OPINION: Biding my time, biting my tongue on Orlando

I HEAR the whispers. The ones that seem a little too loud to be whispers, as they float around the office and I catch the words "Orlando," "shooting," "guns," and know what everyone's speculating about. 

Speculating about whether it was a racial attack, a homophobic attack or about whether the gunman's wife's claims of domestic abuse are true, the list could go on. 

I've been speculating myself, speculating about whether I write an opinion piece or share the details of the brutal massacre online.

I'm the type of person who shies away from revealing my opinion, especially when the initial crisis is still so raw and unfolding.

I scroll through my newsfeeds, consuming the details and I overhear the unfolding breaking news via the digital team in the newsroom.

I also read varied opinions, comments from friends, family and strangers on social media, all while biding my time, biting my tongue.

One post on Facebook has forced me to break my silence. A friend I made while living in New York posted about a conversation he had with his dad.

"Over lunch, my dad said to me, "I worry for you every day. I worry because this world is a dangerous place. I worry because I'm a parent and I don't ever want you to become a victim of a tragedy. I'm proud of you and who you are. Because you are my son."

It's been awkward since lunch... because Korean dad's don't say things like that unless there is a good reason... I think it's cause he read about the Orlando tragedy over the weekend and he worries because he's scared it'll happen to me..."

His name is Richard Kim and he posted a video on Youtube explaining the situation.

This really hit me, because it shows the positive impacts that might blossom out of sheer tragedy.

Obviously I'm not condemning what happened as positive at all, but to see how the media's portrayal of events were able to force a conversation that might never have occurred before.

To bring people closer together in solidarity and to stand against this evil, that's a positive outcome from an extremely negative event.

I read a great piece by Dominic Knight from the ABC on The Drum. He wrote about the four words we won't hear enough, but words we need to remember: "We don't know yet".

I urge everyone to read his piece, it's a notion I stand by, one that reveals the idiocy of jumping to conclusions and making brash statements about an unfolding event when we truly just don't know yet.

We don't know enough about the circumstances that night in Orlando, but until we do, I will be focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes, because that's all I can do.

We're all mourning this great loss and it's clearly shaken many, my only hope is that these lives were not taken for nought.



Calls to reprise youth centre plan

premium_icon Calls to reprise youth centre plan

Matters up for discussion at Coffs Harbour City Council meeting.

'Ashamed to be Australian': Protesters rally in Coffs

premium_icon 'Ashamed to be Australian': Protesters rally in Coffs

Protesters slam controversial asylum seeker policy in Coffs.

Plastics to play another day at toy swap

Plastics to play another day at toy swap

It will be a fitting finale for Plastic Free July.

Local Partners