The Pulse Nightclub Verdict: An Indictment of All Who Perpetrated the Lie
I'm taking a break from my series on self-esteem and self-confidence to talk about the verdict of Noor Salman, the wife of the man who killed 49 and wounded 53 members of the gay community. We were told she helped plan the attack. The trial, however, showed there was no evidence of her guilt except what turned out to be a coerced confession.
If you read the article in Huffington Post and other news accounts, you will learn how the prosecutor lied to the judge... who stopped the trial and sent out the jury when he found out about the lie. You'll read about how the press, the people, the government jumped to conclusions and fed us a bunch of bull which many chose to believe if the case was of interest to them.
How Could It Have Been Random, and Yet It Was
Technology ended up finding her innocent. There was nothing in her social media history, nothing in GPS data that said she'd been near the Pulse Nightclub. In fact, there wasn't anything that said her husband scouted out the venue or even knew it was an LGBTQ night club.
There was nothing in his social media or GPS that said he scouted Pulse. What we'd been told about him being a closeted gay, been on Grindr. The only pornography was of older women. His Internet history was of ISIS not gays.
He wanted to kill people at the Disney Springs shopping and entertainment center. There was too much security. He was ready to kill so he drove around until he found Pulse. When he got there he asked a security guard where all the women were.
The horror of the carnage of a marginalized group in our society being targeted was too much for anyone to believe it was random, and yet it was.
The randomness doesn't take away the horror of that night. There had to be an explanation and there wasn't. It just was. The randomness of the event must be difficult for those who lost loved ones that night and for those whose lives were changed irrevocably.
Someone had to pay for what happened and the shooter was dead. People wanted someone to publicly pay so the government settled on the wife who turned out to be a victim herself of an abusive man filled with anger and hate.
Do You Believe the Convenient or Look for the Truth
Noor Salman was jailed for 14 months on a lie and separated from her son because the government didn't want to acknowledge the truth. The press didn't want to acknowledge the truth. We weren't given the truth.
This case was not something in the forefront of my life. I was horrified of all the deaths and injuries that night, but I was only vaguely aware of what was happening with Noor Salman.
What we were fed by the media about this case, and what we are continually fed by the media, has me making these observations:
- Unless we're able to investigate for ourselves, we don't know the truth about anything that is written.
- Just because "everyone" says it's true doesn't make it true.
- We must be vigilant about how easily we are swayed by what is in the media.
- We must be vigilant to keep our own prejudices, and we all have them, from obscuring the truth.
Unless we have a way of knowing the truth, we will never know all the facts about someone. No one will ever know all the facts about us. We always keep things hidden from others and from ourselves.
The Importance of Judging Only when We Must
If you seriously consider it, there are very few times we need to judge someone other than ourselves and situations in our family.
- We need to judge or decide whether a belief or an action is appropriate for us. That is about us.
- We need to judge or decide whether someone, a job, an institution is appropriate for us. That is about us.
- We need to judge if we're on a jury. (I've been on three.)
- We need to make a judgment in order to vote.
The only time we have all the information is when we our actions and beliefs are involved. Even then we hide things from ourselves.
The primary focus of my life is my spirituality. This case is an example of why the exhortation, "Judge not..." is true. Of course there are times we must, but those times are few.