Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter February 5, 2001

Dear Friends,

The MTV special presentation, "Anatomy of a Hate Crime" reawakened a lot of memories, and reintroduced the murder of Matthew Shepard to a great many young people who were too young to recall what happened at the time. We'll get back to it. But there are at least two matters which we'd like to call your attention to first.

Theresa has posted notice of considerable importance on our bulletin board. This concerns a case where a young male (age not given here, Kevin McCauley) seems to have been murdered, and where the authorities may be trying to pretend otherwise. Theresa Kerns, who posted this notice, is another mother who has had a murdered child. In her case, her six-year-old son was raped and killed. She's a woman of great moral courage, and is usually careful about checking things out. The e-mail address which Theresa meant to leave on the posting didn't register, so you'll have to get it through her e-mail address, which is:

Word has reached us of a really dreadful murder in Buffalo, New York, which may or may not be a hate crime. In any case, the murder of James Mack was an extremely savage one. It still is to be seen just what the motive is. The most recent reference we have to this case is:

We are keeping track of the murder case of Damilola Taylor, which we mentioned in last month's newsletter. There isn't much new to report. There have been some 14 arrests, all of youths aged 13 to 15, but no charges have yet been laid. As we hear more, we'll pass it along.

Finally, Jim TC has called our attention to a god article on the matter of parents' reactions to gay or lesbian children. The URL link is:

As noted, the television movie, "Anatomy of a Hate Crime", a dramatic re-enactment of the Matthew Shepard murder was broadcast not once, but several times on MTV. So far, it has not been aired outside of the United States, although perhaps this will change later on. The movie was unquestionably done in a good cause, and it is a very powerful artistic statement. It does have quite a few errors in fact and interpretation, not all of them minor ones, however, and that should be borne in mind. The Shepard family did not assist with this production. They are working with the producers of another television movie which will air on NBC later this year.

This has led to some more activity on both our Message Board and Guest Book. As you may notice, not all of them have been complimentary. Our feeling is that we should leave these up. They express attitudes which exist, and are good examples of now to cure the illnesses of hatred and violence. Perhaps some response to a couple may be in order.

Blaize of South Florida apparently does not like hate laws. Very good. There's some debate within the Stop Hate 2000 about their advisability. We do not disagree, however, that part of the process of education about them is providing information about them. If Blaize has a better idea, he could usefully share it with us. Otherwise, if we're to be condemned for Political Correctness, we'll live with it.

Most of our collective isn't gay. But in different ways, we have seen the hate which killed Matthew affect our own lives, and in many different forms. To recall one of George Orwell's observations, "hate is like a plumber's torch. It can be turned instantly in any direction." It's quite possible that it would have killed Matthew even if he hadn't been gay: he was too easy a target for others' hate and envy even without that. The Simon Wiesenthal Centre can tell you about another form of it. So could the Charlotte Wetzel Foundation. There is something which speaks to the entire human condition summed up in this particular tragedy. That is something Matthew himself felt strongly about. If it is true that the GLBT community is better organized and more articulate than other groups marked for persecution, well, good for them. They provide a model for others.

The irony is that in this site's early stages, we were more frequently attacked for not focusing in solely on the gay rights implications of his death.

And, briefly, to a comment by Lisa. yes, of course members of persecuted minorities can be hateful. It's as wrong there as anywhere else. What's to be gained by continuing the cycle is not clear. "Fighting fire with fire" usually means just hat much more burnt ground. And people.

Finally, an IMPORTANT NOTICE. Another individual has obtained use of the name. It is a hate site. If you do recommend our site to others, make sure you refer them to the ".org""!

The Stop Hate 2000 e-Team

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