Best Statement Addressing Orlando Shooting: Bob Weir
Between the Saturday night festivities and Sunday morning, a tragic shooting, the deadliest in U.S. history, took place at an Orlando gay nightclub. As Bonnaroovians scurried awake Sunday, news of the tragedy spread across the campsite. On the festival grounds, there were more showings of LGBT pride than usual, with small rainbow flags tied around backpacks.
In the afternoon, Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir was the distinguished guest at a backstage Eats & Greets fundraising fete honoring him as the first recipient of the Les Paul Spirit Award for Innovation and Achievement. After speaking about the importance of music education, Weir closed out his speech with a reflection on the Orlando shooting as well as the religious rhetoric that fuels these acts of terrorism.
"As we know, there was a massacre in Florida, not far from here," Weir told the audience. "I'd like to point out that last week, a distinguished representative from the State of Georgia went on the floor of the House of Representatives of our country and started quoting bible verses in which he basically promoted, or at least rationalized, death to gay people as a reward for the way they were born.
"This morning, the lieutenant governor of Texas said that, 'Well, they’re reaping what they’ve sown.' Now, I wanna ask a question: how different are these peoples’ world views from the world views of the people with ISIS? It's the same hatred. They pull those hatreds out of different books, but it’s the same hatred and I’d just like to point that out."