Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
June 19, 2016

Post Orlando: Seeking Reversal

Many local church services put their focus on praying for the families of those killed on Sunday. One man I spoke with said "two weeks ago a lot of these people wouldn't talk to gay peoople. It's kind of crazy to see this reversal and acceptance."

I wanted to share this vision with you taken by NYT photographer Hilary Swift. To be clear, though, the idea there is anything visionary or predictive about this picture is coming strictly from me.

The caption of the aftermath photo Swift posted on Instagram reads:

Many local church services put their focus on praying for the families of those killed on Sunday. One man I spoke with said “two weeks ago a lot of these people wouldn’t talk to gay peoople. It’s kind of crazy to see this reversal and acceptance.”

If the context is that specific, the suggestion of a 100% attitude turnaround is tantalizing. I saw this photo at the same time I heard about a potential, if puny Senate gun control compromise following the unprecedented massacre. Is that what we’ve been reduced to? Begging for crumbs?

With all the madness, the fight and the hard lines drawn in this country, I hope you can forgive me for reading-in like this. Because the example stirred a fantasy. It made me imagine for a second that people could experience a new depth of acceptance and reach out for understanding and consensus.

(photo: Hilary Swift/Instagram for the New York Times)

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