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A Crime Targeting the Latinx LGBTQI Community

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BY ALEXIS PAMPILLON | Today more than ever, we have a responsibility to talk deeply about the reasons at the root of why situations like #PulseOrlando happened. All day that Sunday, I was at a conference where the majority of people in attendance were Latinxs, and I didn’t totally understand what was happening. I didn’t know how to handle the news, but at some point I started to understand that this attack was not just what the media was saying or implying as the “biggest terrorist attack.” The reality is that this was a targeted, explicit attack on “Latino night” organized at a gay club — an intentional space for people of color LGBTQI-identified folks.

We must look at this with an intersectional lens. As migrant people of color who are LGBTQI and gender-nonconforming, we are vulnerable to a lot of systems that seek to divide us and oppress us.

PERSPECTIVE: No Progress In Dividing

The perpetrator, whose name doesn’t deserve to be mentioned, acted from a place of anger. He was clearly deeply troubled and had internalized hatred. In a world where the patriarchy manifests in hyper masculinity and our media follows an agenda to vilify specific races and religions, our society may choose to place blame in order to simplify and justify these acts. I choose to not do this, but look at this with a bigger lens to understand the layers and complexities.

A lot of the victims and survivors were from Puerto Rico and of Latin American decent, who are mainly migrating to the US due to the lack of economic opportunities in their land and oppression from colonization. Most of these people were working class, low-income, and scraping by to survive, only to meet homophobia with a gun.

I’m part of Make the Road NY, a community organization for Latinxs, people of color, and immigrants. As a community, we refuse to accept the narrative from the media that this person did this because of religion and we refuse to further condemn the Muslim community when they are also facing the backlash from the narrative that the media is controlling.

Alexis Pampillon works with Make the Road New York (maketheroad.org), which aims to build the power of Latinx and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services.

Updated 5:17 pm, July 20, 2018
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Reader feedback

Adam says:
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Aug. 5, 2016, 8:03 am
Yoli Yoga says:
This is certainly a sad situation - Yoli Yoga
Aug. 17, 2016, 7:57 am
explainer videos says:
The shooting happened amid Pulse's week by week "Upscale Latin Saturdays" party, and the casualties are essentially Latinx. As USA Today reports.
Aug. 24, 2016, 3:25 am
fcbuscompany.com says:
Personally I like going places where I don't speak the language, don't know anybody, don't know my way around and don't have any delusions that I'm in control. Disoriented, even frightened, I feel alive, awake in ways I never am at home.
Aug. 27, 2016, 5:43 am
charisma condo says:
A tourist can't help but have a distorted opinion of a place: he meets unrepresentative people, has unrepresentative experiences, and runs around imposing upon the place the fantastic mental pictures he had in his head when he got there.
Sept. 20, 2016, 8:15 am
CCbuscompany says:
No changing of place at a hundred miles an hour will make us one whit stronger, or happier, or wiser. There was always more in the world than man could see, walked they ever so slowly; they will see it no better for going fast. The really precious things are thought and sight, not pace. It does a bullet no good to go fast; and a man, if he be truly a man, no harm to go slow; for his glory is not at all in going, but in being.
Oct. 7, 2016, 8:16 am

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