A few reflections on the Orlando tragedy by Steve Moore • June 2016
We as a nation, and a world, find ourselves once again stunned by a senseless act of violence, terror, and chaos, this time in Orlando. I was deeply moved by the words of one survivor, Demetrius Naulings, who framed it well when he said, “We must finally face the fact that this is above all else, an act of hate against humanity.” In the United States, these acts of hate have moved from an elementary school, to a church, a government building, an army base, and now a gay nightclub. As I was trying to find words to frame my own thinking, a colleague at the Center for Effective Philanthropy helped me pull my thoughts together.
Kevin Bolduc was attempting to respond to the question of how philanthropy fits in to the response we have to the tragedy in Orlando and others like it. He says in part, “I find hope [when believing those who work in philanthropy] wake up and read the continuing coverage of the massacre at the Pulse nightclub, they think, ‘Maybe I could do something because this is what philanthropy is for. It’s for solving our most pressing and intertwined problems. It’s for choosing and sticking with potentially controversial issues and for taking risks when others can’t or won’t. It’s for giving voice to our optimism that we can always be better.’” Read Kevin’s full blog here.
We at the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust intentionally work each day to be agents of peace with justice, clarity with honesty, hope with truth, humility with courage, and to weave the fabric of healthy, verdant, and flourishing communities. We are fortunate to partner with numerous groups and individuals working for these same purposes. Our friends at the Muslim Educational Trust (MET) posted, “Please let us join others here and throughout our state, nation, and world to call for an end to terrorism, hate, and violence. Let us join together to build a future where all people can live safely without fearing for their safety.” [Read MET’s full statement here.]
Our colleagues at Philanthropy Northwest and Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington have identified ways some are responding and working on the specific, as well as the bigger, issues. This weekend is also the anniversary of the Charleston Church shootings, and those gathering are being reminded by Rev. Betty Deas Clark, the pastor of Emmanuel AME Church, to be forces of hope, kindness, and reconciliation. [See more here.]
We would do well to remember that, as much of a shock all this has happened is to us, fellow citizens in other parts of the world live under repressive regimes and endure violence, chaos, and terror every day. Though the challenges we face are many, the work we seek to do requires us to again rise up and give our best to that which is good, hopeful, constructive, and fruitful. As Vaclev Havel once remarked, “Let those who must despair, let those who will, begin again.”