Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter January 29, 2009

"Children who hear hate speech directed at ethnic and racial minoirities learn to hate those groups. Queer kids who hear hate speech directed at them learn to hate themselves." Robert E. Owens, Jr. The Challenges and Promise for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth, available from Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

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To say the entire world watched President Elect Barack Obama being sworn in might not be much of an exaggeration. People around the world watched history being made, the first Black man to become President of the United States. The United States, a nation that fought a civil war over slavery, and that saw bloody civil rights protests, had a Black President.

The significance of the election of Barack Obama’s election might be best explained by Musician Jay-Z, In a Guardian article, Jay-Z, is quoted as saying, "Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run. Obama’s running so we all can fly." No activist is an island. Activists do not operate in isolation. They build on the contributions of others who are part of the struggle human rights and for social justice. The pioneering labors of one activist assist the pioneering actions of other activists.

Rosa Parks probably had no idea that her protest on the bus would help spark the Black civil rights movement. When Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to crowds, or marched for civil rights, he probably did not even dream that one day the most important job in America would be held by a Black person, that one day a Black person would be President of the United States. We have no idea what the future holds for visible and invisible minorities in the United States. But we know a spark of hope was struck by Barack Obama’s election. What the spark will do, we do not know. The hope Obama’s election planted in the hearts of racial, ethnic, religious, socio-economic, and sexual minority members’ hearts could very well result in many people flying.

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According to an Associated Press article on You Tube, a Ecuadorean man in New York was attacked. The attackers are reported to have made anti-Hispanic and anti-gay slurs, as they beat the man with baseball bats and kicked the man. The AP news item indicates the Ecuadorean man was rendered brain dead by the attack. We gather the crime is being treated as both a hate crime and a murder.

A New York Times article provides more details. We gather from the New York Times article two Ecuadorean brothers left a bar. They might have been leaning on each other for support. Jose Osvaldo Sucuzhanay was beaten severely. Fortunately, his brother was able to escape without serious injuries. Another New York Times article informs us that Jose Sucuzhanay died in the hospital from his injuries.

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During the month of December a California woman was assaulted by four men and raped repeatedly. The men thought she was lesbian. According to a Fox News article, the woman got out of a car with a rainbow pride sticker. We gather the men who assaulted the woman said they knew her sexual orientation. The article says the police feel the attack was a hate crime.

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In December, Sarah Palin's church suffered a serious fire. A news video on You Tube provides some details about the fire. Authorities believe the fire might be the result of arson. We are not certain if the fire could be a hate crime. The authorities may need additional information before they can determine if hate could be the motivation behind the fire. Setting fire to a church, because of the political views of a well-known member might be classified as a hate crime. Torching a church, because one disagrees with the church's theology could also be classified as a hate crime.

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In other religion-related articles, the Adventist Review web site indicates windows were broken, threats written on walls, and property stolen in five Seventh-day Adventist churches in Serbia. The article states the vandalism " . . . came after a year of escalating crimes against Adventists in Serbia . . ."


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