Stop Hate 2000 - February 2011 Newsletter

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 British Broadcasting Corporation article informs us that Italian police arrested six Moroccan men, because they are thought to have tried to promote hatred of the pope. The article states the Moroccan men felt the pope should be punished for converting a Muslim journalist to Catholicism.

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Same-sex marriage developments continue to make headlines. An article on the PinkNews system informs us that the Governor of Illinois signed a civil-union bill into law. According to an article on the Advocate website, a Colorado senator plans to introduce a civil-union bill.

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Discrimination and prejudice appear to be reduced when people know individuals of different races, ethnicities, socio-economic background, or sexual orientation. Recently, a few well-known people came out of the closet. Jonathan Knight, star of New Kids, and Scottish cycling champion Graeme Obree have come out as gay.

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Westboro Baptist Church became household name associated with hatred after the church picketed the funerals of gay men, the funeral of Matthew Shepard and the funerals of servicemen. Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church use the internet to help spread their unique version of hate. The Pink News website carries a story that Westboro Baptist Church websites, including, among other websites, the website GodHatesFags.Com, was taken down by Anonymous, the internet activists.

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Tensions exist between freedom of speech and hate crimes. A recent case in Kansas pits the freedom of speech of high school students against the health needs of gay youth to receive an education in a hate-free environment. We gather an article in a Kansas high school newspaper stated that same-sex relationships are not normal and quoted the Biblical punishment for homosexual relationships. Details are provided in a Pink News article.

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On a radio program, Glen Beck is reported to have compared Reform Judaism to radical Islam and to have referred to Reform Judaism as “offensive and outrageous.” After the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement about Beck's comments, Glen Beck apologized for his comments. Those wanting to read more about Glen Beck's comments may wish to read articles about Glen Beck on the Anti-Defamation League website.

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Alan Turing was a gay mathematician and computer scientist. We gather from Wikipedia and from a Pink News article, he developed computer software that helped crack Nazi German military code. After being charged with crimes for homosexuality, this war hero and brilliant computer scientist accepted a form of hormone treatment that some people describe as chemical castration. Next year, Manchester, his home city, will celebrate Turing's 100th birthday.

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Members of minority groups are often blamed for problems that impact on all of society. This scapegoating is intended to create fear and hatred of minority groups. Gay people have been blamed for everything from hurricanes to snow storms, high taxes to divorce. Jewish people have been blamed for many things too. An article on the Anti-Defamation League mentions a shark attack that was blamed on Israelis, claims that Jewish people working in the World Trade Center did not show up for work the day the Trade Center were the target of terrorist attacks. The basis of hatred and fear is often mis-information.

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Some forms of hatred and prejudice are socially acceptable. Socially accepted forms of prejudice and discrimination vary some from culture to culture. In some cultures anti-Semitism is accepted. Other cultures tend to tolerate homophobia or Islamphobia. The comment has often been made that homophobia is the last socially acceptable form of bigotry. In many western countries, Islamophobia is a problem. Residual fear and anger from 911 and other terrorist attacks allows Islamophobia to be socially accepted. An article on the Stop Racism and Hate Collective website, “Islamophobia is the Moral Blind Spot of Britain,” discusses Islamophobia in the United Kingdom.


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


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