Hey guys, it’s Tony. If you have listened to the show or even know me from another walk of life you probably have come to realize that I am very proud to be from Orlando, Florida. Thus, given the recent tragedy, I feel the need to express myself in the way I do best - hiding behind words. The views and opinions forthwith are mine and mine alone. I cannot, and never would, attempt to speak for my colleagues and contemporaries.
I hesitate to say the massacre at Pulse nightclub was not a gay issue, as that would diminish the plight of the LGBTQ community, of which I am proud to have and have had called friends over the years. I tend to recognize things in the bigger picture, at times to my own detriment. I don’t see this as a gay, or a religious, or a firearms issue. This is a hate issue.
Don’t conflate wrongfulness with hatred. The fanatics who commit these deplorable acts of violence never think they are wrong, but almost every one admittedly hates the victims they target. The answer is not to teach right from wrong, as that is highly subjective. The solution, in my humble opinion, is teaching not to hate.
Equality is not about pretending we are all the same, that’s ignorance. Equality is acknowledging that we are all different, and it not mattering. Tolerance. Empathy. A sense of global community.
We cannot just point a finger at mental illness whenever it’s convenient, either. Again, that only denigrates those who actually suffer from it. Being weak minded and easily manipulated is not a mental illness. Extremists prey on indoctrinating young impressionables to carry out heinous acts of violent hate crimes while they sit halfway across the world.
I am not afraid to openly speak on personal opinion, but once again I feel as if that takes away from the victims. All of you assholes on social media who use tragedy, whether domestic or abroad, to proliferate your own agenda propaganda, how dare you. For shame! People are dead. Parents, children, lovers. Brothers, sisters, friends. Can you even pretend to imagine the suffering? Yet all you see is an opportunity to ejaculate your irrelevant, vapid, incipient personal views on gun control, religious prejudice, or sexual proclivity? For shame.
Education. Education. Education. I cannot go through life, taking in the beautiful evening sky, sharing a drink with friends, listening to my daughter’s weekly travails, checking in on mom and dad, missing the lost and reveling in the found - thinking that we are born with intrinsic hatred. Or, at the very least, that it cannot be taught out of us.
For the souls of victims. For families and friends in bereavement. For the souls of the damned. For guidance. For wisdom. For peace. For the future. Salute.