November 30, 2022

The Club Q shooting fits into an enduring US pattern of intimidating vulnerable groups where they congregate

6 min read


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A mass shooting last weekend Cute LGBTQ nightclub Colorado Springs, Colorado, was the stuff of nightmares. Police and witnesses say late Saturday – the Transgender Day of Remembrance – a 22-year-old man walked into Club Q and opened fire, killing five people and injuring more than a dozen. The suspect faces five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of bias-motivated crime, court records show.

attack It was not surprising. It came at a moment when there was anti-LGBTQ hostility. In dozens of mostly Republican-controlled states, lawmakers have passed or introduced legislation. A record number of anti-LGBTQ bills this year. Further, this legislation has been under attack Widespread discourse on the political right demonizing LGBTQ people And by Physical harassment of the community by far-right paramilitary groups.

“We’re facing a crisis,” Kelly Robinson, the incoming president of the Human Rights Campaign, told Jim Sciuto on CNN Newsroom. “We’re seeing a range of political attacks and violent rhetoric against our community. All of this is fueling real-life violence. We’ve seen this play out in devastating fashion at Club Q. But the larger context. It’s that we’re seeing threats against drag queen story hours. We’re seeing attacks on trans youth. We’re seeing bomb scares at children’s hospitals.

But the tragedy that shattered Colorado Springs also fits another pattern — an enduring pattern of violence or intimidation of members of vulnerable groups, including Jewish Americans and black Americans, in places where they gather. American model.

after all, Club Q was no standard issue hangout joint.. In an interview with CNN, lifelong Colorado Springs resident Tiana Nicole Dykes referred to the cheerful shelter.A second house full of chosen family” Where LGBTQ people can find an escape and outlet in a city that is routinely hostile to them – where festival-goers can celebrate life itself.

The Colorado Springs shooting is a recent example of how violence – or the threat of violence – can turn a place that was once a source of comfort for a particularly vulnerable group into a place of fear, even torture. Here are three others:

VERS bar footage, shot on November 20, 2022.

Police on Tuesday arrested a man wanted for throwing a brick at VERS, a New York City gay bar, on multiple occasions and charged him with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment. According to the New York Police Department.

No one was ever injured. But the incidents have left LGBTQ people in the neighborhood pretty upset.

“One of the disturbing things about what’s going on with VERS is that this guy isn’t trying to get in. He’s doing it during business hours,” said David De Parulissa, the bar’s owner. told the New York Times. “There’s an uneasy feeling that it won’t go away, or that it might escalate.”

In recent times, many have pointed out the connection between anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and physical violence.

“Words are important. The words you use every day are very important. They can bring a lot of love or hate,” Club Q owner, Nick Grizka, told Don Lemmon on CNN this morning. “You may think words are so small and insignificant, (but they can make) people do things that are despicable.”

New York City Councilman Eric Boettcher echoed similar sentiments at a rally on Sunday. The legendary Stonewall Inn.

“You can draw a straight line from the hateful statements and lies to the murders that have been spread about the Drag Queen Story Hour, about transgender and gender non-conforming people.” They said. “They know that these bars, these nightlife spots, are sacred spaces for our communities. For decades and decades, they’ve been the only places where we’ve known without a doubt that we can go and be ourselves. and can be accepted.

People are sitting inside the synagogue.

Two men — 21-year-old Christopher Brown and 22-year-old Matthew Maher — were arrested over the weekend on multiple charges. According to court documents. He was arrested for threatening a New York City synagogue.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said, “As alleged, both defendants were in possession of one firearm, one high-capacity magazine, ammunition, an 8″ long military-style knife, a swastika arm patch, a had a ski mask and a bulletproof vest,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg told CNN in a statement.

“A potential tragedy was averted when they were stopped by police officers at Penn Station, as online postings indicated the weapons were intended to be used at a Manhattan synagogue,” Bragg added.

This incident happened the same month when an 18-year-old man from New Jersey He was accused of creating an online manifesto with threats. to attack a synagogue, and weeks later Four-year anniversary of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting – Deadliest attack ever on Jews in America. And in January, a man took four people hostage at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. The standoff lasted for 11 hours..

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, warned that he believes there are hate balloons in America.

“There is no doubt that hatred is growing.” He told Erica Hill on CNN at the timeand added that antisemitism often goes hand in hand with anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

New York Governor Cathy Hochol after the discovery of the latest plan to attack a Jewish synagogue Demanded maximum support “For communities that are potential targets of hate crimes.”

“Here in New York,” he said, “we will not tolerate violence or bigotry against any community. We are united against hate – today and every day.

A memorial outside a Topps supermarket displays the names and photos of the victims of the May 14 shooting on August 22, 2022 in Buffalo, New York.

A 19-year-old man has been charged. 10 people were killed and more than a dozen were injured. at a supermarket in a black area of ​​Buffalo, New York, is expected to plead guilty to state charges earlier this year. A lawyer for the victims said last weekDespite his court appearances has been postponed.

The developments in the case of the May 14 mass shooting are a reminder that for many black people in the city’s Maston Park neighborhood, Topps Friendly Market, where the massacre took place, is much more than a grocery store.

“Topps Market was a community space, a safe place for us to meet, to talk, to be together,” said Phylicia Dove, a local business owner. told my CNN colleague Alaa al-Assar. “There’s no one here who hasn’t visited this top. It was ours. Even if it wasn’t the best, it was ours, and now our safe haven has been taken away from us. And this is what we are mourning.

Another resident, Martin Bryant, further emphasized the importance of the tops, which reopened peacefully in the summer..

“Topps was a big boost to the community. We actually had a grocery store we could call our own. It wasn’t a convenience store like 7-Eleven. It was a real grocery store. It gave everyone Delighted,” he told Alasr. “Local leaders fought hard for it.”

Dove highlighted the fear that has gripped many black Americans in Buffalo and elsewhere in recent years, as important community centers – such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities And Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church In Charleston, South Carolina, where nine black men were shot and killed during a Bible study in 2015 – wounded by terrorism.

“Where can we exist and be black and safe?” he asked. “And if it’s not our grocery store or our church or some other place we’ve been shot at before, where are we going to go freely?”

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