Three connected events:
- One of the most tragic incidents in contemporary American history occurred early Sunday morning in Orlando. 49 people slaughtered in a nightclub. Some, most, or all of the victims were gay. All of the victims were people who did not deserve to die at that time or that place. Their loss will be felt by 49 families, 49 groups of friends, 49 communities.
- Sunday night Broadway held a celebration, the annual Tony Awards. It was a spectacular show, though tinged with sadness as evidenced by the comments of the host, several presenters and several awardees.
- On Monday morning, inspired by the success of Hamilton and its rap framework, I published a blog, a little doggerel, saluting the Tony awards. Eight short verses, tagging a few of the honored shows and big names of the night; James Corden, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Barbara Streisand. I did not mention the Orlando tragedy.
For item number 3, I have been labelled a homophobe, and I am stunned. I thought about including a reference to the shooting ion the blog. But I do not have the talent to include such a serious, deadly event in light verse that was meant to leave readers smiling and tapping their feet. Perhaps I was insensitive not to have a closing paragraph, in prose not in rap, expressing my sadness at the needless loss of life. But I don't comprehend how my omission warranted the application of a label denoting "irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals" (Merriam-Webster On Line Dictionary.)
Some of the victims I didn't write about were women. I don't think I am a misogynist. Some of the victims I didn't write about were Hispanic. I don't think I am a xenophobe. I also did not write a blog about the terrorist shootings in Tel Aviv last week. I know I am not anti-Semitic. The useless tossing of names and slanders does nothing to bring about understanding and healing. It lowers each of us, just as it lowers a Presidential candidate.
You will each make your own judgement about me, about my blog, about whether you will continue to read. And I appreciate that most of you will give me a fair shake. That's all I ask for.
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