The New York Times published an editorial Wednesday that cast blame for Omar Mateen's rampage at a gay Orlando night club on the Republican Party, arguing his crime occurred in an environment where "bigotry is allowed to fester."
Mateen was a Muslim who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group, which executes homosexuals by throwing them off rooftops. He was known to be abusive and emotionally unstable. He also frequented gay bars and gay dating apps.
The New York Times editorial mentions none of this. Instead it says Mateen's exact motivations are unclear. However, the paper continues, hate crimes do not "happen in a vacuum," and "Republican politicians" have exploited prejudices against the LGBT community:
Omar Mateen shattered the tenuous, hard-fought sense of personal safety that many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have begun to feel as the movement for equality has made significant gains in recent years. His bullets and the blood he left behind that early morning were a reminder that in many corners of the country, gay and transgender people are still regarded as sinners and second-class citizens who should be scorned.
While the precise motivation for the rampage remains unclear, it is evident that Mr. Mateen was driven by hatred toward gays and lesbians. Hate crimes don’t happen in a vacuum. They occur where bigotry is allowed to fester, where minorities are vilified and where people are scapegoated for political gain. Tragically, this is the state of American politics, driven too often by Republican politicians who see prejudice as something to exploit, not extinguish.
The editorial does not mention that Mateen's Afghan father, Seddique Mir Mateen, is a Taliban sympathizer who has said God punishes gays. The Taliban, like ISIS, executes homosexuals.
What the New York Times did instead was make a connection between legislation against same-sex marriage and other policies favored by LGBT interest groups and Mateen's killing of 49 people, the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11:
As the funerals are held for those who perished on Sunday, lawmakers who have actively championed discriminatory laws and policies, and those who have quietly enabled them with votes, should force themselves to read the obituaries and look at the photos. The 49 people killed in Orlando were victims of a terrorist attack. But they also need to be remembered as casualties of a society where hate has deep roots.