Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter March, 2000
At the end of another month, it's not
difficult to find new
tragedies. The one which will have caught most of our attention was the
latest school shooting, which is all the more pathetic because the shooter
is as much a victim as the one shot. It is a reminder how hate can take
the form of neglect and indifference, and the sheer disregard for anybody
or anything but our own desire of the moment. That, of course, affected
another family, who saw their young son dragged to death by a carjacker
who didn't care. And we were reminded that hate can be found anywhere: a
black man thought it right to start shooting whites because they were
white. And Columbine High School was hurt again, this time when two more
of its students were killed in a fast food store robbery.
Sometimes this just simply gets to be too much. And all the faces
and names begin to blur together, and it becomes harder to relate to the
many victims. It also is easy to give in to despair, and give up trying to
fight this part of our nature and society. It's why we often choose to
deplore these events and pass on. Sometimes it can seem to be a fault to
focus in on only one victim, as many of us did with Matthew Shepard, but
it seems better than some of the alternatives. Doing that can bring the
problem back to what it really is: something which hurts people as
individuals and is a fundamental attack on the humanity in all of us.
This site is dedicated to the idea that any effort in favor of
love and kindness is worth pursuing. When Lee Thompson started up the
ancestor of this site, he was concentrating on a continent-wide hike to
make that point. It turned into two or three smaller hikes, but in being
done at all, they achieved their purpose. We have been concentrating on
a related idea in working towards the memorial quilt for the past few
months. And, to be honest, we're now searching for another thing to focus
The quilt is not yet done, but it is coming along. It looked as if
we could finish it with 64 pieces, but then a bunch more came in, and it
threatens to push Monie out of house and home! But we really are very
grateful to everybody who's been contributing. Each piece has its own
story, and they all need to be recalled.
There are some things which did come to our attention over the
past month as things we might like to look at. One, just as a matter of
information, concerns Matthew. there's a play about him called "The
Laramie Project" which has opened in Denver, and which has been getting
good reviews, not least from people who knew Matthew personally. You can
find out more on our bulletin board.
Similarly, on our bulletin board, we've heard a call for help for
a victim of hate who's still alive. Opinions may well vary about Mike
Batey, but the opinion of one of us who has followed this case for some
time is that this is a classic case of a miscarriage of justice, fuelled
by a community's prejudice. Anyway, there's a note on our bulletin board,
and if you'd like to know more, have a look at
To our embarrassment, we missed telling anybody about Acts of
Random Kindness Week until it was actually occurring. We also blew it in
not passing on any possible sites worth looking at. We apologize, blushing
deeply. However, one site which might be attractive might be
It's a site of ideas put together by
schoolchildren in Alberta, Canada.
We've added a couple of new links to our site, and hope you find
then worth exploring.
Finally, Archbishop Desmond Tutu received an honorary degree in
Toronto last month. His convocation speech was quite moving, and
did much to give the basis for a way to overcome the pains of past
injustices. It appeared as a newspaper article in the (Toronto) Globe and
Mail, and if we can work out the means of doing it, may find a way to
circulate it to you. It's worth while reading.
We'd like to close by repeating something which we said when we
started these newsletters last fall. We're just a group of friends who
felt we had to find a way to continue the work begun through the old IHAVE
site and the BEAR foundation. We don't have any more status than you have,
and we'd like to think that this site is yours. We really do appreciate
any ideas or information you pass along: it's vital. Keep those cards and
The Stop Hate 2000 e-Team
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