The Black Lives Matter movement posted a moving statement declaring their solidarity with the victims of the shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub and explicitly rejected the narrative being put forward by officials that the shooting was a terrorist attack driven by religious motives.
“Despite the media’s framing of this as a terrorist attack, we are very clear that this terror is completely homegrown, born from the anti-Black white supremacy, patriarchy and homophobia of the conservative right and of those who would use religious extremism as a weapon to gain power for the few and take power from the rest,” read the statement.
Politicians of various stripes have used the mass shooting to drum up support for greater military action against the Islamic State group, despite the fact that the shooter was a U.S. citizen and was not known to have any real ties to the terrorist organization.
In its statement, Black Lives Matter pinned the blame on “homegrown terror,” which it said was “the product of a long history of colonialism, including state and vigilante violence.”
Black Lives Matter said Islam should not be seen as the cause of the shooting and called on supporters to resist efforts to pit communities against each other.
Black Lives Matter also specifically addressed the Latin American and Latino community. The nightclub was hosting a Latin Night when the attack occurred, resulting in the overwhelming majority of victims being of Latin American descent.
“From the forced migration of thousands of young people from the island of Puerto Rico to Orlando, to the deadly forced migration throughout Latin America and the Caribbean—we know this is not the first time in history our families have been mowed down with malice, and we stand with you,” read the statement.
The statement also called for action to address gun violence in the United States but said that gun control was not enough.
“We need more than legislation, more than vigils and prayers,” said the organization.
“The enemy is now and has always been the four threats of white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, and militarism,” concluded the statement.