Politics of Extremism and Orlando Florida Nightclub Mishap: Contentious Campaign for 2016 White House

KEYWORDS OR TERMS: Orlando, Florida; LGBT; Transgender; Lone Shooter; Hate Crime; Terrorism; Mental and Lunatic mind; Radical Islam; Political Distractions; Gays and Transgender groups; Republican Party; Omar Mateen; FBI; ISIS; Home grown terrorism; President Barack Obama; Hillary Clinton; and, Donald Trump

It is depressing to hear the deaths of innocent Americans in an Orlando, Florida night club through an act of violence from a lone shooter, who probably does not share our dream as a United America. An American, born in the City of New York, a first generation American with Afghanistan roots, who swore allegiance to ISIS and other terrorist groups across the globe, took an assault weapon and mow down innocent souls like grass in the early hours of June 12, 2016. An American, whom a distraught family member of the Orlando massacre says, did not kill two birds with one stone, hate of gay and transgender groups, but killed forty-nine innocent souls with one stone.

It is rather hard to comprehend an unfortunate event as this, let alone explaining circumstances surrounding the nightmare to younger children, who are wondering, what in the world is going on? Yes, there is hate all over this; yes, there is terror as well; however, more importantly, there are issues with the mental stability of any person or persons, who choose to use assault weapons to destroy lives and families in a twinkle of an eye, under the pretext of avenging personal grievances. The challenge for a grieving nation is to find answers to the questions: how long would we allow this type of mass killings to continue? How long will we continue to play catch up with our laws regarding the ease of obtaining assault weapons; and, how long will we allow hate for minorities among us to continue to fester, until frustration or whatever creeps into a lunatic mind that make him choose to use assault weapons to deal grief, pain and horror to our collective psyche?

Donald Trump, de-facto nominee of the Republican Party for 2016 general election, unconvincingly attempts to attribute this mayhem to President Barack Obama’s refusal to identify this misfortune as a problem with Radical Islam. As any astute and reflective political leader will tell you, any attempt to demonize the Muslims and Islamic religion as the culprit for any lone behavior of a mentally disturbed person who engages in horrendous crime as this, is like claiming that all miseries in life can be associated with the practice of a particular religion. Our forefathers understood and appreciated this; and, ingrained in our constitution, the separation of state from religion. Any politician or presidential aspirant that passes the recent mayhem in the Orlando, Florida Club as a fault of one religion therefore, is playing mischief and can hardly claim a higher moral ground in discussing solutions to mass killings, mental instability, domestic and international terrorism. How could anyone claim an identity with a religion as the cause of a mayhem, when many of us can hardly definitely tell you, why people harbor grudges or discriminate against others; or people who are different from them in any way, shape or form?

With over six people still under critical condition in Orlando, Florida hospitals, after the demise of 49 innocent Americans at a night club, excluding the assailant himself, we are already having a debate over what we are dealing with in this instance, terrorism or hate against a minority group in America? As usual, everyone has an opinion and some opinions and reasons for this mayhem are close to ludicrous as you might expect; however, the American Constitution guarantees everyone’s right of speech.

Donald Trump, the de-facto Republican Party nominee for 2016 White House, adduce this mayhem to our inability to see its association with Radical Islam. Mr. Trump’s incoherent and somewhat disjointed position on this, has been seen as a political stunt in the campaign for the White House. Reflective political observers wonder, if the attention seeking presidential aspirant, is not just dying to draw attention to his campaign with this assertion. How can anyone in his right mind explain to grieving family members of the 49 who died in that night club, that the reason for the demise of their loved ones, is because our president has not used the term, Radical Islam. Americans and relatives of the deceased grief in unbearable pain; and the consolation that they get, is a de-facto nominee of a major American Political Party, claiming the cause of their grief is Radical Islam. Does this not smack of absence of leadership qualities expected in one seeking the office of commander-in- chief; and or chief national counselor in times of national calamities or misfortune?

As many of us probably know, the deadly intent of a mass shooter is not easily deciphered. A homegrown terrorist, who actively uses gay dating apps, who cruises multiple gay clubs and bars every now and then, and who chooses to launch a murderous vendetta of his compatriots in the night club, is not only crazy, he is an epitome of lunacy in actual sense. If you are a regular patron of a gay bar, no matter what your sexual orientation is and personal grievance towards people you meet at the club, you do not have the right to engage in a killing spree of the patrons; a place you held over twenty innocent souls’ hostage in a cross fire fight with the police, sharp shooters and security personnel, just before you met your demise. A rational mind would have discussed his or her personal grievances with the group or abstain from going around them, if in actual fact, he or she finds the group disgusting or unacceptable, per his or her preference or choice of opinion. Further, if you find anyone, claiming your act is solely because you identify or practice a religion, maybe that individual could look at himself in the mirror and ask, is my opinion not contributing more to the problem of hate; one that “probably” led this crazy to engage in felonious murderous spree? In addition, the act of killing others for our personal values or choice of opinion hardly asserts or give credence to our opinion about the people we are so aggrieved with, as to launch into killing them; neither, does an exposure to online propaganda video or anarchist rhetoric about America, a justifiable ground for reproach and destruction of lives and property in a twinkle of an eye in a night club.

Mr. Omar Mateen was a lunatic domestic terrorist, an anarchist and a sad case for a father, who hardly understood his role and responsibility to his family and three-year old child, who innocently still was asking his grandfather, where is his father? His wife or partner may know more than she is saying; but none of us know; however, if she knows anything regarding her late husband’s action(s), she is to be made accountable for her inaction or action in this case that led to the deaths of many innocent Americans. If she had a prior knowledge of the action(s) of her husband, she ought to answer to the three-year felonious offense trial of having a privy knowledge of a crime and failing to report it to authorities, including the police and or Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). For everyone reading this, this very singular event has not only challenged many of us to the depth of our beings, it has called us to stop masking the ferocious behavior of a madman as grounds for stigmatizing our fellow Americans, as terrorists, because they practice the same religion as Mr. Omar Mateen.

Unfortunately, the 2016 presumptive Republican Party nominee’s opinion regarding the Orlando night club massacre is taking a new life of its own. An impassioned President Barack Obama yesterday labelled Donald Trump’s proposal to disallow Muslims from entering the United States, as not only unworkable; but also not a reflection of what America and Americans are all about, or our most cherished values, as conceived by the forefathers. In the words of the President of the United States: “Are we going to start treating all Muslim Americans differently? Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance? Are we going to start discriminating against them because of their faith? We’ve heard these suggestions during the course of this campaign. Do Republican officials actually agree with this?” Emphasizing that American Intelligence communities, law enforcement officials and active emergency response teams in dismantling terrorist groups across the globe behalf of America, know who the enemy is; and, we therefore cannot just paint all Muslims with one brush, if we are to claim a higher moral ground in the fight against terrorism, domestic or international.

In retrospect, the use of the phrase, Radical Islam, by anyone or our President, couldn’t have changed much or prevented sick and radical people from degenerating to murderous zealot souls. As further articulated in President Obama’s speech in response to Donald Trump’s position on the cause of the Orlando Florida killings, or the fight against domestic or international terrorism: “What exactly would be using this label [Radical Islam] accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction.” Calling out Mr. President for not using the label Radical Islam may look very appealing to those who support the divide and conquer approach that the Republican presumptive nominee articulates for America; however, the reality is, there is not much to gain from name or words arrangement in a grieving time of a national mourning for the innocent souls lost to terrorism in Orlando, Florida.

Interestingly, Democratic Party presumptive nominee for 2016 general elections, Hillary Clinton, has no problem using the label of radical Islam; but accept as well that this phrase, would hardly prevent another terrorist’s attack. Characterization of home-grown terrorists and pseudo connectivity with other extreme terrorist groups across the globe by a lone gunman, which underlies the current mayhem, fails to articulate, the true reasons for dastardly acts that lead to unfortunate deaths of innocent souls: insecurity, fears and isolation. Donald Trump has chosen to exploit fear and anxiety in the populace, to create further mistrust among Americans, for pure political gain. The terrible repercussions of the Orlando Florida nightclub disaster and current lambasting of President Obama by Donald Trump, have the potential of exacerbating divisions and disagreements among Americans; and no one can better articulate this rather more than the men and women in the military, especially those who have vested their time in fighting wars against terrorism, including unfortunately, those following the Islamic Religion, who may be wondering by now, if their dedicated efforts and attempts, are subject to suspect, just because of a deranged action of a wacko, who mowed down an already disadvantaged and frightened group of Americans, the gay community?

Without any direct correlation or proof, the presumptive nominee for Republican party, Donald Trump, cannot conclude that President Barack Obama is in anyway sympathetic to the cause of terrorist groups. Knowing what President Obama’s Administration has been doing in fighting terrorists and international terrorism, including the escalation of the use of drones in fighting terrorists and removal of many of their generals from the battle field in the past seven and a half years, it is rather difficult to argue or convince any independent observer that President Barack Obama has been soft in fighting terrorists, or has sympathy for terrorists. Albeit, his administration’s continuous efforts to go into accords and work with any international partnering country to bring to justice anyone or group, known to be associated or sympathetic to any group bent on killing Americans. One thing he has not done and which he continues to defend without apologies, is the unwholesome use of derogatory language against the religion of terrorists. For the President, it is not only challenging, but unfair to lump the guilty with the innocent in the long fight against terrorism. President Barack Obama has been fighting the war against global terrorism with the urgency it deserves and demands, without lumping the innocent with the guilty; and, those who still believe in the grand illusion of using derogatory language in defining the religion of the enemy, hardly understand the hard long road to fighting and overcoming domestic and global terrorism; and the need to acculturate even people in the Islamic Religion, in fighting global terrorism.

One of the basic flaws in Mr. Trump’s reasoning and allegation against the President of the United States, that he hardly cares about fighting terrorism or paying attention to issues of fear and anxieties in a unique American minority group, the gay community, is that members of his party have been the major antagonist of recognition of equal rights for the same group. Republicans have on many occasions voted against the interest of the gay community and in many instances have been a road block to the progress of equality between mainstream and minority population in America. Yet, Mr. Trump continues to use intense and aggressive rhetoric, or demeaning TWEETS, that disadvantage and dispossess the LGBT  groups, including on issues of gay wedding and tax relief for those in civil unions or partnerships. Whether Mr. Trump knows it or not, the LGBT community is already suspicious of the condescending comments coming from him, regarding what just happened in their community in Florida.

Many Americans understand the hard-liner position towards LGBT groups from the Republican Party. Further, members of the Republican Party have never been accommodating of the choices of the LGBT groups; neither have they been ready to engage these groups to address their concerns over discrimination at the local and national levels. The unfortunate event in Orlando Florida, only exacerbate an already tense atmosphere of distrust between the gay community and the rest of the nation; that even in a place these groups consider a safe aboard, where they can mix freely without being judged, out of the glare of the many who do not love them, they can still be hunted down and killed. Wow, how cold can the world be?

Outdistancing all these tit-for-tat responses from the Republican nominee toward the mayhem in the Orlando, Florida, nightclub is probably the reality of what hate can decimate or degenerate into; and, what discrimination against a particular minority group in America can engender and culminate in. The competition for who to replace President Barack Obama in the White House, is not going to be defined solely by this misfortune; but will most likely bring to the forefront, some of the issues that have been left unattended regarding this particular minority group(s). Further, the competition will also bring along for deliberation, issues of domestic and international terrorism, who is better prepared to address and fight these problems for America, between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? The presumptive Republican Nominee, Mr. Donald Trump, has been making attempt to undercut the campaign of Ms. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Nominee; and the attempt by Donald Trump to cast President Barack Obama’s fight against terrorism in a bad light, is actually an attempt to pass or cast an administration which Ms. Hillary Clinton was part of, as very weak in the fight against domestic and global terrorism.


                                         Library of Congress Clipart The Library of Congress




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