Sunday, May 08, 2011

No surrender

This morning I read of yet another anti-gay hate crime in the US—one of dozens of cases that make the news each year. Most however, do not.

It got me to thinking about how the anti-gay industry goes on endlessly about what “victims” they are, how the evil “gay agenda” is oppressing them. So, I thought I’d take a look at some of the anti-gay crimes so far this year. This is NOT a comprehensive list—it’s too small to be even a tiny sample:

Shreveport, Louisiana (January): A 52 year-old gay man received a broken jaw, a broken eye socket bone and other serious injuries after another patron beat him with a pool cue. The two men had not spoken, nor even made eye contact. He was attacked because he was gay. The attacker was arrested.

Clayton, North Carolina (February): The home of a gay couple, who had been victims of harassment for more than a year, was gutted in an arson attack. Neither the couple nor neighbours aware of the harassment wanted to be indentified by he newsmedia out of fear of reprisal attacks. The arsonists have not been caught.

Brooklyn, New York City (February): A 29 year old openly gay man was attacked and viciously beaten by six teenagers. His jaw was broken and he required three metal plates to reconstruct his face. He had no health insurance and faces medical bills of over $100,000. The attackers have not been caught.

Queens, New York City (March): Party crashers viciously beat an 18-year-old man to death while shouting anti-gay slurs. The killers, all 16 and 17 and gang members, crashed the party, making anti-gay slurs (the hosts were two openly gay men). The victim, however, was not gay. The killers have not been caught.

Upper Darby, Pennsylvania (March): A 70-year-old gay man was beaten to death with a sock filled with rocks, allegedly because he was gay. The 28-year-old murderer, who was also executor of the other man’s will, claimed he read in the Old Testament that gays should be stoned to death and also that he’d been told in his prayers to murder the older man. Covering all the bullshit defence bases, he also claimed the older man had made sexual advances. The killer was held on first-degree murder charges.

West Village, New York City (March): There was a sudden string of anti-gay attacks in the city’s West Village neighbourhood, long considered a relatively safe area for GLBT people. Most received little news coverage.

Austin, Texas (April): A 24-year-old lesbian and her 57 year-old mother were shot to death by a man who was angry that the younger woman was in a relationship with his daughter.

Rosedale, Maryland (April): A 22-year-old transwoman was attacked by two girls, 14 and 18, in a McDonald’s while staff watched, one recording video on his cellphone. An elderly woman who tried to intervene was punched by one of the assailants and knocked to the ground. The transwoman was allegedly attacked because she used the women’s toilets. The McDonald’s employee who shot the video but did nothing to help was fired. The attackers were arrested.

McConnelsville, Ohio (April): Eight horses, including a foal and a pregnant mare, were burned to death in an arson attack on a barn on a property owned by a gay man. "Fags are freaks" was painted onto the side of the barn. The arsonists have not been caught, but the insurance company has offered a reward to help catch them.

El Paso, Texas (May): A 22-year-old man was left in critical condition after being attacked outside a local gay bar as he was waiting for a ride. Six men attacked him, even using a baseball bat. A female friend of the victim tried to help, so the attackers smashed her windscreen with the baseball bat in an effort to prevent her from stopping them. The attackers have not been caught.

These are a handful of the reported cases of anti-GLBT violence and hate crimes so far this year. The vast majority either go unreported or the anti-gay motive doesn’t get reported in the news. This happens especially in small towns and rural areas where victims of anti-gay crimes know that reporting the crimes could open them up to even more abuse—and often from police and the courts, institutions that are supposed to stand for justice.

Vicious beatings, murders, arson—these crimes are far worse than anything the anti-gay industry claims to experience. And what is the supposed “oppression" they bleat on about? A couple apps removed from Apple’s App Store because they peddled hatred of gay people? Gay people refusing to patronise a fundamentalist Christian-owned fast food restaurant chain because of its well-known anti-gay political record? Calling out the hate speech of the anti-gay industry, calling it—and them—what they are? Can the anti-gay industry please explain to me how vicious beatings, murders, arson and other violent crimes against gay people aren’t even almost as bad as what the anti-gay industry claims to experience?

The anti-gay industry lies every single day about their supposed harassment, but especially about GLBT people. They lie, defame and slander with reckless, giddy abandon because they know they can. The newsmedia gives them a completely free ride, leaving their hatred and bigotry unchallenged, because the anti-gay industry does all their evil work in the name of their god and religion.

It is precisely because the mainstream newsmedia helps the anti-gay industry peddle their hatred that crimes like those on this list happen: The constant anti-gay drumbeat leads inevitably to anti-gay crimes and also suicides among gay people who are taught by the industry to hate themselves.

This must end. But because the mainstream newsmedia is too cowardly to stand up to the bigots in the anti-gay industry and call out their lies and hatred, people like me will have to continue to do so, even if no one notices. To do otherwise is to excuse and accept this as okay, when it absolutely is not. The list above gives only a few of the hundreds of reasons each year why people of good conscience must never surrender to the forces of hatred and bigotry.


Thom said...

Hey there :)

Thank you for this post. I hope you don't mind, but I linked back to this article on my own blog. People need to read this, and think about what you've said.

Teaching Thomas

Arthur Schenck said...

Thanks! I never mind when someone links to me. I've also corrected most of my typos and clumsy phrasing since I posted. :-)