"I mean, it seems to me there are kind of three strands here. One is absolutely homophobia, and it's now looking more and more like it may well be that, in fact, Omar Mateen had feelings that, you know, he might've been gay himself, he was struggling and feeling, you know, obviously angry about that. That seems pretty clear. On top of that, of course, it seems to be just personal rage, perhaps mental illness. This man wrote about and talked about hating black people, Jewish people, you know, his wife, women in general, it seemed like in many ways. So there was that strand as well.
And then the last, of course, is Islamist ideology. And that may, at this point, be the very weakest strand. I say that only because it seems to me that Mateen almost as an afterthought, very much towards the end of the standoff, when his death was approaching, decided to make these calls to 911 and essentially kind of sign up with ISIS. It seems to me that that is the kind of thing a person does as they're facing death, as they're facing the end. And they want to go down in history not as some, you know, ugly, mass murderer, but as a person who has somehow died as a martyr to a noble cause."
~ Mark Potok, The Diane Rehm Show, hora: 10:10:21
Ontem no programa da Diane Rehm, Mark Potok (senior fellow no Southern Poverty Law Center) identificou três fios de ideias que caracterizam Omar Mateen, o atacante de Orlando: tinha problemas em assumir a sua sexualidade, provavelmente sofria de perturbação mental, e assumiu uma proximidade ideológica com o Estado Islâmico. Relativamente ao primeiro ponto, uma das notícias recorrentes é que o pai de Mateem tinha recentemente visto dois gays a beijarem-se em Miami, o que o tinha repugnado profundamente, ao ponto de comentar com o filho. No desenvolver da investigação, já há notícias que indicam que a fidelidade ao Estado Islâmico não foi a causa principal.
No All Things Considered, Ari Shapiro entrevista um jovem gay, Julius, que tinha estado no Pulse na noite do ataque. Julius saiu poucos minutos antes, mas um outro amigo, Omar, um jovem de 20 anos, que também estava de saída, ficou para trás. Quando Julius saiu de casa por ter uma discussão com o pai, foi Omar quem lhe deu abrigo. Julius sobreviveu e Omar pereceu no ataque.
Numa outra entrevista, Eddie Meltzer, outro jovem gay, conversa com Shapiro. Também podia ter sido uma vítima, mas saiu de Pulse porque estava com fome. Agora serve de tradutor para as famílias das vítimas, muitas das quais não sabem inglês. Diz ele acerca da comunidade gay:
"You know, we're gay men. We ... live in a world where we get a lot of hate. We take a lot of hate. And we know how the world feels about us. And we're strong people because we live in a world that wasn't made for us. And if tomorrow somebody took over this country and said, we're going to kill all the gays, I will be the first one in that square saying, shoot me with my big flag all over the place because I would rather die for what I stand for. You can't kill me. I'm an idea, I'm timeless."
~ Eddie Meltzer, All Things Considered, NPR
O ódio é um dos motores de mudança: transforma uns em agressores e outros em vítimas. Para alguns, é o choque de ser confrontado com o sofrimento das vítimas que causa a mudança. Por exemplo, o governador do Utah, Spencer Cox, um Republicano heterossexual e mormon, fez um pedido público de desculpa na Segunda-feira numa vigília por causa do ataque de Orlando:
"Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for being here tonight on this very solemn and somber occasion. I begin with an admission and an apology. First, I recognize fully that I am a balding, youngish, middle-aged straight, white, male, Republican, politician... with all of the expectations and privileges that come with those labels. I am probably not who you expected to hear from today.
I’m here because, yesterday morning, 49 Americans were brutally murdered. And it made me sad. And it made me angry. And it made me confused. I’m here because those 49 people were gay. I’m here because it shouldn’t matter. But I’m here because it does. I am not here to tell you that I know exactly what you are going through. I am not here to tell you that I feel your pain. I don’t pretend to know the depths of what you are feeling right now. But I do know what it feels like to be scared. And I do know what it feels like to be sad. And I do know what it feels like to be rejected. And, more importantly, I know what it feels like to be loved.
I grew up in a small town and went to a small rural high school. There were some kids in my class that were different. Sometimes I wasn’t kind to them. I didn’t know it at the time, but I know now that they were gay. I will forever regret not treating them with the kindness, dignity and respect — the love — that they deserved. For that, I sincerely and humbly apologize. [...]"
~ Spencer Cox
P.S. Hoje é o primeiro aniversário do massacre de Charleston, no qual nove pessoas negras pereceram ao ser baleadas numa igreja por um rapaz branco de 21 anos de idade.