**Rune and Orion support ribbon art by: TropiCanis (FA) // Ander Holmberg (FB)**
It is all over the news, but, there are still some people who are in the dark about the tragedy that recently struck Orlando, Florida.
On June 12th, Sunday, at 2AM…police received a call from a man named Omar Mateen. The man said he had pledged himself to ISIS, started talking about the Boston Marathon Bombings, and then, with his assault rifle and his pistol, he walked into the Gay Nightclub called “Pulse” and he began shooting.
50 were killed…53 more were injured, and a city is in mourning. Omar Mateen was eventually met by a SWAT Team and was killed, but, that does not even begin to cure the hurt and loss the people of Orlando have had to endure. A man that had pledged himself to a terrorist organization…whose Father said he was “mad when he saw two men kissing” while in a bathroom in Miami…Omar per-meditated this attack as he drove over an hour away and stole innocent lives that gave him no harm. Two FBI investigations prior to this, Omar was always set free and never monitored…he was free to buy himself a weapon, and because of it, the Army lost a Captain, a friend lost her battle buddy…sisters were lost, daughters…sons, and Brothers…all of them gone.
This was a hate-crime towards the LGBT community, and, as the Furry Community is mostly that of LGBT nature (myself included)…it was a serious blow, and one that prompted many people within the LGBT Community to cry out: “Stop Killing Us”
Hate crimes are common…even with the passing of equality, LGBT people are still frightened because they are still targets. Hate crimes happen all the time, but not one of this magnitude…at least there hasn’t been for some time. Orlando is shaken, it’s people scared…Orlando needs our help.
So…now what I say to you is: “If you’re going to show your support…Offer help to Orlando / not just your prayers.”
Now, before you go off your rocker, allow me to explain…
There are a lot of tragedies in this world, and every time the world is afflicted with something new, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites come up with something so that you can show support for the victims…
Hashtags, filters that change your profile picture. All these things are nice and they look pretty…but in all honesty, they do nothing. When France was attacked/bombed by ISIS, everyone changed their profile picture to a French flag…and one girl that was in France put it in perspective when she said that…most of France was suffering a blackout because of the bombs. Most people in that area did not even have internet, and if they did, they could not see those little filters…she put it plainly that France would need to be rebuilt…families would need help, that France needed money, not silly gestures.
Praying for victims, sending out your good vibes…while all of those things are nice and are a wonderful gesture if you have no other way of helping…for those of us able to help, we have to think realistically that thoughts and prayers do nothing for the people suffering. It’s money that makes the world go round unfortunately, and there are charities and such that could really use all the help they can get to help these families in their time of need…helping with funeral costs, or medical bills for those that were injured but still survived. That is what we should be focusing on right now…not just a hashtag or a filter…but something that will actually matter.
So now you’re thinking: “Rune…you have one of those so-called ‘silly’ pictures, so, why are you being such a hypocrite?”
Well…that’s simple. I paid for them and donated money to help out Orlando. As I said…a thought, a gesture such as a picture and a filter…for those that can not offer money to help, showing support is not bad. But, for those that can help and don’t…well, showing their “support” with pictures is not really showing support…more or less it becomes a way for people to feel better about the fact that they could help but don’t want to give over $5 or less for a cause they think does not concern them.
Again, as an example involving the bombings of France…
I was out at breakfast with some friends, and one of the girls said she had changed her filter to the France flag and that we should all do the same. I told her I was not going to be changing my picture…and when she asked me why, I asked her in return: “Well, is Facebook giving out money to victims and their families if I change my picture?” she told me no (which I already knew). So then I asked her what good it was doing to change my picture. If a lot of people in France can not see it, and, if my changing my picture really does nothing as far as donations go…then why would I change my picture? Instead, I told her I was going to donate money to France, even if it was $1 because that would actually go towards something they could actually use…and then she fell silent. I’m sure that she thought she was doing something that was for the good…but, people have become very detached from reality with the use of the internet and social media. Anymore, we forget what real tragedies mean…what they do to people, to cities, to entire countries. I feel like, anymore, without some filter or hashtag, we forget how to band together as ‘people’…and we forget how to really help one another.
I’m sure I will get flack for this…but it’s merely the truth. Anymore we, as humans, only know how to act through use of a computer screen or mobile device.
As mentioned before…there is no shame in not having money to give. Times are tight…and by all means, show your support in any way that you can. If you can give money and this is a cause you say you truly support, then, even $1 can go a long way. There are a lot of charities out there you can give to, and you can even go out and donate blood…because there are survivors that need it, and you’re always saving a life this way. But, if you can give money…please do so. Because Orlando needs you to offer your help right now…not prayers.
PS= Also, one more note…
I have seen it going around that people have been claiming a Furry was killed in the club. This (so far) has been shown to be a mere troll, that there has not been a confirmed person from our Community in the shootings, and, I will try and keep everyone updated if that changes.
That’s all I have for now…
I’m very sorry to start the week on such a sad note. I would have written sooner…but, with new evidence and other things coming in all the time on the shootings and victims, I wanted to wait until I had facts and numbers to give you (to avoid an obnoxious amount of edits). I am still on vacation for another 2 weeks and will not be around so often in that time. Furry Friday will still happen this week, but next week we will not have a feature since I have fallen behind on spotlighting the last feature that came out (which means no one really saw it). Thank you all for tuning in, more blogs hopefully to come in the future, and, as always…I will see you all in the next one.