past few months were busy for Stop Hate volunteer staff. A computer crash, which took a
special edition newsletter into cyber heaven, heavy work loads, periods of
illness and pressing community duties made it difficult to get regular news
letters posted. We apologize for
the silence. Our silence does not
mean a lack of commitment to social justice. Our volunteer virtual community is
active in their local communities advocating for those who are the targets of prejudice,
discrimination and violence. The
needs of oppressed communities, of communities that routinely face prejudice,
discrimination and hatred remain in our hearts.
is confusion regarding what constitutes a hate crime. Some people refer to any crime where
anger and frustration is involved as a hate crime, and they wonder why there
needs to be a specific designation of hate crimes, when almost all crimes seem
like crimes of anger and hatred. There
are a few key differences between crimes of rage and anger and hate
crimes. A hate crime is intended to
intimidate and to create fear among members of an entire group of people. An article about how hate crimes are
defined in Canadian law can be found on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation website, in
an article titled "What is a hate crime?"
Harm: Hate Crime in Canada,“ an
article about hate crimes appears on the Canadian Department of Justice website. The article has three major
sections. The first section
discusses the purpose of the report.
Section two talks about the harm done by hate crimes. The final section discusses the rights
of victims and the responses of victims of hate crimes.
two is worth reading by people interested in knowing more about the impact of
hate crimes. Victims of hate crimes
are targeted, because they belong are thought to belong to specific,
identifieable groups. According to
the Department of Justice article, hate crimes have a more significant impact
victims, because the very characteristics that caused victimization are part of
the victim’s sense of identity. In
effect, hate crimes attack the victim, the victim’s deeply held identity and
the victim’s community. Hate crimes
cause disproportionate harm.
article on the Canada.com website indicates Statistics Canada
shows that hate crimes in Canada increased by 42% between 2008 and 2009. The largest increase in reported hate
crimes are hate crimes against Arabs and West Asians, which doubled, and
against Jewish people, which increased by 71%.
are times when we receive requests from college students who are researching
about hate crimes. The University
of Ottawa Institute of Technology's Faculty of Social Science and Humanity
maintains an Internet resource for those interested in Canadian hate
crimes. The Hate Crime Research and Scholarship in
Canada web pages provide information and literature regarding Canadian hate
parades often are filled with people wearing brightly colored clothes or
costumes. Young men wearing skimpy
bathing suits is a common sight in Pride parades. The media attending Pride parades tend to
focus more on the unusually dressed people than on the participants who are
wearing rather ordinary clothing.
Some straight people are left wondering why there is gay Pride. A few conservative religious groups, in
reaction to gay Pride are promoting straight pride. Shirts promoting straight pride and
other straight pride merchandise can be purchased on the internet. A very popular gay You Tuber, Davey
Wavey, explains why we do not have straight pride. The main points Davey
Wavey makes are that every single day emphasizes straight life, so
every day is straight pride, and that straight people do not need straight
pride, because they do not face the levels of discrimination, violence and hate
crimes that are experienced by gay members of society. His video, "No Straight Pride: Why
Is There Gay Pride?", is well worth watching.
is the home to one of Canada's largest Jewish communities. According to a June article on the yorkregion.com website, a Jewish
veterinarian's office was vandalized and was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti
and Nazi symbols. An article about
the anti-Semitic vandalism at Jory Bocknek's office can be read on the yorkregion.com website.
University found itself in a controversy regarding anti-Semitism this
year. We gather Yale announced they
were closing the anti-Semitism studies center, because of complaints that the
center was anti-Palestinian.
According to one news report, less than a month after deciding to close
the anti-Semitism studies center, Yale announced it is opening a center of
anti-Semitism studies. An article
about Yale's decision regarding having a center for anti-Semitism studies can
be found on the Guardian United Kingdom website.
Don't Ask Don't Tell policy of the American military is having a negative
impact on gay and bisexual soldiers that extends well beyond the intent of the
policy. An article on the Advocate website tells us that two gay
soldiers at Camp Carson, in the Colorado Springs area, were attacked and
severely beaten by a group of men.
The gay soldiers are not wanting the military to know their identity,
because military personnel are still being dismissed under terms of Don't Ask
Don't Tell. Unfortunately, Don't
Ask Don't Tell could have the impact of further victimizing the victims of
homophobic hate crimes.
use of language is important. There
are times when government policies and legislation intended to protect people
from discrimination use terms that might be offensive to members of some
minority groups. An article on the Montreal Gazette website notes the United
Nations may grill Canada over use of the term "visible minorities" in
human rights legislation and policies.
The United Nations could have concerns that the term "visible
minorities" implies that being white is the standard.
article on the Pink News website informs us that the last man
who was sent to a Nazi death camp because he was gay passed away at the age of
98. Rudolf Brazda was in Buchenwald
for about three years.
marriage continues to be in the news.
There have been a few positive developments. The state of New York passed a bill
approving same-sex marriage in New York. An American Indian tribe in the state of
Washington approved same-sex marriage on the reservation. Additional information about the Suquamish Tribal Council decision can be found the
MSNBC news system. An article on the Pink News system informs us that American
Psychological Association supports same-sex marriage.