Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter October 26, 2007

Quote of the month: “I wouldn’t be LGBT, if I had a choice, is internalized self-hate. It’s like saying I wouldn’t be a woman, or a man, or “white,” or a person of color, if I had a choice. It’s the desire to flee something we are.” Robert Minor, Gay and Healthy in a Sick Society, available from Amazon.com.
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Two anniversaries are being marked. October is the ninth year since Matthew Shepard was murdered. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of The Advocate magazine.

The Advocate asked its readers for their 40 gay heroes. Readers voted for their gay heroes. The September 25, 2007 edition of The Advocate magazine contains a short write-up on each of the top 40 gay heroes. The top four gay heroes are: talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, United States Representative Barney Frank, Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to hold an elected office in a major United States city, and Matthew Shepard. Two of the top four gay heroes were murdered in hate crimes.

The death of Matthew Shepard touched the lives of many people. This can easily be seen by the fact that Matthew Shepard, a college student, rated number for on the gay heroes list. He is only surpassed by a famous gay talk-show host, and two gay politicians.

Some of the people Matthew Shepard touched formed a group who started the Stop Hate 2000 web site, a site dedicated to reducing all forms of hate crimes. A number of internet discussion groups started as a result Matthew Shepard’s life. The Matthew Shepard Foundation, a charitable organization founded by Matthew’s mother, Judy Shepard, is making a difference.

A short video remembering Matthew Shepard and other victims of hate crimes can be found on You Tube.
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When we think of the Holocaust, we think of the millions of Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Jewish people were not the only victims of the Holocaust. Masons were also targeted by the Nazis for extermination. An article about Free Masons and the Holocaust can be found on the Grand Lodge of Scotland web site.
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Senator Edward Kennedy gives a short and a powerful speech about hate crimes. In his speech, Senator Kennedy talks about how hate crimes legislation shows the value of each person. The speech can be seen on the You Tube system.
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The internet is not always a safe place for members of minority groups. Cyber bullying is a problem schools and individuals face. Bullies often target people who are members of visible and invisible minority groups. This is true in cases of cyber bullying too. Examples of cyber bullying we are following include:

•The first case is a very serious form of cyber bullying. Matthew Lush is a young adult who created a video against homophobia. In a recent You Tube video, Matthew said he received 17 death threats in the last month. We are very concerned by the homophobic threats Matthew received. A few video responses have been made to the threats Matthew Lush received. One of those videos, Sobering Statistics, gives some statistics regarding gay people and hate crimes. A CNN news story on You Tube discusses death threats on the internet. This form of cyber bullying is extreme. People who have been victimized by internet threats should contact the police immediately. In some cases, the location of the computer used to make threats can be traced.

•In Winnipeg, Canada several students are reported to have been suspended from school for comments on a Facebook web site. We gather the comments bullied, and ridiculed a teenager. Comments posted on the web site are described in the Winnipeg Free Press article as being “profane and homophobic.” An article about the incident can be read on the Mike on Crime web site.

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Crime against homeless people is an increasing concern. Some of these crimes appear to be hate crimes. An Associated Press article on the Mike on Crime web site says a homeless man who was torched close to a church died of his injuries. The man identified as Felix Najera is reported to have had to 40% of his body. Najera was burned while he was asleep.
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A long-standing concern people have voiced about the gay community is that gay people have too much casual sex. Some people seem to feel that straight people are interested in long-term relationships, but gay people are not. The strong fight gay people in some countries have launched to obtain the right to marry helps support the position that gay people are also very interested in long-term relationships. An Advocate news article reports that Canadian gay men and lesbians are getting married at five times the rate seen in the straight community.
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A short 2003 news clip, “Peace, Love and Anti-Semitism,” by Brian Terminal Production can be seen on You Tube. The clip is hosted by Evan Maloney. The video documents some cases of anti-Semitism in the world peace movement. We hope the reported incidents of anti-Semitism are very isolated and do not represent current feelings in the peace movement.
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Interesting You Tube videos on topics related to hate follow:

Homophobia is Wrong - young person speaks out against homophobia on You Tube.

Homophobia in Real Life - young person describes pain of homophobia in families.




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



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