutions in sight.
When we think about the Orlando massacre, it is not enough to think about one man with one weapon, his mental illness, and a bastardized and misguided ideology. We must understand the degree to which our society at all levels is sick and needs healing. Worldwide since May 2016, the dead claimed by mass attacks number in the hundreds, and that is not counting the young Black and Latino men who have been killed by those who are sworn to serve and protect. It is overwhelming to think of how all of these tragedies are related, and to think that they themselves are only symptoms of a world that must change, one person at a time, institutions one by one, and country by country.
So let us be still for a moment and hold one another in mourning for so many beautiful lives lost to violence everywhere; and then, let us examine our own beliefs and actions and then, as our Alaska Native brothers and sisters eloquently say, “speak to be heard, and listen to understand.” Let us think critically about the interrelationships between beliefs and policies, let us remember that race, economic and political systems, and systems of beliefs were constructed by human beings just like us, and therefore can be changed. To start, let us advocate for common sense gun laws. Just as we demand safety in the food that we eat, the cars that we drive, the water that we drink, we should be safe on the streets that we walk and the places where we live and love. Let us also demand that our Congress—senators and representatives—stop being complicit in letting big and disproportionate interests benefit from the business of fear that takes innocent lives. Demand that politicians love our country more than they love their careers, and that they implement campaign reform. These are just starting points, but like all change, it should start with us.
PROUDLY POWERED BY SOL DE MEDIANOCHE CO. Sol de Medianoche is a bimonthly publication of the Latino community in Anchorage, Alaska