MINNEAPOLIS, June 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Statement from John Mason:
HATE is the problem we must address. Four years ago in the gay establishment Pulse Nightclub, Omar Mateen committed the deadliest domestic terrorist act by a single shooter at the time. He murdered 49 and injured 53 of my fellow LGBTQ+ family. The terrorist identified himself as an "Islamic Soldier" and pledged his allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Badhdadi.
Let me be very clear, while most Muslims do not support terrorism and are not homophobic, we have a responsibility to call out the behavior with which we disagree. If you are against terrorism, homophobia, or racism, you must call it out. The only way we are going to reduce the amount of hate crimes is to address it head on.
Today, Rep. Omar either missed this opportunity or purposely avoided it for political reasons – either way, she must be held accountable. In her Facebook post she said, "Four years ago today we lost 49 people, many from the LGBTQIA+ and Latinx communities to a horrific act of gun violence in Orlando. In Minneapolis, we came together to show love, solidarity, and commitment to ending gun violence." She purposely did not acknowledge that this was a result of terrorism from an extremist ideology or that it was a homophobic hate crime. In doing so, she advances an agenda of a covert homophobic deflection and spins the Pulse Night club terror attack as simple gun violence. It is undisputed, however, that the slaughter was the result of an extremist ideology targeting the LGBTQ+ community.
I am the out-gay African American Democratic (DFL) primary challenger to Rep. Ilhan Omar. I run against her for many reasons, but today I must show how her continued hate speech and tropes cause division within our community here in Minnesota and throughout the U.S. As an African American and Minneapolis resident, the tragic death of George Floyd and the resulting response underlines the issues around targeted hate and racism in America. In similar fashion, many have tried to diminish the racism issue by focusing on police training and "outside agitators" coming into our city and state. This diversion blatantly misconstrues the issue of the underlying problem of targeted hate and racism; quite simply it misses the point. While we must have legal and administrative reform, our leaders need to be accountable for their words.
Just like in last year's House Resolution 183, we must once again admonish Rep. Omar for blatantly ignoring the source of violence from the domestic terrorism of an extremist ideology and its hate crimes inflicted upon my LGBTQ+ family and by diminishing such hatred as simple gun violence. This omission was an obvious political attempt by her to avoid the issue. Her consistent calls for lifting sanctions on governments who execute or imprison our LGBTQ+ family show where her real concerns lie. They are not for my family. We need to call out hate. NOW.
Nick Leonard, Campaign Chair
612.805.0089 / email@example.com
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SOURCE John Mason, Mason for Minnesota