Wednesday, June 22
Brooklyn Free School
372 Clinton Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238
More information and RSVP on Facebook.
with Steven W Thrasher, Sherry Wolf, Eman Abdelhadi, and Nicholas Rynearson
The word alone isn’t enough to describe the feeling as the country woke up to news of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Once again, the toxic bigotry pervasive in the US political mainstream, in a society with easy access to the most deadly of weapons, has resulted in violence.
But before we could even begin to process and grieve over the monumental loss of life in Orlando, a struggle began to define the meaning of this latest atrocity.
One could point to numerous symptoms of anti-LGBT bigotry. As hundreds of pieces of legislation are considered across the United States, discussing which rights it is ok to deny LGBT people sends a clear message that their lives are worth less.
But instead, the supposed “left” side of the national discussion in the aftermath of Orlando was dominated by leading voices of the Democratic Party.
At worst, they were indistinguishable from Republicans in their bloodthirsty cries for vengeance against innocent people in the Middle East. At best, they tried to deflect the discussion away from the roots of these spasms of violence–more often than not onto the issue of guns and gun control.
Focusing on the how of American violence rather than the why might seem pragmatic, but it actually leads our side to abdicate from the fight over the meaning of the Pulse massacre, ceding the ground to reactionary explanations like Islamophobia.
In the face of a campaign to turn a hate-filled massacre of LGBTQ Latinx into future hate-filled violence directed at Muslims, there’s a crying need to build awareness about the terrible toll of war, and of racial and gender violence–and to build movements to confront them.
** To welcome those celebrating Ramadan, water, dates, and snacks will be made available at the event. **
About the speakers
Steven W Thrasher is writer-at-large for Guardian US, just returned from reporting in Orlando. Thrasher was named Journalist of the Year 2012 by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Village Voice, Rolling Stone, BuzzFeed, the Advocate and more.
Sherry Wolf is a public speaker, writer, and activist who is the associate editor of the International Socialist Review where she has written on U.S. imperialism, gender, sexuality, and the history of the Left. Wolf is also the author of Sexuality and Socialism: History, Politics and Theory of LGBT Liberation (Haymarket Books, named one of the Progressive’s “Favorite Books of 2009”).
Eman Abdelhadi is a PhD candidate in the department of Sociology at New York University. Her work is on gender and community building in American Islam. Her activism revolves around labor issues, Palestine and building community for Queer Muslims.
Nicholas Rynearson is an adjunct professor of Classics at Brooklyn College, and is a member of the Brooklyn branch of the International Socialist Organization.
Articles to read
Homophobia, Islamophobia, and War on Terror
“They Want to Use Orlando for “The War on Terror,” Socialist Worker, 6/15/2016
“Don’t Turn Homophobia Into Islamophobia,” Socialist Worker, 6/13/2016
“How ‘Bathroom Bills’ Feed Bigotry,” Socialist Worker, 6/16/2016
“The Myth of the Progressive Capitalist” Jacobin, 4/13/16
Gun Control Debate
“The Orlando Massacre Can’t Be Reduced to Guns,” Socialist Worker, 6/16/2016
“Ignoring the Real Roots of American Violence,” Socialist Worker, 6/25/2015
“The Secret History of Guns,” Atlantic, 9/2011
LGBT Political History
“The Sexual Revolution,” International Socialist Review, Chistopher Phelp’s Review of Sherry Wolf’s Sexuality and Socialism
“LGBT Struggle: Where Do We Go From Here,” International Socialist Review, Sherry Wolf
International Socialist Organization (Brooklyn) and Haymarket Books