Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter January 5, 2001

Dear Friends,

Even the most rigorous calendar purist will likely admit we're into the new millennium. So maybe we're safe in wishing everybody not only a happy new year, but happy new millennium!

Although this has not been too eventful a month, and so this may be one of our shorter letters, there are a few things we do have to announce.

First, there will be a movie based on Matthew Shepard's murder, "Anatomy of a Hate Crime" which MTV will air on January 10 at 8:00p.m. Eastern and Pacific time. As a documentary, it seems that there may be difficulties, but it may be a powerful artistic statement about the consequences of hate. As we've noted here before, artistic statements matter.

Second, we called attention to an apparent hate crime which Megan posted on our message board. Megan has since written us privately to say that there now is doubt as to the genuineness of this story. Anybody who wants to help should contact Megan first before making up their minds. Thanks, Megan, for alerting us.

On several occasions, we have mentioned the case of Mike Batey, and suggested that anybody who might be interested in helping out look at the internet link we've left in our newsletters. In light of the previous paragraph, it's important to say that we have had reliable sources about this one. However, we've tried to be careful to let you make up your own mind about it, and there it is. Again, the link is through:

There has been word about a case which seems similar, but, after an initial call for help (more by way of advice than money), nothing more has been heard. It may be wroth checking out, but in light of Megan's experience, you may want to be cautious. The appeal can be found at:

If this link doesn't work, the poster's e-mail address is:

Unfortunately, we have to report an undoubted crime which has caught international attention. 10-year-old Damilola Taylor bled to death after being stabbed on November 24 in the Peckham area of Lambeth Borough in London, England. Because no suspects have been arrested as yet, there's still a lot of debate about the causes of Dami's murder.

Dami's family had recently moved to England from Nigeria, where his father is a civil servant. His sister needed medical treatment not available in Nigeria. Dami was a quiet, studious and polite boy, and was an early and favorite target of bullies at his school. The degree to which the school has dealt or not dealt with this issue is a matter of hot debate.

About two weeks before he was killed, Dami asked his mother what "gay" meant. She, of course, wished to know why he asked. He replied that a number of the others at school were calling him that. It was first reported as a gay-bashing. Perhaps it was. Being quiet, polite and studious may make you seem to be. Otherwise, it's hard to know a 10 year old boy's sexuality can be determined.

If true, it's another example of an old story. You don't have to be gay to be attacked as such.

Things may not be quite as clear as that. There has been some question as to whether racism might have been an issue. In one sense, it is not. Dami's tormentors were almost entirely as black as he was. However, it may be. The black community is divided between those who have come directly from Africa and those who have come from the Caribbean, and there is bad blood between them. Some Caribbean blacks believe the African blacks are too submissive, too polite, and to willing to integrate into white English society. Dami may have been a victim of this specialized ethnic conflict.

In any case, there's lots of questions still unresolved. For those who've seen it though, the tape showing Dami leaving the local library ten minutes before he was found bleeding to death is terrible viewing. He was in a happy mood, skipping along his way home. We'll keep you posted as we learn more.

Not the best way to begin a new year, but one which should strengthen our resolve to find better ways ahead.

The Stop Hate 2000 e-Team

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