Things That Matter

Four Years Later And The Grief Of The Pulse Nightclub Shooting Is Still Raw

On June 12, 2016, a terrorist entered Pulse Nightclub with an automatic rifle. The gunman killed 49 people as they danced and celebrated life with friends and family. Four years later, the community continues to mourn the tragic loss of life during Pride Month.

It has been four years since the Pulse Nightclub shooting and the pain is still there for many.

The attack was a devastating reminder of the brutality still plaguing the LGBTQ+ community. The global LGBTQ+ community collectively grieved over the shooting and the loss of life. It struck fear into the hearts of LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones. It has been four years and that pain and fear still exist as the community continues to find ways forward.

The immediate action from the LGBTQ+ community was to join the growing battle against gun violence in the U.S.

“I remember dancing. I remember Juan’s goofy laugh. Drew’s long, gangly arm around my should as he said, ‘I wish we said I love you more.’ I remember we accidentally wore matching outfits and before I knew it it was 2 a.m.,” Brandon Wolf, a Pulse survivor said to Congress in 2019. “I can remember cold water from the faucet, a plastic cup teetering on the edge of the sink. I remember gunshots. Confusion. The rancid stench of blood and smoke. I remember the hair standing up on the back of my neck; my heart pounding as I crouched on the bathroom floor. I remember the face of terror on the faces of those people trapped in there with me; a panicked sprint to an open door. And I swear I can still hear every one of the 110 rounds that man pumped into the club.”

Wolf continues by talking about the confusion and desperation after as he tried to find his friends. How he had to call Juan’s family to let them know that he was dead. He talks about seeing his two best friends in caskets as a final reminder of the horrible nightmare he was living. Wolf then takes aim at the public health epidemic of gun violence that is devastated the country.

The Pulse survivor further called out President Donald Trump for emboldening this hate in America. Rather than unite the country to go together, Wolf argues that Trump has allowed for this kind of hate to go unimpeded and the ready access to guns has made this hate deadly.

People are sharing their stories and heartbreak on social media remembering the shooting.

Pulse Nightclub was an institution in Orlando for the LGBTQ+ community. Famous drag queens like Cynthia Lee Fontaine and Ginger Minj who live in Orlando have performed there. They have spoken of their own experience of hearing the news and trying to find out if their friends are okay.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is calling for greater protection for LGBTQ+ people.

“Four years ago, as members of the LGBTQ+ community were gathered together for Latin Night at Pulse nightclub during Pride Month, a terrorist armed with a semi-automatic rifle opened fire,” reads a statement from Biden. “He killed 49 innocent people and injured many more — at the time, the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman. And still today, it remains the deadliest attack on the LGBTQ+ community in American history.”

“The inaction of Republican lawmakers to address the scourge of gun violence in America is unacceptable,” Biden wrote. “As President, I will continue standing with you to build a more equal, more inclusive United States, where every member of the LGBTQ+ community is safe and respected.”

The Pulse shooting is a reminder every Pride Month of the battle the LGBTQ+ community still fights.

Hate took 49 people away from their friends and families. It was and continues to be a hard moment for the LGBTQ+ community, especially the Latino LGBTQ+ community.

Continue to rest easy, angels.

Your lives will never be forgotten. We love you. We miss you. We will continue to fight for a world safe and free fro LGBTQ+ people.

READ: Remembering The Victims Of The Orlando Shooting, Many Of Whom Were Latino

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Federal Judge Breaks Her Silence After Her Son Was Murdered By Disgruntled Attorney

Things That Matter

Federal Judge Breaks Her Silence After Her Son Was Murdered By Disgruntled Attorney

Eyewitness News ABC7NY / YouTube

Federal Judge Esther Salas is preparing to bury her 20-year-old son. Her son was killed by a disgruntled disguised as a FedEx driver on his birthday weekend. Judge Salas’ husband was hospitalized after being shot multiple times. She is asking for better protection got federal judges and their families.

Judge Esther Salas is demanding better protection and privacy for federal judges.

The video opens with Judge Salas explaining the events that unfolded that day. The emotion grows as she talks about her son finally turning 20 and his excitement to be with his parents. She recalls her son saying that he just wanted to stay and talk to her where the doorbell rings.

Judge Salas remembers her son running up the stairs to answer the door, curious about who it could be. When the door opened, Judge Salas heard gunshots and someone screaming “no.” When she got to her family, she learned that someone dressed as a FedEx delivery person came to the door and opened fire. The son jumped in front of his dad to protect him and died from a bullet wound to the chest.

As a result of the killing, Judge Salas is asking for politicians to do something to protect federal judges. As it stands, the address and other personal information on federal judges are readily available online. Judge Salas wants a way for that information to be hidden from the public.

“At the moment there is nothing we can do to stop it, and that is unacceptable,” Judge Salas said in the video. “My son’s death cannot be in vain, which is why I am begging those in power to do something to help my brothers and sisters on the bench.”

She added: “My family has experienced a pain that no one should ever have to endure. And I am here asking everyone to help me ensure that no one ever has to experience this kind of pain. We may not be able to stop something like this from happening again, but we can make it hard for those who target us to track us down.”

Judge Salas’ video is a hard video to watch as her raw emotion breaks through.

It is devastating to have to bury a child. It is something no parent should have to do. For Judge Salas, she is burying a child that was taken from her in a senseless act of violence perpetrated by a self-proclaimed anti-feminist attorney.

People on social media are standing with the judge in asking for better data protection to save lives.

Data issues have long plagued the Internet and activists want to change that. For many, the issue is protecting data from falling into the wrong hands or for companies, like Facebook, to profit off of our data. For Judge Salas, it is a matter of life or death to protect her colleagues on the bench and their families.

READ: The Government Accountability Office States That ICE And The FBI Are Using DMV Data To Track Undocumented Immigrants

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Jokes About Megan Thee Stallion’s Multiple Gun Shot Wounds Are A Reminder That People Don’t Take Black Women’s Safety Seriously

Entertainment

Jokes About Megan Thee Stallion’s Multiple Gun Shot Wounds Are A Reminder That People Don’t Take Black Women’s Safety Seriously

Tommaso Boddi / Getty

Updated July 29, 2020

Two weeks have passed since we first reported that Megan Thee Stallion had been involved in a shooting that injured her feet. At the time, the rapper had explained that she had been shot as “a result of a crime that was committed against” her. However, up until recently, the rapper has kept fairly quiet about the incident only opening up to fans to ask for her privacy and their sympathy.

On Monday, Megan addressed the incident once again on Instagram Live in a nine-minute video where she thanked fans for their support.

Speaking about the incident, which happened on July 12, Megan recalled having both of her feet shot.

“I see… a lot of people that have been very supportive and sending prayers, and I just really appreciate that,” she said during the live stream. “I saw the hotties doing a lot of things, like writing letters on Tumblr and DMing me all the time, and I just want to say thank y’all so much, because y’all have really been the ones helping me get through this.”

“I was shot in both of my feet,” she explained “I had to get surgery to get the bullets taken out. And it was super scary.” She later noted, “Thank God that the bullets didn’t touch bones; they didn’t break tendons. I know my momma or my daddy, my granny, had to be looking out for me with that one, because where the bullets hit at it missed everything.”

Within a few days of the news breaking about Megan’s shooting incident, men and women began to make jokes and rumors about what happened.

While her fans were quick to show genuine concern about her health and welfare, many were keen on making jokes as well. Media outlets and celebrities alike slung all kinds of cracks about the incident, even going so far as to mock the rapper’s personal life. Recently, model Chrissy Teigen apologized for a joke she made on Twitter about the incident which read, “I have a megan thee stallion joke but it needs to be twerked on.”

The joke came just after the “Hot Girl Summer” rapper asked fans to have more compassion on Twitter about the situation pointing out that “Black women are so unprotected & we hold so many things in to protect the feelings of others w/o considering our own.” She went onto add that “It might be funny to y’all on the internet and just another messy topic for you to talk about but this is my real life and I’m real life hurt and traumatized.”

The largely unsympathetic reaction to Megan’s shooting is a reminder that Black women continue to be ignored when it comes to pain.

2017 report released by the National Center for Victims of Crime “41.2 percent of Black women had experienced physical violence and 53.8 percent had experienced psychological aggression, as compared to 31.5 and 47.1 percent of all women respectively.” According to The Guardian, Black women and other minorities are even more at risk because of the current pandemic crisis. “With more than three-quarters of the US population told to stay home to stem the pandemic’s spread, nowhere is safe for victims of intimate partner violence,” they reported. “A self-quarantine puts them in perpetual proximity to their abuser. Leaving exposes them not just to a deadly virus but a world that has largely closed its doors.”

Rapper Megan Thee Stallion, whose real name is Megan Jovon Ruth Pete, recently made headlines after she revealed that she’d been a victim of gun violence.

After a series of misreports from various outlets, the rapper took to Instagram to clear up rumors that had been made about the circumstances. Including ones that suggested she had been arrested.

Recently the rapper revealed she suffered multiple gunshot wounds this past Sunday and is currently recovering.

In a detailed account of events on Instagram on Wednesday, the rapper revealed that rapper Tory Lanez had been arrested on a gun charge after police officers found the weapon in his car. At the time, Megan had also been in a car with another woman.

“On Sunday morning, I suffered gunshot wounds, as a result of a crime that was committed against me and done with the intention to physically harm me,” the “Savage” rapper wrote. “I was never arrested, the police officers drove me to the hospital where I underwent surgery to remove the bullets. I’m incredibly grateful to be alive and that I’m expected to make a full recovery, but it was important for me to clarify the details about this traumatic night.”

A story published by TMZ originally reported that a cut on the rapper’s foot led police to search the car and find the gun.

The story posted a video of two people, one identified by TMZ as Megan, with their hands behind their backs. The images showed them surrounded by police. The outlet identified the other person as Lanez.

In her Instagram post, Megan emphasized that she had not been arrested but had in fact suffered multiple gunshot wounds. She went on to add that she had been driven by police officers drove to a hospital where she had surgery to remove the bullets.

“I’m incredibly grateful to be alive and that I’m expected to make a full recovery, but it was important for me to clarify the details about this traumatic night,” she finished the image. “I’m currently focused on my recovery, so I can return back to my life and back to making music as soon as possible.”

She also shared that the experience is “an eye-opener and a blessing in disguise… I hate that it took this experience for me to learn how to protect my energy.”

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