Thoughts on Pulse

orlando, the pulse,

I spend much of my time on the Internet.

This means that I find out about tragedy, disasters, everything, before it hits the tending feeds on Facebook.

I want to sort out the facts. Process. I’ll do this for hours in a cycle. Search. Read. Sort. Process. Repeat.

The sooner I can get through those stages, the sooner I can quiet myself and listen to those that need to speak their minds. I’m not certified to provide any kind of answers. I just know the facts, and can repeat them until I’m blue in the face. When tragedy or disaster strikes, I’m a listener by nature. I listen. I sort. I process. Rinse. Repeat.

As millennials, the hate crime at The Pulse is our every day. We’ve become desensitized to the fact that this is our way of life. The millennial generation is defined as being born between 1982-2004, and in that time we’ve seen 80 mass shootings, including The Pulse.

80 mass shootings in the United States since the first members of our generation were born.

And nothing has changed.

Our nation became complacent with mass shootings and gun violence after children were killed at Sandyhook and nothing happened. Instead people wanted guns to be carried in schools, and other public areas, because that would stop a mass shooting. The number of events in which an armed civilian has stopped a mass shooting is small. Barely out of the double digits.

We turn a blind eye to the minorities and the young, and let them be killed while we let guns be protected by their own amendment. Minorities don’t get an amendment to protect their lives, their jobs, their safety. They get hate, when all they want are rights, peace, and to share their love.

Every time a tragedy happens, the same hashtags appears: #prayforboston #prayforaurora #prayforsanbernadino #prayfororlando #thoughtsandprayers. These are tweeted, and retweeted over and over.

These hashtags don’t create change.

We don’t want your thoughts and prayers. We don’t want your hashtagged condolences.

We want change.

This complacency with hate crimes: blatant homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, islamaphobia means that as minorities we don’t have a right to safety. We are not seen as humans that deserve basic rights.

orlando, the-pulse,
via @Bustle

And wishing us your hashtagged #thoughtsandprayers does nothing but prove complacency. Donate to help the victims’ funeral costs. Donate blood. Vote for change.

Don’t tweet your #thoughtsandprayers because that doesn’t help stop the hate.

Despite everything we’ve gone through, what I love most about the GSRM or LGBTQIAPD+ community is our resilience. We didn’t choose to be faced with hate day in and day out. Our choice was to be who we are. We’ll mourn the passing of the individuals that were taken too soon out of hate. And then we’ll get up and take up our fight again.

That’s all we’ve learned to do.

The Tony Awards were dedicated to victims of the hate crime at The Pulse. Dedicated to the closeted individuals who don’t feel safe coming out because they see the world we live in.

Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a sonnet as part of his acceptance speech. Its what we needed:

If you need someone to just listen, or read something you’ve written to express your feelings, I’m here for you. Please feel free to contact me either here, on Twitter, or Tumblr. I’m here to listen and support my beautiful, amazing community. You are loved. You are important.

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“Yearning to breathe free”

Over 11 million people have been forced from their homes in Syria since the war started in March of 2011. And over four million women and children have fled the country. They’re living in neighboring countries of Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, who are struggling to carry the influx of people.

We’re approaching the five year mark of this conflict, and those millions that have been displaced are still living in UN camps.

With the recent attack on Paris, members of US House and Senate want to shut the country to Syrian refugees.

Do they even know the process of how someone gets accepted as a refugee into the United States? Its not like they just board a plane. The vetting process alone can take nearly two years. Tourists to the US don’t even experience a background process this complicated.

According to a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees report, only 2,370 Syrian refugees have come into the United States since 2001. That’s less than the entire student body at my university.

And not a single refugee since the 1980s has committed a “terrorist act.”

I’m proud to be from a state that wants to keep its borders open to Syrian refugees.

The United States has long been known as a country for opportunity, known as “The Great American Dream.” Generations of immigrants and refugees came to the United States in search of something better.

Down to its simplest form, the pilgrims were refugees.

We are a country of refugees. And our doors should remain open as such.

People are worried that the US will be in danger by letting Syrian refugees in. And yet they won’t talk about the injustices within our own borders like racism, and mass shootings.

Closeup_statue_of_libertyThe Statue of Liberty has long since been seen as a symbol of the US and what it represents.

In 1883, Emma Lazarus penned a sonnet called “The New Colossus.” It was placed on a plaque inside the lower level of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in 1903.

And some of its most famous lines are often associated with the United States:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Our country more than any other should have its doors open. Its been a major part of who we were since the very beginning.

And its wrong to let one act change our minds.


 

If you want to know how to help Syrian Refugees from the States, here’s two links to get you started:

6 Groups to support to help Syrian Refugees

Charity Navigator and its section on the Syrian Crisis