He was repulsed, says his father, by the sight of two men kissing. He was upset that his son should see this.
His ex-wife says that he hit her. One time, because she hadn’t finished the laundry.
And then he committed the worst mass shooting in American history, killing 50 people or more at a gay nightclub.
It is hard for normal people to make sense of the killer’s mindset. So we tell ourselves he is a “cowardly hater,” not one of us.
But maybe we are letting ourselves off too easily. We have a fair share of hatred in ourselves - often for ourselves - and it is only too easy to put that hatred on others.
There is this word “intersectionality” now. It basically means that people suffer from multiple forms of hatred at once, because all baseless hatred is related. If you hate on gay people and lesbians, you’re going to hate on people of other cultures, other colors, and classes you perceive as lesser than yourself. And guess what? You are more prone to be a terrorist.
Oddly, brands are a kind of self-preservation measure, a way of protecting oneself against this type of bullying. And clearly, Omar Mateen spent his share of time posing for the camera.
An obsession with image, an obsession with being better than everybody else, an obsession with hating on anyone whose difference threatens you personally.
It occurs to me that Mr. Mateen may have been gay, and shot all of those people because he just couldn’t deal with it.
I think that he got involved with radical Islam as a way of bolstering his self-image. You and I don’t have to understand that - but for many recruits the group fulfills their fantasies of greatness.
We really need to get smart about terrorism. It’s not the enemy “out there.” It’s the enemy “in here,” the impoverishment of the self.
So at the end of the day, it isn’t “them” who poses the most danger.
It is “us.”
Time to wage a jihad against the evil part of ourselves.
All opinions my own.