June 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Early Sunday morning in Orlando, Florida, a gunman identified as Omar Mateen burst into the Pulse nightclub, known as a center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. He opened fire on the crowd of several hundred, killing at least 50 people and wounding another 53. At this point, according to Reuters, the Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility.
This outrage, at a site which many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people see as a sanctuary, is extremely vicious—and horribly painful to contemplate. Ordinary people have been gunned down, murdered, apparently simply because of the way they live and love.
Such a depraved act is utterly unacceptable, something that humanity should be—and could be—far beyond. Yet while humanity should be far beyond this, the hatred for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people is deeply rooted throughout this entire capitalist-imperialist society. And yes, deeply rooted in American society. Bullying, ostracism from families and communities, beatings, insults and all manner of hate crimes against LGBT people typify life in this society. As a result, suicide among LGBT youth is epidemic. This oppression is so deeply knit into the fabric of society that the so-called holy texts of Christianity, Islam and Judaism call for death to gay people, and most of the religious institutions today constantly line up against any measure calling for any kinds of rights or dignity for LGBT people. Indeed, the last two months have witnessed massive hysteria whipped up from right-wing Christian fundamentalist politicians against transgender people using bathrooms, and on Sunday morning itself—in the wake of this terrible massacre—the lieutenant governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, tweeted a Biblical verse blaming the victims for their death—for supposedly “mocking God.” In complex ways, this insane hatred forms part of the “social glue” and perverse morality that knits together whole sections of this capitalist-imperialist society.
But this particular attack in Orlando has as of this posting reportedly been claimed by the Islamic fundamentalist group Islamic State. If this is true—and it would be consistent with what they profess and what they have actually done—this is yet one more reason why the vicious ideology of Islamic fundamentalist jihadism must be thoroughly and unequivocally opposed and resisted. As Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has stated, there is in fact nothing “radical” and nothing at all even remotely progressive about this ideology. Its role in the world in attracting angry people to its banners to carry out vicious and misguided acts only reinforces the oppressive relations of the world, and actually strengthens U.S. (and western) imperialism, as people feel driven to choose between two oppressive alternatives.
Both U.S. imperialism and jihadism must be opposed, with no quarter given to either by anyone who hungers for justice and human emancipation. This means standing with LGBT people against this attack AND it means opposing what will very likely be proposals to heighten the very repressive powers that defend this social system, or to demonize and repress Muslim people as a whole, or to step up U.S. military aggression in the Middle East.
The whole deadly dynamic where Islamic fundamentalist jihadism and imperialism (which grinds up the lives and mutilates the spirits of millions in the name of its “freedoms”) present themselves as the only poles in society must be ended. Revolutionary communism alone truly provides a viable and comprehensive alternative, capable of channeling both people’s anger and their aspirations to something better, into the only project that actually CAN emancipate humanity.
This pole must be strengthened now, throughout this society and throughout the world. The obstacle that stands in the way of human liberation and indeed reinforces and fosters every backward and oppressive social relation—the system of capitalism-imperialism—needs to be removed at the soonest possible time so we can go to work on actually transforming all this as part of a radically different and radically more free world, one in which—to paraphrase Bob Avakian—all exploitative and oppressive relations, and all destructive antagonist relations between people have been overcome and transcended. This is what we are doing right now and urge you to be part of.
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