Many public figures have been commenting on the mass shooting last weekend at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. One such figure is comedian Hasan Minhaj who gave a candid speech at the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Dinner about the inaction on gun legislation in Congress and how we are all complicit in the events that led up to the tragic events that left 49 dead and 53 injured.
In the clip, Minhaj explains that the shooting itself was the product of “homophobia, xenophobia, lack of access to mental healthcare, and sheer lack of political will.” His words were particularly candid when he explained that people often engage in “covert or overt” forms of racism and exclusion of people who share different religious, ethnic, and sexual backgrounds than they do.
According to Minhaj, “we all have to step up and fight for each other otherwise the whole thing is a sham. And until we do that, Hijabis are going to get harassed in the streets. Members from the trans* community are going to be demonized for using the bathroom. And, my brothers and sisters from the African American community, their spines are going to continue to be shattered in the back of patty wagons until we stand up and say something.”
Minhaj’s statement was received with mostly stoic faces. While it was not totally clear how the news professionals and congresspersons in attendance took Minhaj’s words, it is undeniable that his words were heartfelt and incredibly timely.
Perhaps the most moving portion of the speech was when Minhaj said, “I wish I would have done more. To my brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community, and every marginalized community, I’m sorry I didn’t do more.”
Watch the clip below: