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Did America Create Omar Mateen? (A Thinkpiece in Progress)

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This is a response I originally posted to an acquaintance's assertion that America created Omar Mateen. It's a think-piece, and not at all as fleshed out as it can be, but decent enough, methinks. What follows, I hope doesn't come across as argumentative. It's just a different opinion:


There's no denying America has a bad history with then-prevailing views on homosexuality, a history that the milestones and events of which reveal it still touches us. And Omar Mateen was raised in America, but Mateen was raised in our America, in my generation, in my New York. And in our generation, we can say the tide has certainly shifted. So what happened? I don't know what being raised in the New York school system and being fed American TV in the 90s for you was like, but for me, it was tolerant, if not openly supportive. Although, admittedly, it wasn't until middle school that most of us became accutely aware of homosexuality.


There were intolerant kids floating around, but their intolerance mostly came from their families and on rare occasion, their churches, and we didn't like those kids. I spent a couple of years in a mountain town that seemed more on the intolerant side, but it was mostly old family bullsh*t politics and everyone was second-cousins. And you were just as likely to be viewed with extreme suspicion if you were a muslim, gay, or a city-slicker who didn't fall in-line their smalltown hive mind (me).


They were exclusive, but they weren't violent. Actually, in spite of their exclusive temperament when one kid did go as far as to bully the one black kid (Moe, we called him for short), he was taught a quick lesson. It was bad taste to confront anybody who didn't start sh*t with you first. Fights were saved for rednecks fighting hicks over the limited handful of pretty girls within a 30-mile radius.


Violence happens to outsiders. Even in our generation. But it's not something any of us endorses or unconsciously teaches. Nor, for the most part, is it something that the generation before ours taught. Our grandparents came into their own during the Summer of Love. Our parents rocked out to Queen, and shrugged at the revelation that Freddy Mercury was gay. Some of them burned their discs, but I suspect they would've been right there with Ms. Gore putting all rock n roll on trial. History doesn't view them favorably.


But I digress. On the whole, our generation has been raised to be a fairly tolerant one. And as we've opened up to the gay community legally, people have come around to it. From the recent political climate, if there's one group of people you'd expect to produce a gay-targeting mass murderer in the 21st century, it's the Christian religion. Or rather, certain pockets. In a turn that continues to defy even their logic, some wingnuts actually bombed abortion clinics. But it wasn't because we've created a climate of hate against women who commit abortion. Have you seen the videos in which protesters are asked how they think these women should be punished? The overwhelming majority of them are honest-to-God (no pun intended) stumped.


So, there we were on June 12: a history of great legal and cultural persecution of the Ls, Gs, Bs, Ts, Qs, and anyone who wasn't cisgendered heteronormative leading up to the present moment, and a mass murder about to happen. But even with such a history, did America create Omar Mateen? If it did, then despite recent legal gain, those of the LGBTQ community all better consider locking their doors more tightly, and the rest of us prepare to defend them because there are a lot of Omars floating around just waiting for that final nudge. And they've gone mostly unnoticed. Educating the public on tolerance and acceptance will produce kinder and less violent generations, but isn't going to stop the hidden Omars. They've already been made. ISIS may have been Omar's catalyst, but it didn't have to be if America's responsible.


Was the history of our laws responsible? They have been disgusting and oppressive laws, after all. But then, why aren't the Omars of the world ripping the millions of potheads open in the streets of the USA? The anti-pot lobby of the 21st-century is just as condemnatory. Despite public opinion, the federal gov't remains strongly anti-pot. We still throw thousand if not millions in jail for that sh*t. Legally, we've made it clear time and time again: zero-tolerance. States that have legalized may be the first, but they don't stand free of criticism from other of our states' leaders. Concerned parents still send their kids to institutions for it. You can turn your kid out on the street when they're 18 , but you can't send them away to treatment for being gay.


And maybe that's why Omar did what he did. As it's been more frequently pointed out in recent days, it was only six years ago that gay men and women couldn't die for their country. It was only a year ago that gays weren't able to get married under law. But now they can. It's not so much that it took this long, but that here it is, finally happening--signed and dated by the people we consider dinosaurs. In a world that seems to be changing the tide; a world that is progressively supporting the LGBTQ community, now supporting its marriages, allowing them to live for the most part openly, and acknowledging it as an inherent part of being human and not some sickness that can be dealt with, one small, weak and pathetic man with a hateful idea in his head felt helpless. "If the world won't put them out," he thought, "I will."


America didn't make a violent man. America took away the last vestiges of his hate, but he couldn't let go. He found a group that shared the same ideas as him; and they told him like they tell countless others every day that the solution to his problems is to kill them away. He listened to them, not us.

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El Dildo

I'm not sure what to make of this, as much of it is speculative conjecture.

there's a lot of "maybe's" in there...


this could probably just be integrated into the ongoing Orlando Shooting or Gun Control topic.

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