Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter December, 2011

Will’s father commented about how difficult school is for queer students. “Most parents worry about if they make a grade, make a team, or do things like that. When we sent Willi to school, we worried that it would be the last time we would see him.” Stated in interview in the documentary movie Anti-Gay Hate Crime: A & E Investigative Reports. Available from Amazon.Com and Amazon.Ca.
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A Toronto Sun article informs us that the Government of Canada is offering up to $100,000 in funding to help communities ensure community halls and houses of worship are safe and are protected from vandalism and graffiti.

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Several Stop Hate 2000 newsletters have mentioned the possibility that violence against sex trade workers is a hate crime. December saw a group of Vancouver, Canada sex-trade workers and their allies holding a rally against violence that targets people employed in the sex trade. According to a Vancouver Observer article, the protestors called for violence against sex-trade workers to be classified as a hate crime and for more services and support for sex workers.

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An article on the Energy Publisher website informs us that five people were charged with intimidation and harassment in Lakewood, New Jersey, after they are thought to have pelted two Jewish boys with eggs and yelled anti-Semetic comments.

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The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation website carries an article about Donna Delaronde, an indigenous Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer, who left the RCMP in 1997. According to the article, Delaronde believes she was not treated the same as other RCMP officers and that she was falsely charged with theft, a case against Delaronde that was dismissed in the courts.

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Racism, homophobia and discrimination often impacts directly on the earning power of members of minority groups. Members of minority groups may earn less money than members of majority groups. In a recent article, we learn that there are times when members of minority groups are also charged more money for services than members of majority groups. Earning less money while having to spend more money for services results in some members of minority groups being caught in a pliers-like financial squeeze.

An article on The Atlantic website informs people of what appears to be racially biased treatment of Blacks and Hispanics who had loans with Countrywide Financial. According to the article, the bank paid over $300 million dollars to settle claims that, all factors being equal, there was a period of time when Countrywide charged Blacks and Hispanics higher interest rates and fees than Whites.

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The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) commended the Department of Justice for recording "repeated and flagrant" civil rights violations by Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff's Department. The ADL believes the Department of Justice report adds support to concerns regarding ethnic profiling of Latinos and other civil rights violations. The ADL press statement is worth reading.

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Something about Jonah Mowry's video captured the attention of hearts around the world. His You Tube video was watched over 8.6 million times since it was uploaded on August 10, 2011. In the video, Jonah mentions the bullying started in Grade 1. He admits to having felt suicidal and to cutting himself. Jonah states he was subjected to homophobic slurs in school.

Jonah says he made the video a month before starting Grade 8. About four months later, Jonah made a video where he appears to be quite happy and mentions having friends in school. (Another You Tuber posted a copy the second video on his channel, after it was removed from Jonah's channel.) We need to put things in perspective. Four months for a 14 year old is about like a year for a middle-aged person. We know a lot can change in a year. There is a very real chance Jonah felt bullied, isolated and afraid during the summer and no longer feels that way.

In Jonah's video, he states that he looks happy, but is not happy. Young people are able to pretend to be happy in the face of difficult situations. The fact that Jonah later made a video in which he appears to be quite happy and says he has friends does not negate the fact that he might have felt very discouraged and friendless a few months earlier when he made his famous bullying video. Jonah Mowry and his family were interviewed on Good Morning America. In the interview, Jonah talks about the video and his father and mother discuss how they felt about Jonah's video.

Many You Tubers made videos of support for Jonah. We can hope the videos will encourage Jonah and the many other people who have been the targets of bullying and will give them strength.

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