It was all a grotesque lie. The brutal homophobic aggression committed by eight hooded barbarians on Sunday afternoon in the Madrid neighborhood of Malasaña has ended up being little more than the consensual sex game of a liar who, to hide an adulterous relationship from your partner, has generated a tsunami of sectarianism and hypocritical indignation that should embarrass a good part of the Spanish.
Very few are fair who can boast of having remained oblivious to the grotesque vaudeville. A vaudeville built without more evidence than the bizarre statement of the complainant and to which all those, from the Minister of the Interior to Podemos, Más Madrid, the LGBTI associations have contributed or well-known TV presenters, who have used a lie to display their moral outrage and generate their own fake news.
And among those fake news, that Madrid, the freest city in the most tolerant country in the European Union with the LGBTI community, is little less than Kabul. That the two main Madrid leaders of the PP (Isabel Diaz Ayuso and José Luis Martínez-Almeida) whitewash the “homophobia” of the extreme right. Or that in the whole of Spain the “gay hunt” by hordes of Nazis who roam freely has become normal.
Examples abound. The first, due to its importance, that of Pedro Sanchez, which convened the commission against hate crimes on Tuesday and has not called it off after learning that the fact that caused it at first was false. Sánchez has overreacted when the correct attitude would have been to wait for a much more relaxed analysis of the situation.
For its part, Podemos has taken the opportunity to demand a reform of the hate crime in the Penal Code. DC. OO. demanded from the Community of Madrid a “resounding” support to the LGBTI collective and the delegitimization of “homophobic discourses” of Vox. The Minister of the Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska accused Vox of “playing to the limit.”
There’s still more. The leader of Más Madrid, Íñigo Errejón, described homophobic aggressions as hunting and called for demonstrating before “the reactionary wave of hatred.” Various associations of LGBTI activists called protests of rejection (one of them brought together a few dozen teenagers this Wednesday in Sol despite the fact that the lie had already been confirmed by its own person in charge).
AND Javier Ortega Smith, from Vox, linked the attack to illegal immigration.
Demagogy and scaremongering
What is serious is not so much the lie that originated the subsequent political and social turmoil as the fact that it was used by various political and media leaders to bring the fire to the sardine of his story. A story in which the least was the violence itself, the that, and what’s more, the who. That is to say, how to use the alleged crime to demonize the contrary.
Until relatively recently, these tactics, those of misrepresentation, demagogy, exaggeration and scaremongeringThey were exclusive to populism. But these have ended up infecting the whole of society and now it is no longer free to ask to wait for the result of an investigation to draw conclusions. Whoever does so is accused of being a homophobia whitener or, directly, of being an accomplice of the extreme right.
Special mention for the fact that the news was leaked to the media despite the fact that the complaint lacked evidence and at a time when the Police had not even begun to investigate the facts. Who leaked the facts and with what intention? Marlaska should give an immediate response to that, who yesterday described the lie as an “anecdote” in La Sexta. Only 24 hours before he had said otherwise.
Machiavellianism, not innocence
Hate crimes and homophobic attacks exist in Spain and that is an incontestable reality. That these have grown, if they have, due to an increase in intolerance towards the LGTBI community and not for other reasons is, however, a matter of debate.
A mature, politically healthy and intelligently prudent society would not have been so easily carried away by a whirlwind of nonsense like this. All controls, alarms and safety valves have failed. And not precisely out of innocence, but on the contrary: out of Machiavellianism.
The damage generated has been immense and the result, more polarization and more social distrust. That the crude lie of a young man who tries to hide a relationship from his usual partner has exposed the Spanish political, cultural and media elites does not say anything good about them. Democracy needs the pause, maturity and skepticism of an adult, not the chaos, inconsistency and misrule of a mob of teenagers in search of media attention.