If you are a cisgender, heterosexual, white person, please do not write about Orlando

Peak something – peak doing social justice wrong is perhaps the best description of it. Mariella Mosthof at Bustle says nearly everyone should say nothing at all about Orlando.

The title alone is terrible:

Dear White, Hetero, Cis People: Please Don’t Co-Opt This Tragedy

Excuse me? Co-opt?? It’s not co-opting to express grief and outrage, and it’s not some ideal opposite of co-opting to ignore terrible things that happen to other people. If only people who are neither white nor straight nor “cis” can talk about Orlando, few people would even know it had happened.

Then the first sentence is even worse:

If you are a cisgender, heterosexual, white person, please do not write about the 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.

Please do not write about it. Just like that. Shut up. Say nothing. Look away. Ignore it. Talk about baseball instead.

The hell I will. Don’t you dare tell me to ignore horrors inflicted on people for belonging to a despised group. Don’t tell me to ignore the children slaughtered in Peshawar or the college students slaughtered in Garissa or the churchgoers in Charleston or the cartoonists in Paris or the atheists in Bangladesh or the clubbers in Orlando. Don’t tell anyone to do that. Stop that shit right now.

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.

Why the fuck not?? Why wouldn’t I, why shouldn’t I? What’s this “do not take it upon yourself” shit? It’s not presumptuous to point out the hypocrisy of Paul Ryan; we all get to do that.

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.

“Muslim people”? So Muslims get to talk about Orlando and atheists don’t? Non-Muslims don’t? Seriously?

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.

Says Mariella Mosthof, in the act of doing exactly that – patting herself on the back for telling 99.99% of people to say nothing about Orlando.

That the largest mass shooting in American history was perpetrated in a queer space is not a designation that any of us wanted. Queer history is already so painful, so traumatic, so violent, and so unjust. We didn’t need this to make our point. But now that we have it, the least allies can do is let us make our point.

Chances are, queer voices, Latinx voices, and Muslim voices are already saying what you wish to express, and you will likely find that they are expressing it in a more articulate way than you are able to. Make the choice to share those voices instead of centering yours.

Except a lot of those voices are bound to be white or straight or “cis” or all three and you told all of them to shut up, remember?

Peak awful. Peak the worst.

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