Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter February, 2010

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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The Canadian B’nai Brith indicates reports of anti-Semitism increased by 11 percent in 2009. Reports of anti-Semitism are up by five times over what they were during the last decade. A disturbing trend is the doubling of reports of violence from 2008. Reported incidents of anti-Semitism include harassment, vandalism, and violence. A Canadian Press article, found on the Mike on Crime web site, provides additional information. World-wide rates of anti-Semitism are a source of concern. An article on the Haaretz web site states more anti-Semitic acts were reported in 2009 than in any single year since World War II. Prejudiced beliefs about Jewish people might be a factor. The article indicates 42% of western Europeans think Jewish people “exploit” historical abuses of Jewish people to “extort money.”

An Associated Press article reports that rewards were given to the people who helped the police investigation of the theft of the sign from the Auschwitz death camp. At Stop Hate, we are glad the sign was located, because those who perished at Auschwitz need to be remembered and honored.

A second Canadian Press article is about a cross-burning in Nova Scotia. A mixed-race couple had a cross burned on their lawn. One can only imagine the terror a family would feel when a cross was burned in their yard. The Canadian Jewish Council considers the incident a hate crime.
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Marriage rights for gay and bisexual people continues to be in the news. An article on the Edge United States web site is about same-sex marriage rights in Mexico. According to the article, the governors of three Mexican states challenged same-sex marriage rights that were granted in another jurisdiction. The Supreme Court of Mexico is reported to have ruled that one Mexican state cannot challenge laws passed in either a different Mexican state, or in Mexico City.

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Suicide rates among members of sexual minority groups are usually higher than they are among straight people. The need for all people who are suffering from depression to obtain assistance is underscored by the suicide of actor Andrew Koenig. Andrew Koenig was one of the actors in the 1980s television show Growing Pains. He was the son of the man who played Chekov in the original Star Trek series. An article about the suicide can be found on the Mike on Crime web site. People needing support are encouraged to contact their family physician or hospital. Sexual minority youth living in the United States who are needing assistance can contact The Trevor Project, which operates a helpline. The phone number is 1-866-4-U-Trevor.

In a very positive note, Daniel Radcliffe, a popular star from the Harry Potter movies, is showing support for The Trevor Project. He is making a public service announcement for The Trevor Project. An article providing more details is found on the Edge news pages.

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Many people around the world heralded the election of the United States’ first black President, Barack Obama. Obama’s election symbolized a major breakthrough for American visible minorities. The election of members of minority groups does not mean prejudice, discrimination, or hatred are a thing of the past. The author of this month’s newsletter has heard a number of people express concerns that President Obama might be assassinated. An Associated Press article supports their concerns. In the article, we learn a man was charged with threatening Barack Obama after posting a threatening poem on a web site that could be considered to be a white supremacist site.

Fortunately, prejudiced people can change. The hope for change is something that motivates the volunteers at Stop Hate 2000 to continue to talk about hate crimes, hatred, prejudice, and discrimination. A moving article on the American Thinker web site relates the story of Lloyd Marcus, Sr., who experienced several years of social isolation and discrimination as a Black firefighter. According to the story, a fellow firefighter, who once threatened to punch him, risked his life to save Lloyd Marcus. The men became very good friends.
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For several years, American Idol runner-up, Clay Aiken, attempted to avoid public questions about his sexuality. About a year ago, Clay Aiken came out. Now Clay Aiken is becoming publicly involved in advocating for human rights. He is expected to speak about gay rights at a Human Rights Campaign event in Raleigh. An article about Clay Aiken can be read on Edge.
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Uganda hit the world headlines when a proposed bill that could result in gay people being executed, and in lengthy prison sentences for people found guilty of promoting homosexuality, and for not reporting homosexuals was introduced to Parliament. News from Uganda continues to be very disturbing.

There are news reports that a well-known Ugandan pastor, Martin Ssempa, showed some same-sex pornography in his church. A British Broadcasting Corporation article indicates the pornography was shown when minors were present. Most religious groups have moral concerns about pornography. There are reasons why many countries have laws that attempt to restrict access to pornography to minors. If these reports are true, Martin Ssempa has very questionable judgment.

Anybody with news about hate crimes or discrimination is welcome to email us.

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