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  • Writer's pictureZachary Blair

Orlando's Rainbow Shroud

Rainbow necrocapitalism is in. Sanity is out.

In Orlando, mass murder has never been so colorful.

Today was the OnePULSE Foundation's "community rainbow run."

For $49, people get a swag bag and can join a bunch of colorfully-clad folks for a 4.9k race to raise money for the nonprofit founded by the owner of the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. This is the same person responsible for the unpermitted renovations and code violations at the nightclub, which hindered the escape and rescue of shooting victims on June 12, 2016.

While Barbara Poma took photos with runners, former Chief of the Orlando Police Department Chief John Mina (current Orange County Sheriff) initiated the race and posed with a sports car wrapped with the number murdered (49) in rainbow colors.

This is the same man in charge of law enforcement who took 3 hours to take down the shooter and rescue patrons trapped inside the building.

Can you imagine if the police did this in the aftermath of the Uvalde shooting? If local politicians and the school board started marketing the number of kids murdered political and fundraising campaigns?

We don't have to imagine it. For those of us Orlando queers connected to the mass shooting, we are living in this neoliberal hell and have been for years.

We have watched the mass shooting be turned into a party and a celebration—spearheaded by former employees and Barbara Poma herself even as she is being sued by Pulse victims.

They are joined in by politicians desperate for a Democratic vote in this Republican-run state, social climbers desperate for corporate networking opportunities, and decent people who have been misled by costly marketing campaigns into thinking they are doing something to honor the victims of the Pulse shooting (when in fact, they are just running in rainbows and giving money to a nonprofit that pays Barbara Poma a $150k salary and gives her even more money in rent for using the property she owns for an interim memorial).

The "community" run is nothing more than a tried and true marketing campaign utilized to serve greedy capitalists who have conquered the nonprofit sector to sell lies to the public at the expense of the actual victims of mass casualty crime. Barbara Poma is simply recycling the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum's exploitative nonprofit playbook.

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