Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter February/March, 2012

Willís father commented about how difficult school is for queer students. ďMost 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.Ē 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 Black teenager, Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman when Trayvon seems to have been on his way home.  Some people believe Trayvon was killed because of his race.  A British Broadcasting Corporation article presents some disturbing information about Trayvon's death. The police are reported to have asked George Zimmerman not to go after Trayvon.  A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation article indicates the 911 call George Zimmerman made contained comments that some people feel are racist.  We gather the remarks might not be distinct enough in the recorded call to be conclusive. At this time, George Zimmerman has not been charged in connection with Trayvon's death. A controversial Florida law could be the reason why George Zimmerman has not been charged.  The Florida "stand your ground" law does not require people who are physically threatened or assaulted to attempt to get away.

To make the situation worse, people have been tweeting the wrong address for George Zimmerman's parents. The family incorrectly identified as George Zimmermanís parents, a different Zimmerman family, left their home, fearing for their safety. A radio news story indicated the other Zimmerman family received many phone calls and a visit from people looking for George Zimmerman.  An US News article says that Spike Lee, who seems to have started the address tweet, apologized to the other Zimmerman family for the mistake and offered to pay for their expenses. An Entertainment on Today article indicates Roseanne Barr tweeted the correct address of the parents of the George Zimmerman, deleted the tweet and threatened to retweet the correct address for George Zimmerman's parents, if George Zimmerman is not brought to justice.

The story would be a comedy of errors, if the story had any remotely humorous incidents.  Had George Zimmerman not pursued Trayvon, the young man would still be alive.  Zimmerman's actions, which could be considered to be vigilantism, resulted in a death.  Zimmerman should have left the situation with the authorities.  Now we see people engaging in cyber bullying and intimidation, by tweeting and retweeting both the wrong and the correct addresses of George Zimmerman's parents.  People who phoned the wrong home definitely engaged in bullying, and, depending on the content of their phone calls, criminal behavior.  Cyber vigilantism could have the same serious results as other forms of vigilantism.  People are legally liable for the content of what post and the messages they send using social media.

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Same-sex marriage continues to be in the news.  California courts ruled that Proposition 8, a voter initiative that stripped gay men and lesbians of the right to marry, was discriminatory and was unconstitutional.  An article about California celebrations of the decision can be found on the Advocate website. Unfortunately, this battle for gay human rights could be far from finished.  An article on the Courage Campaign website informs us that ProtectMarriage.Com and the National Organization for Marriage stated they plan on appealing the decision to the Supreme Court.

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Craig Anderson, a Black man, was killed by a group of White teenagers in Mississippi.  The youth assaulted Craig Anderson and ran over him with a truck.  An article about the guilty plea of three of the men charged in connection with Anderson's death can be found on the CNN website.

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Dharun Ravi, Tyler Clementi's roommate, was found guilty on fifteen charges in connection with videoing Tyler Clementi while having sex with a man. Tyler Clementi took his life not long after he learned his sexual encounter became public. An article discussing this hate crime and bullying can be found on the National Post website.

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Atlanta is in the news for what appears to be an assault on a gay man.  The video seems to have been taken by a person who was indirectly involved in the assault.  The man video recording the event seems to be encouraging the assault, which is performed by other men.  A Washington Post article provides a description of the assault. The video could be disturbing to some people.  Those who feel comfortable watching the video can see it on You Tube.

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A You Tuber created a video about the history of homophobia in Alberta, Canada and about how legal court cases in Alberta and programs developed in Alberta have helped improve life for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-identified people across Canada. The short video can be watched on You Tube.

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A news article on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation website informs us of a white supremacist demonstration that took place in Edmonton, Canada.  The supremacists were met by a group of counter protestors, who ended up chasing the supremacists.  The police intervened to ensure the supremacists were able to safely leave the area.

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One episode of the ABC show "What Would You Do?" underscores the problems the straight children of gay and lesbian parents face.  There is a tendency for the straight children of queer parents to be bullied in school.  An article about the "What Would You Do?" show can be read on the Advocate website.

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February marked Pink Shirt Day, a day when people wear pink shirts to show their support for students who are bullied.  Bullying is a serious problem.  As the media publicizes news of some suicides that appear to be related to bullying, the serious nature of bullying continues to catch national, and, in some cases, international attention.  Pink Shirt Day is becoming increasingly popular, with students and teachers in many schools participating and with people in some business and office environments wearing pink on Pink Shirt Day.

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Mohamed Merah, a 24 year-old man, killed three students and a teacher at a Jewish school in France.  An editorial in the Jerusalem Post informs is that Mohamed Merah was educated in jihadi camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan and had ties to a branch of al- Qaida.  The editorial also discusses elements of European anti-Semitism.

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