Monday evening one of my mentors at Mizzou Creative & I attended the Candlelight Vigil held at the Boone County Courthouse for the victims of the Orlando shooting.
If you’ve been paying attention, you will have seen the coverage about the racial conflict that arose during the vigil. (It should be stated that though that link is to Total Frat Move, in no way do I support them or the type of language they use while talking about Mizzou or the vigil)
We put a lot of work & thought into this piece and have received a lot of backlash for not putting any part of the conflict into our piece. Many people see this piece as “covering up the conflict,” so I wanted to use this post as an explanation as to why we left it out, as well as sharing my personal thoughts.
That conflict occurred over about a 5-minute period. The vigil lasted over an hour.
The conflict was not the story. The conflict was not the point of the night. The conflict was a small portion of a night that didn’t reflect the mood or attitude of the vigil as a whole. The conflict is a sidebar to the main story, which was that Columbians came together to mourn and honor the lives lost in the Orlando shooting and support the LGBTQ community, Latinx community, and everyone in mourning.
What is frustrating to me about this situation, and seemingly everything nowadays, is that there isn’t a dialogue. Everything turns into who is right and who is wrong. There doesn’t seem to be any gray areas or middle ground. Recently it seems as though everyone is trying to just prove that they are right without taking the time to just listen. Fingers are pointed at the other side without even trying to find out why the other side believes what they believe. This goes for each side of the spectrum.
I won’t pretend that I’m not guilty of this. Of course I am. But what I’ve been trying to learn is to listen and have a peaceful conversation so that education can occur.
No good is done from hiding behind a screen and tearing someone down for their beliefs. This is what is happening to Tiffany Melecio, the woman who spoke on stage. People are saying the rudest things in comments addressing her when the only thing they’ve seen is an obviously edited video that fits the narrative of the person who created it.
We all need to stop and think about how we’re trying to prove our points to others & to be considerate of beliefs different from our own. As the Orlando shooting proved, there’s already enough hate in the world. Let’s not add more.