National Public Radio thinks Mariella Mosthof’s piece telling white straight “cis” people not to write about Orlando is so good that it needs to be highlighted on NPR.

Really, NPR?

In an essay for Bustle, Mariella Mosthof reflects on how this type of violence can end up affirming straight anxieties over queerness. She says parents can reject their queer children “from a place of their own fear, or their own desire for you to be safe,” and the conviction that “the easiest way for you to be safe is for you to be ‘normal.'”

But she said a lot more than that, and at the beginning of the piece, and what she said there was frankly ugly and vile. Here are the first four paragraphs again:

If you are a cisgender, heterosexual, white person, please do not write aboutthe largest mass shooting in American history, which took place this Sunday at a gay club called Pulse in Orlando during the venue’s Latino night. Of course, share condolences, express how horribly you feel for the victims and their families, tell your queer Latinx friends that you love them, lend support. But please do not take it upon yourself to publicly point out the hypocrisy of Paul Ryan tweeting “thoughts and prayers” when the legislative agenda of his party actively marginalizes queer people all the time.

Please do not wax poetic about the outrage of Trump supporters doing the same, while their presidential hopeful advocates building a wall intended to keep out the very folks Pulse was aiming to create a safe space for. Do not condemn confused conservatives who are blaming this on radical Islam. If you are a straight ally, please do not write about the infuriating injustice of Orlando health centers being in desperate need of blood when the queer community is not permitted to donate it.

Queer people are already saying these things. (Hi.) Latinx people are saying these things. Muslim people are saying these things.

And while we’re at it, do not write an article or a Facebook post patting yourself on the back for not saying any of these things, because even that takes valuable space away from the marginalized people who this story is really about. This is the time for their voices to be heard, and for the rest of us to listen. This is the time for the authenticity of their lived experience and their communities’ history of collective trauma to radiate. This is a time to share their stories.

Surely NPR could have found better pieces to highlight than that one.

4 Responses to “Highlighting”