As I tried to avoid the gory details of the hateful slaughter of 49 people I keep hearing the names of the victims. Somehow putting names and faces to these victims will make us whole. We should learn about how human they are, how much like us they are.
At the same time I hear people including Donald Trump say they will not say his name. We shouldn’t dignify this insane, murderous, asshole with even a thought that lingers.
Is this the right response? We grieve the killing of people without acknowledging the perpetrator. But if we do this how are we as a society supposed to change to prevent these things from happening? We teach World War 2 history using Hitler’s name and say “Never Again.” Yet I know very few of the names of the victims of the Holocaust.
It feels like we are at Hogwarts avoiding saying the name Voldemort. If we ignore him he will go away. That didn’t work so well. When you name it you have power over it.
Without a name it is easier just to dismiss him as some group, some “Other.” Blame it on Islamist extremists, Homophobia, mental illness, a gun and not on some human being with hopes and fears, loves and hates, parents and friends. You have all seen the blame and finger pointing at people who were no more involved with this slaughter than you or I.
We should acknowledge that he is not a monster or a bogie man but a complicated human that did good things in his life too. Yes he will be judge for this massacre over everything else. But he was still someones neighbor, schoolmate, son, relative, friend. He was loved. If we treat him as a human maybe we can do something to prevent this from happening again.
Omar Mir Seddique Mateen
Born in Queens, New York.
Moved to Port St. Lucie Florida in 1991
Graduated from Indian River Community College in 2006
He visited Sudia Arabia twice between 2011 and 2012 to perform an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca
Between 2001 and 2006, he worked at eight jobs, including at a Publix grocery store, Circuit City, Chick-Fil-A, Walgreens, Nutrition World, Gold’s Gym and GNC
He legally change his name from Omar Mir Seddique to Omar Mir Seddique Mateen. There was no reason provided for the name change.
Sitora Yusufiy who was married to Mateen for four months in 2009, called her ex-husband “bi-polar… deeply disturbed” and claims her family rescued her from the abusive relationship.
She also alleged her ex-husband abused steroids, which exacerbated his “emotional instability” during their marriage.
Mateen was remarried with one child at the time of the shooting
Mateen aspired to be a police officer
He had no criminal record
There are reports that he was on gay dating sights and attended the Pulse nightclub more than once but also have heard otherwise.
Omar Mateen killed 49 and injured 53 at The Pulse Nightclub