At least 49 people are dead, another 53 injured, and they’ve been pleading for blood donations in Orlando, Florida. This after a man armed with an assault rifle entered a gay dance club at 2 a.m. Sunday and opened fire. Communications from the scene during the time of the shooting depicted people who were frightened, trapped, and hiding wherever they could find space. It was an attack that lasted hours.
Much is currently being made over the shooter’s motive; was it an act of terror or an act of hate. This is a distinction without a difference, and more importantly it is a poor framing of a critical issue. Acts of terror are begotten by hate, and hate is something that is learned.
Rather than quibble about domestic terror versus hate crimes, we must unite and reaffirm ourselves to the mission of acceptance and love. We must strive to demonstrate understanding and compassion, and root out the seeds of intolerance that breed hatred. We can do this, and we must do this — because they’re pleading for blood donations in Orlando.
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