The reason the world showed limited empathy to the Orlando victims

Exclusively written for the Sting by one of our passionate readers Mr Luca Arfini. The opinions expressed within reflect only the write’s views and not The European Sting’s position on the issue.

On the 12th of June this year Omar Mateen committed a terrible massacre against the LGBT community. He entered in the Pulse, one of the most famous gay clubs in Orlando, in Florida, and he started shooting against the crowd, killing 49 people and injuring another 53. This attack has awaken the fear among the LGBT community, who was preparing to celebrate the pride month with parades and the anniversary of the same-sex marriage legalization in the US.

This was a hate attack against a minority, showing that, even if some progress has been made, there is still a lot of work that must be done to create the right feeling of acceptance among the society. All the LGBT community expresses solidarity to the victims of Orlando in social media, but some people claimed that this attack has not emotionally involved the web community as much as the terrorist attacks in Paris or the more recent ones in Belgium.  Was the society less shocked for the Orlando massacre only because it hasn’t shared its solidarity as much as for the recent terrorist attacks?

After the Paris and the Belgium terrorist attacks we have seen all people in social media changing their profile picture with the filters of the French or the Belgian flag, writing “Je suis Charlie”on their profiles and all the social networks showed a great sense of solidarity. Some people claimed that in Orlando, nobody wrote in their profiles something similar “Je suis gay”, because they were not too touched by the fact. Maybe this could be true, but recently after the terrorist attack on the Instabul airport, I have seen very few people remembering those victims.  Apparently, it seems like there is a scale of importance in how people classified those events, but it is all a matter of distance.

We all posted “pray for Paris”, because it happened inside the European Union in one of the most well known capital cities, so we all felt as personally involved in the attack, we all mostly have some friends or relatives or friends of a friend in France, and we felt that if it happened there, it could also happen in any other country of the European Union.

People did not feel the same for Orlando because they have seen it as an attack against a minority, something that is distant from their lives, not less horrible than the other terrorist attack, but less emotionally involving because it was far from their private sphere. Most of the people remained in silence, not for a question of dislike against the gay community, but because they do not feel part of that community, so they perceive the event with less shock and sadness than a gay person.

George Simmel described at the end of the 19th century the individual of the modern metropolis as cold, rational, detached and indifferent. An individual that is able to take distance from the high variety of events and inducements present in a modern metropolis. This is an important aspect of the modern individual, because the capacity of taking distance from things helps us to rationally defend from the others, to learn how to not be personally involved in everything.  Without this shield we will suffer in the same way every day for the death of a child in Africa, for the wars that there are in the other part of the world, for the murder of a person not close to us, and this would be too much to stand.

The same logic can be applied at what happened in Orlando, people are rational actors, so they react rationally to what happens in the world and with a different emotional intensity in relation to the closeness of what has just happened. We cannot expect them to spend the same amount of feelings for everything, because it will be impossible.

In conclusion, I believe it is wrong asking whether people have been shocked by what happened in Orlando, because nobody can be happy about a massacre, even the people that do not support the LGBT community.

The fact that they did not show as much involvement as to what happened in Paris or in Belgium is mainly related to the fact that this has touched a minority from which the great majority of the people feel distant. This it is not related to homophobia though.

All in all, I would mainly wonder, instead, about the easiness of how Omar Mateen was able to buy an arm despite the fact he had been interrogated by the FBI due to his contacts with ISIS.

Join the Hive!

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Record-breaking heatwaves killed about 1,500 people in France

EU and US close to an agreement on data sharing amid European citizens’ concerns

Technology companies have power. They must assume responsibility

‘Disaster resilient’ farming reduces agriculture risks, yields economic gains, says new UN agriculture agency report

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

Without tackling ‘gross inequalities’ major issues will go unsolved, warns UN rights chief Bachelet

Our Amazon is disappearing in ashes

The “Legend of the Sun” wishes you Happy Chinese New Year 2015 from Brussels

Health Systems and Society: ways to reinforce the human power during the pandemic

Italian elections: a long political limbo is ahead

Eurozone: Subdued inflation can lead to more recession

How can education empower youth to become tomorrow’s leaders

‘Millions facing starvation’ – Global political and business leaders on the economic impact of COVID-19

Women’s rights in Asia – how far have we come?

European Commission and International Monetary Fund strengthen cooperation to support sustainable development

Negotiations on Investment Facilitation at the WTO gain support at Davos

China-EU Relations: Broader, Higher and Stronger

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: hate speech, dementia, Libya and Yemen, human rights in Brazil and Lebanon

‘The best-selling brand today is fear’: UN chief highlights urgent need to address global ‘deficit of trust’

Whale populations are slowly recovering – this is why

Schengen is losing ground fast revealing Europe’s clear inability to deal with migration crisis

EU-China trade: closer ties as US-China trade battle brews

UN chief urges ‘active, substantive and meaningful participation’ on International Day of Democracy

Eurozone guarantees all banks with…taxpayers’ money

Towards the Rise of the United States of the Atlantic?

Universal Health Care: can it exist only in utopic society?

Three myths keeping government procurement stuck in the past

Vital food crops destroyed in Syria amid upsurge in fighting across Idlib, Hama

In Bangladesh, COVID-19 threatens to cause a humanitarian crisis

Human rights breaches in Iran, Egypt and Tanzania

What is digital equality? An interview with Nanjira Sambuli

Spanish vote – bad luck for Greece: Does Iphigenia need to be sacrificed for favourable winds to blow in Eurozone?

Bank resolutions to remain a politically influenced affair

A quarter of Pacific islanders live below ‘basic needs poverty lines’, top UN development forum hears

How the future of computing can make or break the AI revolution

Parliament makes EU electricity market cleaner and more consumer-friendly

European Court rules that ECB’s OMT program of 2012 is OK; not a word from Germany about returning the Greek 2010 courtesy

Venezuela: European Parliament calls for additional sanctions

Green Deal: measures to step up the fight against global deforestation

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over INWIT by Telecom Italia and Vodafone, subject to conditions

Data Protection Regulation one year on: 73% of Europeans have heard of at least one of their rights

The EU slowly exits from “Excessive Deficit Procedure” and hopefully from ‘Excessive Austerity Procedure’ too

Libya: ‘Substantial civilian casualties’ in Derna, UN humanitarian chief ‘deeply concerned’

State aid: France to recover €8.5 million of illegal aid to Ryanair at Montpellier airport

US, Russia oblige each other in Syria and Ukraine selling off allies

‘Once lost, hearing doesn’t come back,’ World Health Organization warns on World Hearing Day

Why do medical students need to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Coronavirus in Brazil: mental health in tragedy

Turn toxic e-waste into a source of ‘decent work’, UN labour agency urges

LIFE Programme: Member States to benefit from quarter of a billion euros of investments in environment, nature and climate action

The vehicles of our future

State aid: Commission approves €840 million German guarantee scheme to protect consumers and support the travel industry in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

Eight years in, Syria still embroiled in conflict ‘that no longer sparks outrage’, Security Council hears

MEPs push for high ambitions at the COP25 in Madrid

These clothes were designed by artificial intelligence

Germany readies to pay for the Brexit gap in EU finance

Parliament boosts consumer rights online and offline

Media Advisory : Coronavirus COVID-19 – measures introduced by the European Parliament

Brazil’s hopeless future of science

How AI is bringing the ‘dark matter of nutrition’ to light, unlocking the power of plants

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s