Orlando, Florida on my mind.


Like the rest of you, I am devastated to hear about the Orlando shooting. How is it that people go out to enjoy a night out and someone opens fire on them? That’s heart wrenching enough. As updates have continued to come, it has become obvious that this crime was an act of violence against homosexuality. According to CNN, the killing, which was carried out by one Omar Mateen, was “well organized and well prepared.” The shooter called 911 around the time of the attack and pledged allegiance to ISIS.

He killed 50 people, and injured about 53 others. This is the worst terror attack on the US after the 9/11 attacks, and it is the worst open gun shootout in U.S. history.

I care about this not just because I am a resident in this country, but because this is an attack on all of us. If one person is attacked and killed for any fragment of their identity, we all are attacked and a part of our shared humanity is killed.

While I am a believing catholic christian, which pretty much explains my stance on homosexuality, I recognize that hatred completely and utterly has no place in this world. Jesus will not endorse this, and regardless of whom you believe in, this is unacceptable. In the name of religion, or whatever else. 

Killing anyone on the basis of anything is completely unacceptable. Hatred had become too rampant. When we’re not the ones carrying the guns and killing people, we dance around the problem and fail to confront it head on.

As a christian, I take a stand and say that killing is not allowed. People cannot lose their lives because they do not reach your standards of perfection. Let’s not act shocked. World history continues to be marred by hatred and bigotry. What was the holocaust about again? Someone remind me, please.

I recently read a book on the Nigerian civil war, in which an entire tribe was targeted for extermination from this world. Nigeria continues to suffer for the price of that dark period in our history.

We've looked on for far too long, and this has become the norm. You really could be the next target. God forbid, but give this some serious thought. I don't mean to make anyone paranoid, but you're not any better than those people who have been killed. We use whatever weapon is accessible and kill people because they have a different belief system from you. Because they come from a different ethnicity, tribe, or race.

One thing that has disgusted me ever since this news broke out it the sheer amount of pettiness and uselessness that has emerged. Imagine this one tweet from someone who wants to be the next leader of this country.

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Rather than take a clear stance against the killing of innocent civilians, people are busy trying to tag the offender, and create division where there does not need to be any.

Unfortunately, that one tweet sums what’s on the minds of several people in this country and around the world: that there clearly is an outsider who continues to attack.

Being in America has taught me what it means to be an outsider. No matter how many years I spend here, America can never be mine the way my home country is.

Yet I have a stake in this nation. Schooling away from home means that places how have faces, and whenever something happens in any part of this country or the world, I see a face. I hear a name. What if one of my friends who attends school in Orlando happened to be in that club?

A North African, Arab, Muslim friend once recounted an experience about how he was detained in the visa office. The visa officer had asked him about the cities he had visited and because he casually mentioned that one time, during a flight  layover in Cairo, Egypt, another friend stopped by and took him out of the airport premises, just to show him a little around the city. My friend was delayed for several hours because they were conducting investigations. I cannot begin to imagine what a harrowing experience that must have been for him.

This is not allowed. If you’re a blogger, repost this. Write about it. We cannot sit idly and watch the world continue to fight against itself. This is the least I can do, and I'm contributing my widow's mite.

One day, you too could be a target. I come from a minority tribe in Nigeria. My village is so tiny that it’s not even on the map. Our native dialect is on the brink of extinction. If Biafra had seceded from Nigeria, I would be Biafran today. This already tells you that it may just could have been my grandparents dying in Biafran refugee camps in the war.

I am a black woman. When hate crimes against black people arise, I am a target. My body as a black woman is the most disrespected in this country.

I am a christian. Need I remind you about violent attacks against christians? Anyone remember the Charleston church shooting around this time last year?

Do your bit and bring the change we desperately need. It could be you tomorrow.

Featured image from here.