Hate crime in Orlando reminds us of urgent need to overcome ignorance, prejudice, and violence
Most victims were people of Latin American Heritage
Chicago, IL – The news of a mass murder in a night club and gathering place for the LGBTQ community in Orlando, Florida has brought pain and sorrow to hundreds of families across Florida. It has also torn the social fabric of our nation and the world. Even though the motives behind this crime are still under investigation, it is obvious that ignorance and hate were key factors. During a highly toxic electoral campaign in which messages of virulent hate seem to circulate daily, this horrific act is all the more tragic. In face of this tragedy, Alianza Americas’ Executive Director issued the following statement:
As a national network of Latin American community-led and serving organizations, we condemn in the strongest terms the heinous massacre perpetrated in Orlando, Florida targeting individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer. We note with deep sadness that the victims of this murder also happened to be primarily individuals of Latin American and/or Caribbean origin. We would like to convey our sincere sympathy to the relatives of those killed or injured in this tragic incident. Violent actions like the one perpetrated at this place of entertainment in Orlando, Florida create terror within communities. We must come together to ensure that no more families awake to such a tragedy. This sadly familiar incident reinforces yet again the need for the United States to find once and for all, a policy solution, that addresses the need to have better control of firearms and putting in place stricter mechanisms to attain them, particularly highly lethal weapons like those used by the perpetrator of this atrocity. We must also reject islamophobia, homophobia or any other assault directed at any group of people that are considered or seen as “different” in our society and in the world. The violent act committed against the LGBTQ community was not only an act of hatred but it is also a reflection of the systemic and pervasive narrative of hate and marginalization that has been allowed to dominate our airways and many of our public spaces. This sort of rhetoric is poisonous and will continue to have these devastating effects if we allow it to go on. As people of Latin American and Caribbean origin, we know very well the demonization of entire communities is simply wrong, leads to more hate-driven crimes, and must not be permitted against any community. As a network of migrants we stand firmly against violence and hate and stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ and Muslim communities in this nation and across the world.
Alianza Americas is a network of community-based; Latino and Caribbean immigrant-led organizations that seeks to raise the quality of life for immigrant communities in the United States, as well as communities in migrant-sending countries in Latin America.