My mouth agape at the horror and shock of it all, I could do little but silently shake my head upon hearing of the tragedy that befell Orlando, surprised and despondent. It didn’t take long for my initial response to transform into a deeper feeling of frustration. This anger stemmed from a lifetime in an America that bears practically zero resemblance to the glorified decades of textbook lore.
The nation that stares at me from beyond the window is one that cries out at the sight of heartbreak and immediately starts pointing fingers at everyone else, save for itself. It perpetuates Islamaphobia rather than acknowledge a culture that preaches peace fundamentally as a victim, tainted by a minority of extremists. It raises its fist and shouts for more guns rather than acknowledge the unfortunate truth of more bullets in the air. And most scarily, it reeks of stagnation rather than pursue change, moving forward instead of backward.
My heart is with the victims, but my anger is not with Omar Mateen, though he certainly acted despicably, but with the system that has produced such monstrous behavior and, while not condoning it, does little to avoid similar incidents in the future.