Vigil for Orlando at Boone County Courthouse shows solidarity and racial discord.
Interesting article in the link concerning the tragedy and some inputing "intersectional" discussions into it.
More than 1,000 people crowded the amphitheater on the courthouse grounds for a quickly arranged candlelight vigil organized by 10 campus and community organizations. Although there were moments of discord during the nearly hourlong event, the central message was opposition to anti-homosexual bigotry and gun violence.
We proclaim that even in the midst of this heartbreak, even though the sorrow is unimaginable, your presence here, our presence together is a sign that there is more love than hate, said Sarah Nichole Klaassen, pastor of Rock Bridge Christian Church.
The large crowd came together because the campus and community groups decided unity was the most important message they could send, said Dustin Hampton, president of MidMo PrideFest.
Seeing the atrocity happen, our community has been shaken, Hampton said.
Mateen was a Muslim born in New York to Afghan immigrants. He died in a shootout with police responding to the nightclub, and investigators are trying to piece together his motive for the attack.
Esam Diab, a Moberly resident and Palestinian who came to the United States 35 years ago, brought his wife, Lori, and grown sons Mohammed and Omar to the rally. Diab said he felt compelled to join the mourners on hand at the rally with his family.
It is important that we are here, he said. I have a duty to humanity.
The discordant note came when Melecio spoke of her feelings in the aftermath of the killings. Looking out over the crowd, she said she was disappointed that the Latino heritage of many of the victims was being lost in media coverage and commemorative events.
A lot of those names had something in common what they had in common were a lot of them were Latino, Melecio said. I was really nervous to get up here because theres a lot of white people in the crowd. And that wasnt a joke.
The contributions of blacks and Hispanics to the movement for equal rights in the homosexual and transgender community are being overshadowed and co-opted by whites, Melecio said.
It is like, who are you really here for? she said.
Several responses came from the crowd.
Were here for everybody, one person shouted.
Daniel Brizendine and his husband, Carl Brizendine, left the vigil as Melecio was speaking. Daniel Brizendine said he has lived in Orlando, been a customer at Pulse and knows people who go there regularly. Melecio was wrong to bring up race in the way she did, he said.
He has been marching for rights since 1982, he said. Now all of a sudden I am going to be white-shamed, and I am not going to be white-shamed just because I was born with white skin.
What do you all think about what that student did at the vigil? Me personally, I felt the "white people in the crowd" statement was extremely divisive and inappropriate during a time of grief. That's not the kind of venue for such a discussion.
I don't believe that this club was attacked because of it holding a Latino night but was attacked because it was a gay club
and maybe I'm better informed than the average person but everything I've read so far mentions prominently the Latino roots of the victims
CNN.com has a wonderful article giving details about all the victims