By D’Anne Witkowski
It’s been months since Omar Mateen shot over 100 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people. Surely enough time has passed that we can stop mourning the dead and start worrying about the real victims of the attack: the first responders who had to wade through all that gross AIDS blood.
On Jan. 23, Liberty Council’s Mat Staver took to his Faith and Freedom radio program to take the nightclub attendees to task for having the temerity to bleed once they were shot.
“In regards to the Pulse nightclub,” Staver said, “as tragic as it is, some of these officers have no doubt gone through trauma as well because they were going through the Pulse nightclub, it was blood everywhere and, you know, they’re having to get tested for AIDS-related conditions because they’re literally walking in pools of blood.”
Yes, walking through pools of blood no doubt barefoot and with open sores on their feet, per official emergency response protocol.
Look, there’s no question that officers responding to the shooting have gone through trauma. It’s got to be hard to enter a place of such carnage and literally see piles of dead bodies. I suspect that would mess up even the most seasoned veteran of the force.
But according to Staver, what should most concern officers is the disease ridden blood of the homos. Staver doesn’t, of course, know this. What he’s really telling us is that this is what would most concern him were he in their position.
Note, too, that he’s just assuming that the dead and wounded had AIDS. In other words, he sees the victims as diseased first, human second (if at all).
Note that Staver prefaces his barbaric comment with “as tragic as it is,” but it certainly seems like he doesn’t think it was all that tragic.
During this same radio program, Staver and his guest go out of their way to state that the Pulse massacre had nothing to do with anti-LGBTQ animosity and everything to do with ISIS. The location was apparently chosen at random and it just so happened to be a club full of homos. Apparently Staver didn’t get the memo that ISIS isn’t exactly LGBTQ friendly.
“There was a narrative that the Obama administration and local politicians, including Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, wanted to promote and it was the rainbow flag, it was an anti-gay issue and it really was a terrorism issue.”
Because, you know, it can’t be both. And how dare Obama and Dyer use this tragedy to promote the crazy idea that there are some people out there who hate LGBTQ people enough to kill them and that LGBTQ deserve protection and compassion. That’s a left-wing conspiracy if I ever heard one!
It’s ironic that Staver, a man who has spent much of his professional life demonizing LGBTQ people as sub-human, can’t imagine that some hate filled psycho would go out and murder a bunch of them.
This is a guy who, right after the shooting, lamented the fact that churches who helped out the victims were too nice to them.
“Churches got involved and they led in some cases and in other cases they followed and … instead of an opportunity to pray, some of them allowed it to be a homosexual love fest,” he said. “That’s not something that we need to celebrate, this is a tragedy that is against all Americans.”
Keep in mind that the “that” and “this” coming out of Staver’s mouth refer not to the shooting, but to homosexuality, the real tragedy.
But hey, Trump promised to protect LGBTQ people from foreign ideologies, so I’m sure we’ll all be OK.
D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.