Editorial: Daring to Speak Out

Abstract

When we commented on the Brussels bombings in Issue 3, we did not imagine that further shocking violence would be in the forefront of our minds only a few months later. Two horrific events in recent weeks have brought tragedy to the lives of individuals and families and forced into public consciousness issues of principle which lie at their heart. The mass shootings in the early hours of Sunday 12 June in an LGBT and Latino night club in Orlando, Florida, resulting in the deaths of at least fifty people, is said to constitute the worst such incident in American history. The complex circumstances surrounding it and the motivations of the gunman are the subject of both formal enquiry and continuing media speculation, and we do not seek to add to that speculation, although it is likely it was specifically targeted based on sexuality and race. The story of an American of Afghan descent killing large numbers of queer, Latino and Hispanic people has yet to be fully told. What emerge clearly, however, are the complexities in daily living and social insecurities that persist for people whose sexual orientation is anything other than heterosexual. Equally, what has resounded around the world in response to this local horror is solidarity with the victims and those they leave behind, not just from the global gay community, but from people in all quarters of society who believe that the best way to respond to terror in its various manifestations is to stand shoulder to shoulder with those who suffer. As shocking as the news of the shootings has been, the images of dignified acts of remembrance and resistance are even more powerful. It seems that it was her commitment to not only standing with, but fighting for those who have little or no voice to proclaim their own oppression, hardship and suffering that led to the murder of Jo Cox, Labour MP for Batley and Spen in Yorkshire, England. Again, the circumstances surrounding her killing are complex but it is the tributes to this dynamic woman, relatively new to parliamentary politics but with a strong track record in international aid organisations, which rightly dominate. She is mourned with a deep sense of loss by all those who knew her personally and by the rest of us for the loss of a voice so committed to standing up for what she knew to be right. In an interview with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, Jo’s husband, Brendan Cox, reminded us of the human being behind what is fast becoming a public icon: ‘She just approached things with a spirit, she wasn’t perfect at all you know, but she just wanted to make the world a better place, to contribute.’ We do not all pursue such ideals so determinedly and effectively as Jo Cox, but we dare to suggest

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Golightley2016EditorialDT, title={Editorial: Daring to Speak Out}, author={Malcom Golightley and Margaret Holloway}, year={2016} }