Was the Pulse shooting anti-gay in it’s motivation?
Very odd how the media ran with this narrative that the Pulse shooter, Omar Mateen, was a self-hating homosexual who could not reconcile his closeted gayness with his religion. So he finally exploded with bullets and rage at a gay nightclub. I even recall reports of his activity on gay dating apps and one interview on spanish TV on which one of his alleged tricks wore a mask describing his hook-up with Mateen. There were also reports of him frequenting Pulse prior to that fatal night, very inebriated. And there was one bizarre account of a witness at the club who claimed that mid-shooting spree, Mateen asked if a few clubbers were black. When some said yes, he allegedly indicated that he had no problem with blacks–only latino gays–so he left them alone. Does anyone else remember that eyewitness account?
Perhaps you have a more positive view of the media, government and their unholy relationship with each other than I do. But perhaps you’ll also remember that the horror and hysteria after 9/11 was used by the George W. Bush administration and most news outlets to justify a completely unjust war in Iraq which had zero connection to 9/11. Is it just now coming to light that while a gay club was Omar’s target, no evidence suggests that he targeted Pulse because it was gay? In their constant grab for updates which are ratings gold, whether true or false, most of our media pushed this anti-gay motive without evidence. Was it to shift the focus of Mateen’s truer motive–that he was seeking revenge for the non-stop carnage which the US rains down on the Middle East?
Gee, I wonder why our war propaganda/media would want to sweep that under the rug? Like the way our government forbade our news media to show coffins of US soldiers for 18 years beginning in 1991? Or perhaps they wanted us to forget that half of our taxes go to fight wars which make no sense and which never end? Or to make it seem as if muslims here in the US are the threat–as opposed to the truth: the US is the threat to the Middle East.
Now that his wife’s trial is beginning, unsealed evidence suggests no connection with the shooting and anti-LGBT anything on his part. Search records and cellphone data track him weighing up Disney attractions, malls and a different club with a mixed clientele as possible targets. This is a fascinating article about how the media pushed a narrative with no evidence. Unless you consider this to be proof of his gayness: “His first wife, whom he had abused, speculated that he may be gay, telling TIME: “He would take a long time in front of the mirror, he would often take pictures of himself, and he made little movements with his body that definitely made me question things. It definitely popped up in my head whether he was totally straight.” Because no straight guys ever preen in front of a mirror.
More excerpts from the Intercept.
That closeted gay men develop self-hatred which often finds expression in severe animosity and even violence toward gay people is well-established in the social sciences. It has become popularized in the discourse surrounding homophobia. As a result, this image of Mateen as self-hating gay man quickly resonated as a way of explaining an incomprehensible act of evil. That he was Muslim added to the seeming plausibility: it has become an increasingly common tactic among some western anti-Islam commentators to insist that Muslim culture and gay rights are incompatible — all that despite polling data showing that American Muslims are more accepting of gay people and gay civil rights than several other large religious groups.
As the FBI investigation proceeded, some corrective reports in the U.S. media began to emerge, but they were often downplayed and given nowhere near the prominence with which the early, erroneous reports were hyped. Roughly one month after the shooting, the Washington Post, citing unnamed “U.S. law enforcement officials,” reported that “the FBI has found no evidence so far that Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people and wounded more than 53 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, chose the popular establishment because of its gay clientele.” The Post added, quoting a law enforcement official, that “while there can be no denying the significant impact on the gay community, the investigation hasn’t revealed that he targeted Pulse because it was a gay club.
And now, almost 18 months later, as the trial of Mateen’s wife is beginning, that evidentiary absence remains unhanged. As the Orlando Sentinel put it in June of last year, “there’s still no evidence that the Pulse killer intended to target gay people.
That Mateen attacked Pulse as an act of anti-gay hatred was implicit in the discourse in the days following the traumatic attack. And that remains just as true today.
But over time, as investigators scrutinized every aspect of Mateen’s in-person and digital life and tracked down every last lead, all of these claims about Mateen’s sexual orientation collapsed. FBI investigators ultimately concluded that there was no truth whatsoever to the theory that Mateen was gay — closeted or otherwise. To the contrary, they uncovered ample evidence that he was cheating on his wife with numerous women.
And yet the popular belief persists — often finding its way into official pronouncements, LGBT group materials, and media discussions — that the Pulse shooting represented a deliberate, concerted attack – a “hate crime” – on the LGBT community due to homophobia.
It should go without saying that none of these questions about Mateen’s motive remotely mitigates the evil of the attack. But it is crucial to understand the truth of what happened, and not to allow a politically valuable narrative — one that some have attempted to use to drive a wedge between Muslim and LGBT communities, and one that seems to be driving a desire to see Mateen’s wife punished — to continue to prevail if it is, in fact, false.”
As the Trial of Omar Mateen’s Wife Begins, New Evidence Undermines Beliefs About the Pulse Massacre, Including Motive