Orlando; Owen Jones On Homophobia.

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 pm, June 14th, 2016 - 70 comments
Categories: crime, discrimination, International, journalism, Media, scoundrels, winston peters - Tags: , , ,

Owen Jones, the best left journalist of this decade, has walked out of a TV chat show after the host and a guest denied the Orlando  killings were homophobic:

 

 

He has written a fantastic article about exactly what this attitude means. It includes this video:

 

 

Jones writes:

Orlando was both a terrorist attack and a homophobic attack on LGBT people. It was both the worst mass shooting in US history, and the worst targeted mass killing of LGBT people in the western world since the Holocaust. It is possible for an atrocity to be more than one thing at the same time. You are not compelled to select one option or the other.

He’s right. It can be both homophobic and a terrorist attack. It is exactly that. What it absolutely is not is an excuse to wheel out cringe worthy faux populism as David Seymour attempted yesterday.  Or, even worse, to try and top that with a undignified burst of ‘other’ hating during a commemoration of those murdered in Orlando, as Winston Peters has done this afternoon.

Both men should be ashamed of trying to out Trump each other. Both should apologise and talk about what this brutal attack really is; weaponised homophobia.

All mass shooting are terrorist attacks. Some are politically motivated terrorism. That doesn’t change their essence; which is to terrorise. Power and control, power and control.

There are news reports suggesting that the killer may have been LGBT himself. That changes nothing.

He chose a very specific target. He knew who he was hurting.

He knew it was homophobia.

Why can’t the likes of Trump, Seymour and Peters call it for what it is? And is ignoring the true nature of the Orlando attack to score political points, well, homophobic?

70 comments on “Orlando; Owen Jones On Homophobia.”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Mateen’s radicalisation to Islamic extremism during his time in Saudi Arabia lies at the heart of the matter. Everything else followed on after that primary fact. Trump picked this first which tells me that Trump may have had very good sources with fast information on the perp.

    There are news reports suggesting that the killer may have been LGBT himself. That changes nothing.

    If it is true then the perp is another LGBT victim of the incident.

    You may not think this changes anything, but I think it does.

    • He’s not a victim, CV.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        if reports that he was LGBT himself are true, then I would have to disgree with you.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            I’m not going to go further on this until there is confirmation one way or another as to Mateen’s personal background.

            • te reo putake 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Try answering it as a hypothetical, then. I’m rather interested to know in what possible way the killer of 49 people could be considered a victim because of his sexuality.

          • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1.2

            A victim of society, so damaged by that society’s treatment of gays that he had extreme self-loathing and rage, to go and kill a whole bunch of people.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.2.1

              I think that this post may have been both premature and insensitive. Time will tell if that is so.

            • te reo putake 1.1.1.1.2.2

              Reaching a whole lot there, Lanth. Not least because he didn’t attack ‘society’ he specifically attacked the Orlando LGBT community.

              • Lanthanide

                I don’t see why his choice of targets somehow means he is or isn’t a victim of society’s attitudes to homophobia.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.2.3

              Hear that Lanth. TRP says you are reaching and have no idea, unlike him.

              [No more from you on this post, ta. You’ve already embarrassed yourself enough for one night. TRP]

            • KJT 1.1.1.1.2.4

              Plenty of history, on other occasions, of just that.

              Hate to hide their own membership of the hated group.
              Often trying to deny it within themselves.

              Ex beneficiaries in charge of WINZ, for example.

            • KJT 1.1.1.1.2.5

              Plenty of history, on other occasions, of just that.

              Hate to hide their own membership of the hated group.
              Often trying to deny it within themselves.

              In those cases, they may well be victims themselves, of hate.

    • Greg 1.2

      Muslims have a duty to go to Mecca as a matter of faith..!
      Its the side trips that matter.

    • Rae 1.3

      While I utterly agree that religion has probably been the thing that gave this guy the courage of his convictions, I don’t reckon it would have been the initial driver.
      It appears he was a bit mentally unstable, that would be number one
      He was homophobic, maybe with homosexual tendencies himself.
      Throw religion and the attitude toward homosexual acts in and you’ve got yourself a pretty perfect storm.
      Once Daesh got wind of him they would have used whatever they had to make sure something came of it.
      Religion in general has some real soul searching to do in the matters of personal freedoms and Islam probably has a bit further to go to do it.
      I think the major problem with the Islam is that it hasn’t got its collective head around the idea of religion operating within secular societies. That is the way forward for it.
      Trump’s reaction is very probably the exact one Daesh were hoping to elicit. Buying into that puts them closer to winning.

  2. Wayne 2

    If anyone still thinks there is no difference between Clinton and Trump, I suggest you have a look at their two speeches given after Orlando. One was thoughtful and presidential, the other, well judge for yourself.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      I notice Mateen worked for a large private prison contractor corporation.

      One which gave him advanced firearms training.

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        What are you trying to imply?

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Private contractors don’t give a shit who they train in what. All care and no responsibility. And Clinton (Bill) was the guy who gave the US prison industrial complex a huge shot in the arm with his Omnibus crimes bill.

    • vto 2.2

      Yes Wayne it is truly amazing what can be hidden about politicians true m.o. with the right sorts of speeches.

      Do you really think that speech changes anything about the machine of US domination and status quo politicians??

      It is hot air Wayne, hot air… how much state terrorism has Clintons husband wrought on innocent people in far-off lands? How much state terrorism will Clintonette fire around the globe too if elected?

      You do realise the US government and its weapons industry kills more people per year than any other organisation on the planet.

      Don’t you?

      • Wayne 2.2.1

        What state terrorism by Bill Clinton? The period 1992 to 2000 had a much lower level of conflict than the last 15 years. Not zero conflict, but by just about every measure lower than the present.

      • Wayne 2.2.2

        You are wrong in your last paragraph, specifically during the Obama administration.
        For instance over the last six years the Syrian govt is unequalled in the numbers it has killed. ISIS by its various massacres of prisoners and Yazhidis has killed tens of thousands. In contrast the US air campaign against ISIS (unlike the Russian air campaign) seems to be highly targeted against ISIS fighters and commanders. Ironically, given how much they raise the ire of the left, this is because of the use of drones which are much more precise than high speed manned aircraft.

        • Muttonbird 2.2.2.1

          You’re working late, Wayne.

          Time and a half tonight, is it? Double time?

        • One Two 2.2.2.2

          The USA are bombing their own creation in ISIS, are they Wayne?

          You managed to leave Israel off the list of muderous rogue states

    • Pat 2.3

      which one was thoughtful and Presidential?

  3. Greg 3

    This is downplaying the doctrine of Wahhabism fundamentalist Islam, it cant be denied, except to not upset America’s biggest military buyer and ally, Saudi Arabia. And significant donor to the Hillary Foundation.

    The shooter was clearly struggling with his own sexual identity, projecting his self hate.
    Its pretty event in his assumption of an alpha male identity, and hating women,
    =wife beating.

    And how many fundamentalist Homophobic Christian American preachers are in jail for sex crimes against boys, or been outed chasing rent boys.
    Anyone want to bother doing a count.

  4. Grantoc 4

    Winston’s outburst is true to form. HIs xenophobic attacks against migrants and refugees et al have been occurring for years. He is playing to the NZ equivalent of Trump’s US ‘losers’ constituency, attempting to stoke fear and loathing and hoping to turn this into votes for his party.

    For contemporary NZ politics it raises questions about how NZ First under Peter’s leadership could/would fit within a Labour/Greens potential governing coalition. Would Labour/Greens tolerate these outbursts at the risk of being perceived to be giving tacit support to them to in order to obtain/retain power? Or would they disassociate themselves from these views at the risk of Peter’s walking away?

    For instance what happens if Labour/Green wants to increase the size of the refugee intake if they become the government with NZ First?

    Peter’s outburst on this issue which is dear to the hearts of Labour/Greens just seems to me to illustrate the difficulty for Labour/Greens in trying to work effectively and coherently with NZ First.

  5. Gabby 5

    It would be hard to refute the notion that the islamist terrorist was homophobic.

    • Gosman 5.1

      He is likely to be homophobic AND support violence to express those homophobic views because of the mainstream interpretation of his religious beliefs.

  6. NZSage 6

    “Owen Jones, the best left journalist of this decade, has walked out of a TV chat show after the host and a guest denied the Orlando killings were homophobic”

    That video is highly edited and from what I could tell I felt the host and guest were trying to exhibit a level empathy with the LBGT community. It appeared they were trying to assert that no matter who the victims were this was a despicable act by a delouded terrorist.

    I have a huge amount of respect for Owen and his journalistic mastery but on this occasion he did himself no favours by walking out.

    • There’s a fuller video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmMXxx-EWcY

      Edit: whoops, thats the same vid! I’ll have a look in the morning.

    • gangnam style 6.2

      Prob cause Owen was a little bit fraught & upset, god knows why…(sarc). Owen was absolutely right, the other 2 were just hot airing & saying the same empty talking head words whereas Owen was really trying to say something but the other 2 wouldn’t shut up & listen, echoes of ‘all lives matter’ to my ears.

      & totally got his people suddenly jumping on the gay bandwagon, when like he said LGBT people don’t een feel safe enough in the West to walk around holding hands with their loved ones, it’s something you rarely see here in NZ & I doubt it’s because there are few gays here.

      Like when people get up in arms about womens rights during their anti-Muslim spiels but won’t address pay inequality, hypocritical hogwash.

      • Rae 6.2.1

        Was about to say that myself. He would still have been in extreme shock over it all, knowing that in no small way, he was a target as well. What he was saying would most definitely be coming from a very instinctive place and from grief. It is not something he should be judged on.

    • joe90 6.3

      that no matter who the victims were this was a despicable act by a delouded terrorist.

      If this man or this man had done the crime, would folk be talking about their homophobia or their religion?.

  7. McFlock 7

    I tend to go further than that – I’m still not sure it was terrorism.

    Here’s why:
    He could easily have done it without any outside help or knowledge, buying everything over the counter with his own money.
    Would the location of the incident have been the idea of someone in the ME, or his using his local knowledge?
    He liked to big-note about his connections, but when he was reported and investigated, there was nothing to back it up in the slightest.

    Hell, I can tell people about my connection to the All Blacks, that doesn’t make it true or me a rugby player. But it would be rightly regarded as name-dropping in a pathetic attempt to boost my own status.

    He could well have done thesame, and Isis would go along with it because it big-notes them.

    But it was most definitely a hate crime, even if the person he was most disgusted by was himself.

    • weka 7.1

      Depends on your definition of terrorism. If the point of terrorism is to create a culture of extreme fear via violence to control groups of people, then this is terrorism.

    • Gosman 7.2

      He was inspired by the religious inspired ideology of Daesh. Daesh has claimed him as one of their own. As such it was an Islamic inspired homophobic terror attack.

      • McFlock 7.2.1

        lol

        Like I said, I can claim connections with the All Blacks, and they might even say “wuh? oh okay, yeah, that dude’s with us”. It doesn’t make it true.

    • Rae 7.3

      Well I can tell you why I do believe that Daesh would have used this guy’s homophobia to their “advantage”. It’s seems pretty clear he had contact with them.
      Anyone setting out to do something like this, would be fairly certain at the end of it, they are going to be dead, and believing you’re going to some sort of eternal glory must be a big help.
      Long story short, you don’t hear much about atheists committing this sort of crime.

      • McFlock 7.3.1

        David Gray comes to mind. The Columbine shooters, Klebold and Harris, were they overly religious?

        Dickheads come in all creeds.

  8. McFlock 8

    Yes. In the way that angry school kids or disgruntled former employees are “terrorists”. But giving that title to every dick with a gun cheapens the word. Makes it indistinguishable from someone who just can’t take romantic rejection.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      +1

    • McFlock 8.2

      argh crap that was to Weka 7.1 – damned batphone can be contrary…

    • weka 8.3

      Maybe. Every dick with a gun doesn’t have the aim of making a specific group of people terrified enough that their behaviour changes. I don’t mind terrorism being defined more exactly, but I do find the whole is he or isn’t he an Islamic terrorist a bit missing the point.

      • McFlock 8.3.1

        Well, if it was terrorism (Islamic or otherwise), that affects the political dialogue and subsequent preventive measures in one direction.

        If it was a lone dick committing a massive hate crime, the dialogue focuses more on how the potential damage of lone dicks can be minimised.

        It’s easier for a conservative politician to argue immigration and fear rather than gun control.

        At this stage, I’m not sure a desired behaviour change from this act is indicated. There doesn’t seem to be any wider organisation looking to further its own objectives. I haven’t heard of any manifesto that he wanted broadcast on the back of this, a la unabomber.

        So far, the guy looks like a cross between the kids who shot people at Columbine and the guy who murdered Gianni Versace, with some fucked up personal issues.

        • Rae 8.3.1.1

          That is most probably true, however, he let himself be known to Daesh, it should come as no surprise they welcomed him with open arms.

          • McFlock 8.3.1.1.1

            Of course they did. It makes them look like they have people in the US.
            Great recruiting tool for them.

            Did they know who he was six months ago? Six days ago?

        • Psycho Milt 8.3.1.2

          Kind of funny how many Muslim “dick-with-a-gun” types are shooting people Muslim fundamentalists hate, though, isn’t it? It’s almost like there was some ideological basis for their actions or something…

          • McFlock 8.3.1.2.1

            Oh, the organised and supported ones, like Paris, sure.

            And the US militias have had a bit of a resurgence, so watch that space, too.

            But there’s no need to elevate a monumental dickhead to the level of Carlos the Jackal. If anything, that’s what the dickhead wants: significance and infamy that he never had in real life.

            • Psycho Milt 8.3.1.2.1.1

              The only real distinction between planned group attacks like the Mumbai or Paris ones, and individual attacks like this one (or the San Bernadino one, stretching the term ‘individual’ a bit) is better organisation. The ideology of the individuals involved and the lethal effect of that ideology is the same. To those on the receiving end, it doesn’t matter if the Muslim nutcase out to kill unbelievers/shameless-perverts/whoever-they’re-killing-this-week got together with fellow nutcases and planned the event properly or not – the outcome and the reason for it are the same.

              • McFlock

                Not really.

                Terrorism involves an objective beyond the killing: either explicit (“release our comrades or we’ll blow up the plane”), or as a result of the act (affect an election, e.g. Madrid bombings, Unabomber before he demanded his manifesto be published, who knows what the fuck the anthrax letter dude was up to). Al shabab apparently tend to do a flashy massacre whenever their recruitment pool starts to dry up, for example, simply because the headlines boost their profile.

                This guy happened to be a not-very-good muslim. It seems the greater part of this act resulted from not being able to reconcile his sexuality with his cultural expectations, rather than any political or religious obective of his own or anybody else’s. But then he’s not the first homophobe to brutalize gay people because of his own self-loathing resulting from that contradiction.

  9. weka 9

    Good on Owen Jones for walking out and for tolerating the weirdness for as long as he did.

    “It was both the worst mass shooting in US history”

    Native Americans have been pointing out that mass shootings of Indians have had more deaths.


    Sarah Kendzior
    ‏@sarahkendzior

    Sarah Kendzior Retweeted The Associated Press

    As @ChiefElk pointed out, it’s actually Wounded Knee. Read her TL for historical perspective on gun violence.

    This isn’t about comparisons of better/worse, it’s about not erasing others’ histories.

  10. Gosman 10

    The guy seems to be incredibly precious. Imagine if Jewish people did the same thing with attacks on Jewish targets.

    • I imagine that the same thing could or would occur, Gosman. Nobody is forced to stay in a studio and if the TV hosts in your scenario were denying the essence of an anti-Jewish hate crime, I can easily imagine a guest getting up and walking out.

      What point do you think you are making?

      • Gosman 10.1.1

        What I suspect would happen is that if a Jewish person argued that non Jews were being insensitive by trying to broaden the debate beyond antisemitism to other areas that person would be regarded by many people (including on the left) as pushing a particular political agenda and taking an extreme and exclusionary approach to complex issues. This is exactly what Owen Jones is doing by trying to argue that this issue is only a homophobic attack and non LGBT people cannot express contrary views.

        • te reo putake 10.1.1.1

          Except he doesn’t argue it is ‘only’ a homophobic attack. There’s an article linked to in the post that explains his position very clearly.

          • Gosman 10.1.1.1.1

            He’s acting in a way that strongly suggests that this tragedy is ‘owned’ by the LGBT community and anyone who disagrees with this narrative has no right for their views to be aired as they are being insensitive (hence his decision to storm off). This would be no different to Israeli politicians refusing to discuss the wider Middle East context of a killing of Jewish people in Israel.

  11. He’s right. It can be both homophobic and a terrorist attack.

    Yep. Beats me how some people can be finding that a difficult concept. I suspect the answer is they don’t really find it a difficult concept, they just prefer to lie (looking at a certain well-known Prime Minister here).

  12. Richard McGrath 12

    Oh look. Another shooting in a state where even with a licence people can’t carry firearms in a bar. Were they supposed to throw alligators at the shooter?

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