Saturday, June 18, 2016

250.5 - Orlando, Omar Mateen, and homophobia

Orlando, Omar Mateen, and homophobia

Omar Mateen
[Note: I have broken my discussion of the Orlando shooting into four parts for convenience.]

But having said all that, the thing is that the more we learn about Omar Mateen, the more the description of "troubled" seems to fit this case.

His first wife, from a marriage that lasted just four months until, in her words, her famiy rescued her, described Mateen as bipolar, as being violent, as having beaten her.

A co-worker at G4S Security described Mateen as "unhinged and unstable" and said he frequently made homophobic and racial comments. The co-worker said he quit after Mateen began sending him multiple texts a day.

A woman who went to middle school with Mateen called him a "troublemaker in school," including having "punched a teacher." Other stories and accounts along similar lines have emerged.
And then there is the issue of his sexuality. Multiple witnesses said Mateen was seen at Pulse, the club where the shooting occurred, on as many as a dozen occasions, with one person saying "Sometimes he would go over in the corner and sit and drink by himself, and other times he would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent."

He is also reported to have used the gay chat and dating app called Jack'd, including exchanging messages on and off for a year with at least one man.

Others reported related experiences, including one man who said Mateen asked him out on a date.

But the same time, there was that co-worker at G4S who said Mateen made homophobic statements and the claim of Mateen's father that Mateen had become enraged a few months before the shooting when they were in downtown Miami and he saw two men kissing each other.

And there of course was the blunt fact of the shooting. The shooting carried out at a LGBTQ nightclub of which he had been a patron.

What all this adds up to, to me, is someone brought up in a home that condemned homosexuality (In a recent video, his father declared "God will punish those involved in homosexuality.") and who hated and struggled with his own homosexual or bisexual desires and leanings until finally his own self-loathing was turned outward.

That is, it seems that this is a case where the label "unstable individual" we like to attach to mass murder actually seems to apply.

Sources cited in links:

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