The twisted tale of the Orlando killer’s descent into murderous madness has taken an abrupt and shocking turn. A man had come forward claiming to have been shooter Omar Mateen’s lover, and told Univision that the killing at the club’s Latino night had been carried out in revenge for contracting HIV from a sexual encounter with two Latino men.
The man, who only identified himself as “Miguel,” said that he had met Mateen on a gay dating app and that there was no doubt Mateen was “100% gay” and that “he adored Latinos, gay Latinos, with brown skin, but he felt rejected. He felt used by them. There were moments in the Pulse nightclub that made him feel really bad. Guys used him. That really affected him. I believe this crazy horrible thing he did, that was revenge.”
This narrative makes much more sense that the one being pushed by the right-wing and the drooling jackals in the mainstream media, who have seized on Mateen’s impromptu pledging of bayat to the Islamic State as he was carrying out the attack as proof of a religiously motivated terrorist attack. He was known to be mentally unstable and abusive to his wife as he tried to repress his sexuality; he was known to have frequented the club for three years prior to the attack but was not known to have been particularly religious. He also had previously expressed support for Sunni terrorist group al-Qaeda and Shiite Lebanese militia Hezbollah, two organizations that are sworn enemies and have entirely different agendas and beliefs, which does not indicate that he had any comprehensive ideology.
Which indicates that this was a horrifying act of revenge enabled by the National Rifle Association and the recklessly lax gun laws of Republican-run Florida. It is absolutely disgusting to see the right-wing still try to push a hateful Islamophobic narrative that smears all immigrants and American-Muslims as potential terrorists – and shows what cowards they really are. Instead of addressing the obvious problems that our nation desperately needs to address, they would rather fear-monger about terrorists hiding under your bed.
Every person now knows all they have to do is say “ISIS” and they will instantly be plastered across every television screen before any real investigation takes place, giving them the attention that these murderous swine don’t deserve – and ultimately aiding and abetting Daesh (IS/ISIS/ISIL) itself by alienating Muslims from their communities and creating conditions ripe for radicalization.
Only a minuscule population of sadistic killers join terrorist groups for the sake of it – and should terror groups not exist, those people would doubtlessly find some other equally appalling outlet for their perverse inclinations. For the vast majority of Daeshi recruits, these groups offer a community, a purpose, validation that their own communities and the unfeeling gears of globalized capitalism have denied them. People are radicalized when they feel unwanted and abused by those around them, when they have no opportunities to make something of their lives.
Omar Mateen struggled with his sexuality for years, and then when he finally came to accept it, his new community “used” him and nearly gave him a deadly disease, compounding the shame he felt at indulging in his natural attractions. With this information, we can finally begin to make some sense of this heart-wrenching massacre. The role that Daeshi propaganda and radical Wahhabism played in all of this may never be truly determined, but it’s clear that this story is much, much deeper than simply crying terrorism – and the fact remains that this wouldn’t have happened the way it did if he couldn’t walk into a shop and walk out with a rifle capable of slaughtering a nightclub.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.