Hate 2000 Newsletter December 27, 2005
For many people around the world, this is a time of celebration. This year, Christmas and Hanukkah are celebrated in late December. New Year's celebrations are just around the corner. We wish all peace, joy and hope during the holiday season and through all of 2006. Because of the holidays, this is a short newsletter.
One form of hate crime has not been discussed much in our newsletters. That is gender-based hate. Some men, for example, hate women. December 6, was the fifteen anniversary of the murder of 14 female engineering students in Montreal Quebec. The murder, Marc Lepine, separated the men and the women in the classroom and then started shooting the female students. A very short news report can be read at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation archives. Resources teachers can use to try to reduce sexism and violence against women can be found on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation web site.
We encourage people to check out some of the internet resources on our web site. We are highlighting one of those resources, Amnesty International. Amnesty does far more than attempt to pressure governments to release prisoners of political conscience. Amnesty International does a lot to assist sexual minorities. They have an entire web site dedicated to sexual minorities. A map showing how gay and lesbians are treated around the world can be found at the Amnesty International web site for Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered concerns. While progress has been in some areas of the world, sexual minorities are not treated well through much of the world. According to the map, Brazil has the record for the highest number of murders of sexual minorities. Between 1980 and 1997, 1,600 members of sexual minorities were murdered in Brazil. Only five percent of the killers even faced a court trial. Amnesty has wonderful resources. Unfortunately, the resources cannot be easily ordered by people living outside of the country in which the resources are made available. People living in the United States might be interested in reading the book Stone Walled. The book is about some of the problems the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered communities have had with the police. The book can be ordered at American Amensty web site. Friends living in the United Kingdom may want to read the book Sex, Love & Homophobia. The book can be purchased from Amnesty in the United Kingdom.
Canada is in a federal election. The opposition parties defeated the Liberal minority government. The timing of the election is not well received by some Canadians, because it means the election is taking place during the traditional holiday season. Gay marriage rights are an issue in this election, as the Conservative Party is opposed to same-sex marriages and would like to have marriages available only to straight couples. Unfortunately, human rights are subjected to parliamentary or legislative votes, when they should exist only because they are fair and just. There is also the concern that opening the debate again could result in more physical attacks on gay people.
A few news items follow:
Synagogue Beth Shalom in Edmonton, Canada had a swastika about a yard (meter) wide painted on it. The letters ZOG were also painted on the synagogue. ZOG is reported as standing for Zionist Occupation Government. The police hate crimes unit is investigating the crime. An article about the vandalism can be read on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation web site.
You do not often see Christian church leaders receiving honors from the gay community. Two leaders in the United Church of Christ were listed in Out Magazine's top "100 Most Intriguing Gay, Men, Lesbians and Straight Allies." The story can be read on the United Church of Christ web site.
When ordinary citizens are consumed with hate, the results might not impact many people. The hatred of powerful people can hurt many people. That is why reports that the President of Iran has called for the destruction of Israel are troubling. A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation report gives more details about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments. An article discussing his comments that the Holocaust never happened can also be read at the CBC web site. The National Public radio web site has the transcripts of an interview about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments.
The book, Pink Blood, was briefly mentioned in our last newsletter. We are mentioning it again in this newsletter, because the book is a must read for people interested in homophobia-based hate crimes. Information about the book can be found at Pink Blood. The book can be purchased at www.amazon.ca or www.amazon.com.
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