Latin Night at Pulse: Homophobia, Islamophobia and the White Left

One dominant narrative on the white left these days is to connect the dots from homophobia to Islamophobia. And so, after the Orlando massacre, all those seeking political expedience to advance their cause were connecting the dots between homophobia and Islamophobia. There was one big problem with this dominant narrative: It ignored the voices of Latinos — long subordinate voices on the white left, even as the blood from the murders winded its way in a long river to the Senate office of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in Miami.

Ignoring Latino issues is not new in the discourse of the white left. It is par for the course. What I have noticed lately is that the issues of Latinos, African Americans and Indigenous people have become part of the subordinate narrative on the white left with Latino leadership absent everywhere.

There is much to learn when one has a focus on these issues. One learns about the rights of immigrants and farmworkers. One learns about Berta Cáceres and why Hillary Clinton must come before a tribunal in The Hague to face justice for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for her responsibility for the needless deaths of so many in Honduras and in the Middle East. Clinton’s recent embrace of Henry Kissinger, who also merits an appointment at The Hague for his role in too many murders to count in Chile and Southeast Asia, does not inspire confidence in her taking over the reins of US foreign policy.

A focus on these issues would allow us to focus on the deaths of trade unionists in Colombia. The left used to care about the lives of trade unionists many years ago.

A focus on these issues would object to placing Hillary Clinton is office so she can continue with her genocidal program for Indigenous people in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.

It’s an interesting gamble to place Hillary Clinton in office so she can continue with the rape and slaughter of Central American women while we pray that when she rolls the dice and nominates a pro-choice candidate to the Supreme Court, Senate Republicans will submissively vote “yes” to placing another white woman on the Supreme Court.

What is missing from the white left narrative on the slaughter in Orlando is the voice of the Latino victims. It’s extraordinary that half of the victims were Puerto Rican, and with a few exceptions, the white left has mostly ignored Latino voices.

Who discusses the undocumented Mexican and Salvadoran in Pulse? Who discusses the Cubans in Pulse that night?

I always thought that Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was a HAL 9000 computer in feminine form that only spat out anti-Castro slogans on command. But it turns out that when the blood from the Pulse reached her Senate office in Miami, she assisted Orquidea Martínez in getting a visa to travel from Cuba to Orlando to pay final respects to her son.

The white left is very corrupt and immoral in allowing discussion of the Armenian genocide only one day a year. Why should the Armenian narrative also be subordinate?

Harold Koh shamelessly defends Obama’s drone strikes, and where is the white left to be found?

The white left has a lot of work to do to gain the confidence of people of color. This includes bringing marginalized groups and individuals into leadership positions while not continuing to subordinate Asian and Armenian voices for the sake of political expediency.