Valid Protests: BLM, Kim Davis, and my struggle with what is acceptable

I have talked a lot about this in the past.  What is a valid protest?  Why we should not criticise the type of non-violent protest and attempt to talk about why people are protesting.  I have, in making this point, used Kim Davis’s protest against gay marriage as an example of a point I strongly disagree with but is still valid and I always get pushback.

With the recent Charlottesville clash and other things, I brought it up again.  This time 150903-kim-davis-mug-535p_83260bf402e446e833c206a6bde84a21.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000some points brought up against Kim Davis hit harder.  I took a step back and really thought about it again.  Even as I write this I am not sure if I have changed my view or not.  This is in part a mental exercise putting my thoughts down on “paper” and really work through these questions.  I believe it is important to be able to question your firmly held beliefs and now I’m going to struggle as publicly as I can.  I welcome comments and arguments, especially on this article.

A Bit of History

Quickly on how I got here.  I was a part of my local Occupy Movement protests.  In discussions with those outside of that world, it would generally start and never get past the “They can’t be taking up parks, disturbing people’s lives! go home, get a job!”   I had a home and a job but that didn’t matter.  I hardly ever got to talk about the actual points the protest was trying to make.

After that, I hear the same points.  From pipeline protests to anti-stadium protests.  I would have conversations, not about the actual topic but if they should be doing that thing they were going to draw attention to a topic.

The solution to me was to say that any non-violent protest was valid.  I could argue that and move on to what the point of the protest faster.  To move the conversations faster with more conservative people I would use Kim Davis as an example more on “their side” to move forward the conversation.

Then when I used Kim Davis to make the valid protest argument with more liberal people they could not stand that and called Kim Davis and what she did things I will not repeat here.

Up to now I would counter with historic protests that did similar things on their side but could never crack that nut.  Now I think they may be right.

Rally vs Protest

I need to make clear this difference. A rally is a well-organized event where like-minded people gather to talk about what they all agree about.  No violence, specific march routes, permits, generally have port-a-potties, fliers, and street food.  A rally is a celebration.

A protest is done not to talk about goals among themselves but to share their goals with those who don’t agree.  It intends to disrupt the current order to make a change in that order.  Usually done without permits or done beyond the limits of those permits.  Designed to draw as much attention to a topic as possible.  A protest is a disruption.

Kim Davis’s Actions

What Kim Davis did in response to gay marriage become legal in the USA in 2015 is what this is all about so let’s break it down.  In Kentucky, a marriage license is issued in the name of the county clerk, a position that Kim Davis held.

Her beliefs against gay marriage led her a moral need to not have her name on marriage licenses of gay couples.  After turning away a few gay couples and starting to draw national attention she had the office stop issuing marriage licenses altogether.

In the initial court fights the court order a temporary stay preventing her from “Applying her ‘no marriage licenses’ policy to future marriage license requests” that was upheld on appeals.  Kim Davis still refused to issue any marriage licenses.

Kim was found in contempt of court and was thrown in jail.  The clerk’s office started issuing marriage licenses to everyone.  5 days later Kim Davis was released from jail.  when she returned to work she altered the marriage forms so they would no longer have her name on them.  Courts ruled that the new forms were legal.

There was great hype on all sides over this.  Much of it was false or overblown. Even though I 100% disagree with what she was fighting against, this action I called a legitimate protest.

Validity of Kim Davis’s protest

How I would argue that her protest was valid was simple.  Someone would bring up a point and I would bring up an example of a similar protest, usually during the civil rights movement or the struggle for interracial marriage.

A recent example:
“What she did was literally against the law. It was not legal…  She didn’t “go to court” she was found in contempt of court and sentenced. There was no trial.”
My response. “Lovings fought interracial marriage law by breaking the law, were held in contempt of court and fought it to the Supreme Court.”

If I was going to ask people on one side of an issue to ignore the protest tactics of the other side to have a discussion about what they are protesting about, I must respect the right of that side to protest in a similar way.

In the realm of protesting, she was in a unique position to make a legitimate protest against gay marriage.  Kim Davis, as a County Clerk, did what she thought was right.  Two years earlier some California County Clerks did the opposite thing after Prop 8 passed banning gay marriage in the state and kept issuing gay marriage licenses.

Then came Charlottesville

It was after watching what was billed as a rally to defend a statue but was in actuality a violent protest for white supremacy.  After watching people getting tossed into the air by that car. After someone died because they stood against Nazis in 2017.  After watching the President defend those white nationalists as “very fine people”  I got angry.

I had arguments with people who were defending Nazis by proxy in the name of free speech.  Free speech does not protect you from consequences from your speech. Outing white supremacists is a good practice of one’s free speech.

Them. “But the KKK guy lost his job! What about his children?”

Me. “Is teaching your kids that other races are inferior and need to die child abuse?  I think so.  Get the kids out of there.”

There needs to be a limit to tolerance or the intolerant will eliminate the tolerant.

Taking a knee

At this point, I had left the whole Kim Davis argument behind.  It wasn’t relevant when discussing Nazis.  Then the president talked about the taking of a knee at NFL games.  The conversation swung back to how people protest not what people protest.  I came across a meme.

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I shared it even though it is not the best line up of protests.  Kim Davis refused to do something that was part of their job.  NFL players protest during their job but continued to do their job.  I started to get people saying how she wasn’t protesting and I turned to my old arguments about it.

Then I started to question my belief

In the course of these arguments, a friend of mine went on a fairly good rant.

She was not “protesting” she was being a hateful bitch, and she got caught. …Protest is when the powerless challenge the powers that be to correct course (like Lovings). What she was doing was gate keeping. When opponents of marriage equality lose, they lose nothing. When cops shoot black people and then say they were scared, it’s not a fucking protest. When white male CEOs give promotions to their white male pals and say he earned it, it’s not a protest. When Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian children, it’s not a fucking protest. It’s just exercising their control over the situation to maintain their position of power. When she got caught being a shithead, others came pouring out of the woodwork to defend her, and suddenly she is doing it out of moral goodness? WTF? Was Trayvon Martin’s killer “standing up for what he believed” when he went to trail for murdering a child? No. No, he wasn’t. He was just trying to get away with it. And so was she. So don’t call it a fucking protest. She only started calling it a protest because she was in trouble for being exposed for illegal discrimination. Not. The. Same. Thing.

It really made me think.  Kim Davis used her power to effectively prevent those who fought hard for a right to practice that right.  Laws against racial discrimination did not end racial discrimination.  Once segregation was illegal would it be a protest if a business still kept separate bathrooms for blacks?  If someone were to argue that I cannot hire a black man as a protest in favor of… what? White supremacy.  Would I consider that valid?  Would refusing a marriage license to an interracial couple on religious grounds be a legitimate protest?

No.

As I read again what my friend wrote she is right.  That was my initial reaction when I read it too.  I had to take time to think about it.  My mind drifted to what would be a “Legitimate Protest” for the other side.

Not living the injustice

Sometimes I forget that I am coming at these things as a straight white male.  While I fight for racial justice, woman’s rights, for LGBT rights and other causes, I cannot know their struggles like they do.

When I go home, I get to go home without worrying about a cop stopping me because I’m black.  I don’t worry about what route I take home to avoid being harassed because I’m a woman.  I don’t worry about getting assault because I might pass as straight or the gender I am.  It is not a constant presence in my life and I can just be.  I wish everyone could just be.

What is a legitimate protest?

To that question, I do not know.  What I do know I will not be using Kim Davis as an example of a legitimate protest.  I, in all likelihood, will stop using the term altogether.

As I worked through writing this, some of the things I thought would be important turned out not to be.  I will leave it all in as evidence of the process.  If we are not open to considering that we are wrong how can we convince others to change their mind?

 

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9-11-01 What I Never Forget

What is it that we should never forget?  I won’t forget that both my parents called me that morning unaware of what was going on. Or that my cousin had a baby that day.

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I will never forget to watch the towers fall on TV. The brave first responders that ran into the buildings to help.  The people who searched for people and then bodies after.

I remember how 15 of the hijackers and Osama bin Laden were Saudis and much of the money that funded Al Qaeda was Saudi oil money. And finding out that Bush allowed Saudi Nationals to fly out of the country while no one else could fly.

I remember “I can hear you,” “Let’s roll,” and “Mission accomplished.”

I remember Bush and company using 9-11 to get us to attack Iraq.  I remember the forgotten war we are still losing troops in 16 years later. I remember when the number of soldiers who died in the wars surpassed the number we lost on 9-11 (September of 2006)

I remember Bush not blaming the Islamic religion but extremist.  I remember how that shifted when the president changed because he was a secret Muslim.  I remember having to remind people the Obama wasn’t President during 9-11.

I remember the US forgetting its morals in the defense of its liberty.  I remember Guantanamo, rendition, the PATRIOT ACT, Abu Ghraib, torture, Blackwater.  I remember that our enemies use these as recruiting tools.

I remember that my niece, born on that day 16 years ago, is now old enough to drive.

Google Memo: Complete Breakdown

This Will be a breakdown of the memo that James Damore at Google published internally.  It will not go into Google’s response or Mr. Damore’s motivations here.  This is a breakdown of the actual Memo done by a white male in the IT industry.

Before I started this process I have not read more than a few excerpts and some friends opinions.  I usually attempt to avoid “news” like this.   The rhetoric that happens around a thing like this usually gets blown bigger than the actual thing people are talking about. The full memo can be found here, it is too long to quote and break down every piece of it but will be as thorough as possible.

Google memo

Interesting start.  Don’t know which way he leans but knowing the industry we can guess.  He does invite comment so here we go.

The first three paragraphs are setting up the memo.  Basically “I’m not prejudiced but..” He also says Google has been receptive to what he has said in the past.

What follows is a TL;DR (Too long, Don’t Read) summary of the memo in five bullet points.

● Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.

I found this interesting having never heard anti-PC point of view put this way.  The silencing of the mentally harmful is a problem.

● This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too
sacred to be honestly discussed.

This happens in every business I have worked for.  The status queue is hard to fight against in any group.  Fact of life.

● The lack of discussion fosters the most extreme and authoritarian elements of this
ideology.
○ Extreme: all disparities in representation are due to oppression
○ Authoritarian: we should discriminate to correct for this oppression

The ideology is not defined but the results are pretty clear: Disparities are due to oppression so Google oppresses to combat disparities.

● Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership.

● Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.

And this is where people get into trouble.  I am curious what arguments James makes.

Skipping the Background paragraph, He goes into Biases, not at Google but of polittics.

LRBiasis

As soon as I read this I see where James has gone wrong.  His framing of “Left Biases” is obviously from someone on the right.  It implies those on the Left don’t have respect, are not just, unstable, and not pragmatic.  He does imply, in turn, out that the Right is not compassionate, closed, and not idealistic but it is clear which side he believes (more) in.

In the paragraphs that follow he diplomatically states, these are not 100% but Google is definitely on the left side of this biases table. the thing that bothers me the most is, “Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture…”  Not sure how attempting to create diversity creates a monoculture.  James equates political diversity with cultural diversity.  The two are not the same.

The next section is entitled “Possible non-bias causes of the gender gap in tech”  Here is where I started pulling my hair.  There is a lot of saying how men and women are physically different and also traits many traits are male dominated and female dominated.  Then says what he just said is not try for everyone and doing so is bad.

There is a lot of stereotyping in this.  I’ll share some highlights.

Extraversion expressed as gregariousness rather than assertiveness. Also, higher
agreeableness.

This is typical sexist talk.  Women aren’t assertive they are gregarious.  Women can’t be assertive so why would you assign them important leadership or a project that is going to require tough customer pushback?  But wait, there’s more!

Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).
○ This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist
and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.

And I start swearing in my head.  I currently am doing an assignment in the NICU at a hospital.  Babies born premature who only are alive because of the constant vigilance of the 96% female nurses there. (96% is from that one NICU) They literally hold lives in their hands.  One mistake or missed sign of trouble and someone’s baby dies.  Every milliliter of formula and ounce of pee and poop carefully recorded and checked.  Then deal with the parents about every up and down in their recovery.  Don’t dare tell me women seek out less stress or anxiety jobs.  *deep breath*

Then he says men have a higher drive for status without saying what are high-status jobs that they seek.  He does say:

Note, the same forces that lead men into high pay/high stress jobs in tech and leadership cause men to take undesirable and dangerous jobs like coal mining, garbage collection, and firefighting, and suffer 93% of work-related deaths.

This comparison makes no sense to me.  Tech jobs are not dangerous and coal mining I would say is not a high-status job.  What I get the sense is that James sees software engineer as a high pay and prestige job.  Most every job title has high stress.

He then goes into “Non-discriminatory ways to reduce the gender gap”  by stating a gender stereotype and then saying how Google can bend to that stereotype.  Isn’t that just feeding what he is fighting against?  My *cough* favorite part of this section is:

● Women on average look for more work-life balance while men have a higher drive for status on average
○ Unfortunately, as long as tech and leadership remain high status, lucrative
careers, men may disproportionately want to be in them. Allowing and truly
endorsing (as part of our culture) part time work though can keep more women in
tech.

Let women work part time.  That’s all they can handle… see NICU rant above.

The next section, “The harm of Google’s biases” is very Google specific and references things I have no way of knowing. so I will withhold comment.

The section called “Why we’re blind” is an interesting diatribe of the differences/stereo types of men/women and how discussing them hurts men.

We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women, but when a man complains about a gender issue issue affecting men, he’s labelled as a misogynist and a whiner.

This sentiment ignores the history from the beginning of it to about the 1970’s where sexual inequality was enshrined in law and still in rape/sexual assault legal practice. (I know there will be pushback on that on all sides)  Things don’t change on a dime, it takes a lot of time and effort to change historical biases.

The last section is suggestions to Google.   There are a few valid points (Stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders or races for example.) but the last point in the memo I want to address touches on many of James’s points.

Stop alienating conservatives…  Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad businessbecause conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is required for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company.

Conservatives are more careful and vigilant the Liberals and therefore better at buisness.  Putting those traits on a political kinda ignores the success of the business in the field you work in, James.  Skipping over what you laid out as left bias toward embracing change in a changing industry; there is a solid business reason why sexual diversity is sought after by companies.  Because a business wants the best people working for them no matter who are what they are.   They don’t want to scare away potential talent by having a stance against GLBT people.  Businesses, overall, would like to stay out of politics but will lean toward inclusion for their own self-interest.

To sum up, James Damore attempts to make an argument against a diversity push by pointing out why diversity is important.  Points out his belief in the superiority of ‘Right politics” and his prejudice against women.  A few good points don’t make up for the filth in the memo.  He does sound like a person I could sit down and have these arguments with, which is more than I suspected with the rhetoric that’s out there.

How I handle Trump’s Election

Donald Trump

Trump in Iowa on Dec. 5, 2015 (Source: Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press)

All right here it goes.  I have been waiting until now to really get into the election here.  I do have a lot to say but I am going to start here.

I was wrong

I thought Trump had no chance. I had calmed friends and even wrote a lighthearted piece after Trump won the Republican Nomination on why we should embrace him as a candidate.  I concluded with he can’t win.  Many people were wrong on this but we should all take a moment and admit it.  That brings me to my next point.

Trump will be our next President

There are those who say he didn’t win because electoral college.  It’s the system we got and it was put there for very good reasons.  Also if you are one of the people saying “He’s not MY President.”  He is.  If you live in the USA he is the President of it.  I remember people saying that after Obama won (Some are still saying it.) and when Bush won.

It does nobody any good to delegitimize the person in a position you want someone with your beliefs to hold.  Unless you want there to be no President don’t taint the position.

No voter supports or even knows every position of a candidate they voted for

Did you know that Hillary wanted animal breeders and zoos to be required to have disaster plans for the protection of animals in their care?  I didn’t until a minute ago and look for an obscure position to write here.  If you know me you know I am not a fan of Hillary or Trump.  I was hoping Hillary one between the two.

Labeling all supports of X as Y is wrong, bigoted, hateful, and dangerous.  Let me just list a few and I’m sure one of them will be hurtful to you while another will be something that you had thought.  I am doing this as an example because it is so important to understand this.

All supporters of Gay marriage are gay
All supporters of creationism are idiots
All supporters of Black Lives Matter are criminals
All supporters of legalizing weed are drug addicts
All supporters of abortion rights are going to hell
All followers of Christianity are hypocrites
All followers of Judaism  are rich
All followers of Mohamed are terrorists
All followers of Atheism have no morals
All supporters of Trump are Racists
All supporters of Hillary hate America
All supporters of Nickelback are tone-def

You do not fit into those boxes and they do not define who you are.  You are complex and have tremendous life experiences that make you who you are…  and so does everyone else.  Please do not box others.  It just allows others to put you in a box.  We must accept that there are those out there who are not tone-def and still like Nickelback.

We must still call out stupid, hateful, untrue, bigoted, and hurtful statements and actions.  I still will. But one thing I have learned over the years is this.

Calling someone a racists does nothing to change the fact that they are racists

Calling someone tone-def because they like Nickelback will not stop them from liking it.  This is true for anything.  Calling someone an idiot has made no one smarter.  In fact it can make people dumber or to play more Nickelback.  Telling a girl that girls are bad at math may influence them not to study or like math because they were told they would be bad at it.

So what do we do?  For me the answer is simple one but very hard to do.

Do not call them a racists, tell them that action is racists.

A couple of male friends I was with were a bit inebriated.  One called to order food and after handing the phone off to the other said louder than he new “Hey, she sounds hot.” and the repeated “Ask her if she’s on Tinder!” over and over again.

After the phone call I confronted my friend telling him that was harassment.  He argued that it wasn’t and I tried to explain that she was just doing her job and doesn’t deserve to have to fend off unwanted advances to earn a living.  We didn’t convince each other and eventually moved on.

You may not agree with me that it was harassment and that a bit of the point.  How does a harasser know that they are harassing unless you attempt to explain what action that they themselves took was harassment.  I’m saddened to say that racism will not just die out.  at some point, if the goal is to end racism we will have to convince some racist that racism is wrong.

I am afraid that this may get the biggest reaction in this whole article but to cure a Nickelbacker you are going to have to make them listen to Metallica.

Stress, I disbelieve!

I used to say I don’t believe in stress.  It seemed to be an invention of modern society that served no purpose other than giving ulcers to people.  Now that I’m older I understand more of what stress is supposed to be.  It’s a combination of different feelings that can be brought on by situations one is uncomfortable in.

What I find to have more truth about what causes stress is not the situations itself but the anticipation of situations. As an introvert I find myself getting anxious leading up to parties or unknown social situations.  I can show up to work and have a crazy day where I work my butt off.  If I don’t know about it ahead of time I’m not worried about it and can just dive in and get though it.  If I knew it was going to be that crazy I may start to obsess about it.  My performance may even be effected by that obsessive behavior.

On the other end I can take crazy day at work or and continue to think about it.  Did I do well enough? Am I going to get fired when I get in the next morning?  It all adds to bad feelings and an unclear mind.

The last few days at work have been hard.  Emergency rush jobs have pushed off the normal work and a special project.  I have also been covering for someone who has been sick.  It’s all there I can anticipate all the things that will be coming tomorrow and the stuff I didn’t get to today.  Then I come home and remember that I have to write a blog.  look at all that stress causing things!

Then sitting on the couch watching some mindless TV to calm my head I realize that I am stressed and can use it for my blog!  I can complain about my day and teach people a thing I do to fight stress. Are you ready?

Just don’t believe in it.

I know it is not that simple.  And it is more challenging for some people than others.  But think about it.  You are off work.  There is nothing you can do about it right now.  So enjoy that time.  Shake it off and do something you like.  Change your environment.  When those thoughts enter your head say “Nope” and sing a song from Monty Python or Weird Al.

One of the reasons I took on the challenge of 40 blogs in 30 days (this is day 3) instead of NaNoWriMo is that, unlike a novel, I can forget about what I wrote  in the blog yesterday and start fresh every day.

Just remember, obsessing about work while not working will hurt your work performance.  It’s not worth it.  Let it go.

Thoughts on Stuff

Every time I have tried to explain how I see things and how I derived my theories on life, the universe, and everything it fails.  I may be able to cover one theory and how it effects my thinking but it never covers everything.  It is a worthy endeavor but cannot truly be done.

So instead here is a list of beliefs, rules I try to live by, and answers to many questions I have had over my life.  By doing this I hope to get past the need to explain how I get to a point I am trying to make in my writing and just get to the point.  You may find some wisdom here but manly this is for me.  I do not succeed at all of these at all times not do I expect others too. I hope you enjoy and get something out of this.

No one sees themselves as the villain in their own story

As a realist I can only be an optimist

3 Rules I live by:
1. Make yourself happy
2. Make other people happy
3. Be remembered

I do not have all the answers.

Live life with honor and without regret.

I will be wrong and that is wonderful

If I get it right on the first try I am not pushing myself hard enough

“You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, not look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books. You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me, you shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself.” ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

“Be excellent to everybody” – Bill S. Preston

Leave everything better than when you came

Don’t just fight the battles you can win, fight the battles worth fighting for.

No person can know what’s in another’s heart.

It matters more what you do than what you believe.

Never blame your failures on others but always thank them for your success.

The future will be unimaginably amazing.

You can’t change things without understanding why things are the way the are

Reality changes when the perception of that reality changes.

All opinions and non-violent expressions of those opinions are valid.

Respect the person who fights for their beliefs as you’d wish to be respected for yours, even when they are wrong.

Ideas and beliefs can be evil, people are just people

Everyone knows something I can learn from.

Don’t give up, move on.

The worth of a person is not related to one’s wealth or standing or name.

Hate is not for directing at people, it’s for foods and music genres.

When you think your people are chosen or saved you will naturally act like people who aren’t chosen or saved are lesser people, lesser humans.

There are no “Other” people we are all people.

Everyone should work customer service for at least six months, people would learn how much being a jerk effects other people.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Hurting others is always wrong.

No one deserves to die

“Don’t dream it, be it” – RHPS

Doing wrong for the right reasons is still wrong

There is always another perspective

If you look for something you will find it.  Especially when its looking for a reason that validates your actions.

Labeling others as an argument against their opinions is lazy and ineffective

If you only listen to those who agree with you, you will stay ignorant of ways to further your ideals.

Slippery slope is not an argument. “You’d die if you ate only ice cream” is not an argument for never having ice cream.

When you don’t know how to end something just say “Thank You.”

 

 

Orlando Shooting: Say His Name

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