Also a Crime of Racism

Along with the grief and fear I have been discharging since the shootings in Orlando, I am noticing a silence about the fact that many of the dead were Puerto Rican and that the shooter, who had been to the club many times, chose to commit the violence on Latinx night. (Latinx is a way of saying people of Latin American heritage without saying what their gender is.)

Central Florida has the second-largest population of Puerto Ricans in the United States, after New York City. Because of the crisis of colonialism in Puerto Rico, a thousand Puerto Ricans arrive in Florida every week—among them, of course, many LGBTQ people.

At one point during the shooting, Omar Mateen (the shooter) asked someone if they were Black and said, “I don’t have a problem with Black people,” which suggests that he did have a problem with Latinxs. 

While homophobia is at the heart of this tragedy, it is also a crime of racism. Both these things happened at once. When that’s not acknowledged, my people, who are targets of both oppressions, are erased.

I have been discharging a lot on genocide and feelings about my life not being valued, both as a Bisexual woman and as a Puerto Rican. I have been struggling with eating and sleeping and have been giving myself the direction of treating myself as a precious being.

I have also been taking part in many conversations, both online and in person, offering attention where I can.


Reprinted from the e-mail discussion list for RC Community members

(Present Time 184, July 2016)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00