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The Orlando massacre and The Witness: What's new in the news

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Late last week the devastating Orlando massacre took the lives of 49 people and injured over 50 more. Many of the victims were LGBTIQ lantinx people. Rabble.ca's bloggers help to try and make sense of the senseless.

Matthew Hays argues the massacre was made possible from the toxic mixture of a culture steeped in homophobia and easy access to guns. He says this is the danger when the anti-gay religious right and the pro-gun lobby intersect. He also details the historical violence against women, people of colour and members of the LGBTQ community. Hays concludes by saying that those with conservative attitudes about the LGBTQ community are complicit in the violence perpetrated against them. 

Karl Nerenberg discusses how Trump has used this tragedy for his own benefit. He writes that as soon as Trump found out Omar Marteen was Muslim he "dropped the mask of compassion for the victims and heartily and publicly congratulated himself." Nerenberg argues that Trump is a uniquely American fascist leader, who targets scapegoats and appeals to white America’s resentment, ignorance and fear of the other.

Nora Loreto contends that police response to the shooting is another reason to demilitarize. With questions raised over whether any of the victims were killed by police, Loreto argues for gun control so that crises can be de-escalated with no one getting hurt. She also cites how racism and homophobia among American cops means that increasing police forces doesn't ensure the safety of these communities. "Queer bodies cannot be free when state security apparatuses are militarized. In a society built on white supremacy, heteronormativity, patriarchy and ol' fashioned Christian values, there is greater danger that the tragedy in Orlando will be used to further increase security than invade another country," Loreto writes.

In other news, Doreen Nicoll recommends that we watch the new documentary The Witness. It focuses on Catherine Susan (Kitty) Genovese, the 28-year-old woman whose rape and murder in 1964 became an iconic instance of bystander apathy. At least 38 people heard her scream for help during the attacks and two men were witnesses, but no one intervened to help her. While Catherine's personal story was lost amongst the media coverage of her attack, The Witness is an attempt at reclaiming her life. You can watch The Witness daily at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto until June 24. 

That's it for this week's blog roundup. Make sure to check out more rabble.ca blogs to find out what's happening in your world.

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