Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter November, 2011

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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Conflict brings out the worst in people.  Some people would not make a racist, sexist or a homophobic comment until there is conflict.  When conflict arises, racist or homophobic rhetoric maybe used to express frustration and opposition to what is taking place.  In cases where people do not have the communication skills to express problems in a positive manner, racist or homophobic remarks might be more a symptom of inadequate communication skills than it is a symptom of deep racism or homophobia.

A recent case in Colorado might illustrate how conflict can escalate into hate and can terrorize individuals.  A lesbian couple living in Parker, Colorado appears to have had some conflict with members of their condominium association regarding noise and failure to clean up after their dogs.  According to an article on the Tower Road website, somebody painted "kill the gay" on their garage and left a noose on the doorstep.  We do not know if disagreements with their neighbors caused the hate or if the hate was mainly due to the couple's sexual orientation.

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An article in The Examiner, a San Francisco news website, informs us that the police are looking for five men in connection with a beating three men received in the Mission district of San Francisco.  We gather from the news article, the attackers made homophobic comments during the attack, which left one of the victims with a broken jaw.

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Debates about how the names of some sports teams could be racist are not new.  Some people see no difference between using the names of Indian tribes for sports teams and using Team Canada as the name of an Olympics sports group.  There are cases, however, when the names used for sports teams are terms that were historically used as insults.  Is calling a sports team a name that was once a racist term appropriate?

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation website carries an article about a forum hosted by the University of Saskatchewan, which discussed the role racism might have played in the selection of sports team names.  Some people at the forum called for a name change for the Redmen sports team.

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Two men, Gary Dobson and David Norris, are on trial for the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence.  According to an article on the Reuters website, Lawrence, a black man, was attacked by a gang of white youth and was stabbed to death.

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A Huffington Post article reports on FBI hate crimes statistics.  According to the article, the percentage of hate crimes against the Latino/Latina community increased in 2010.  The article states that 2/3rds of the victims of ethnically motivated hate crimes were Latinos/Latinas.  Another Huffington Post article reports that 70% of all racially motivated hate crimes target Blacks.

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A WSOCTV article reports that several churches in the Stanly and Anson counties of North Carolina were vandalized.  The churches had graffiti ranging from swastikas to racist comments to male genitalia.

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Fighting bullying in schools can be difficult.  A host of attitudes make it difficult to successfully address bullying.  Some people take the position that bullying is part of the developmental and maturational process.  Students need to experience bullying to be able to develop into functional adults.  Other people do not believe bullying is serious.  Even when faced with the reality that bullying can cause suicides, some people believe bullies are just “boys being boys.”  A common belief is that the victim had to have done something to deserve being bullied.  Because bullying is very common, some teachers, support staff and school administrators take the position that too much time and energy will be spent trying to stop bullying to make anti-bullying programs effective.  When students engage in religious expressions of homophobic bullying, parents may take the position that the bullying is a religious right.  In some regions of the world, there is religious bullying between Catholics and Protestants, Christians and Jews, or Christians and Muslims.  Religious convictions are a right, but abusing or bullying people who have different religious convictions is not a right.  Bullying is an educational issues and a health and safety issue, because bullying compromises students’ health and compromises students’ academic performance.  Because about 80% of bullying is homophobic, we know many straight students are the targets of homophobic bullying.  Stopping all bullying, especially homophobic bullying, is a health and safety matter for straight and gay students.

In Edmonton, Canada, the public school board took a brave stand against bullying that targets students and staff who are perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans-identified.  As a result of the vote, Edmonton Public School Division became the first school division in the prairie provinces to implement a policy to specifically address bullying of sexual minority students and staff.  An Edmonton activist informed this contributor that the school board unanimously voted for the anti-gay bullying policy.  Additional information about the policy can be found in an online Calgary Herald article.

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The Anti-Defamation League published a press release in response to the FBI's 2010 hate crimes statistics.  The ADL expresses concern that at a time when violent crimes overall decreased, there has been an increase on hate crimes.  An ADL article notes the increase in crimes against Latinos, Muslims, GLBT individuals and the Jewish community during 2010.


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


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