Pulse: A Consultation
On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. We may never know or understand what was in Mateen’s mind, but we can situate his attack within the history of eliminationism in America. Islamist terrorism is just part of a larger phenomenon: right wing eliminationism. But despite centuries of right wing eliminationist words and deeds in the U.S., there is little or no mainstream recognition of the phenomenon. Instead, we are treated to more denial, more distraction, more obfuscation. Until we look this problem squarely in the face, it will continue to metastasize. Unless we deal with right wing eliminationism, we will not transform the losses caused by Mateen’s attack on Pulse into lasting positive change.
This exhibit is intended for an audience of people sympathetic to the victims who were killed and injured during the Pulse shooting. I do not intend to convince those who feel otherwise; they are probably beyond reach. My hope is that this work will find sympathetic people who have as yet been unable to properly diagnose the sick conditions that created Omar Mateen. If my work has any value, it is in its ability to give such sympathetic people the tools to diagnose the ideological and material conditions that created our current crisis as well as the tools to enact the personal, social, and political “treatment” necessary to ensure no such attacks happen again.