Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter August 5, 2000
been two months since we last wrote, and, to compensate for that,
we've got a lot of news to pass on.
On July 29, David and Monie met with Judy Shepard, and presented her with
the memorial quilt we had been working on. Here's David's report:
I am pleased to report that at long last, the
Matthew Shepard Memorial Quilt has been presented to Judy Shepard.
She seemed very pleased with the quilt and complimented those who
participated in the project. It is now hoped that the Matthew Shepard
Foundation will make the quilt an ongoing project. Whatever happens,
it is now finally in Judy's hands.
She asked me to write her when I returned home after my visit out
here to Wyoming. At that time, I will ask if she wants one of the
pictures the Monie took placed on her Web site. I will also look into
putting one of them on our site as well.
Now, with this major mission accomplished, we move on to other
endeavors, but keep up the initial goal of helping to spread the word
about hate crimes.
Alas, there have been two hate crimes which we have to report. One
quite some time ago (in October, 1999) in Barron, Wisconsin. Two men lured
Michael Hatch out of a bar on the promise of a party in the bush, robbed
him of $48, and beat him to death with a tire iron. Michael was gay
(and had a hearing disability as well), and the state regards it as a
crime motivated by hate for a specific group. The trial of the two charged
with the crime is now underway, and, so far, has not been reported
anywhere outside northern Wisconsin and in one of the St. Paul newspapers.
Apart from observing that we do need to remember any of these cases when
they happen, we see some additional interest in that there is a so-called
"hate crime" law in Wisconsin, and seeing how it may play a role in the
trial will be worth watching.
Local reports have been picked up by Associated Press, but haven't been
picked up by many newspapers. We have received a request from one of the
residents of Barron, Steve Reed, who asks that news media outside the area
be asked to carry this story.
Another story, from Cedar City, West Virginia, has been better reported.
Arthur ("J.R.") Warren, Jr. was killed by a two men whom he mistakenly
thought were his friends. It's not yet clear just what led to this: he was
black as well as gay, and the townspeople think it may be either reason or
both. His father felt very strongly about the murder, and he wanted his
community to face up to it. he insisted that his son's coffin remain open
at the funeral, so all could see what had been done to him. It was quite
So there is still work to be done.
Another father who has some pretty strong feelings on these issues is
Dennis Shepard. We have learned that he may be speaking at the Democratic
National Convention next week. We haven't yet been able to confirm this,
however. We have learned that the Convention expects to have two panel
discussions of citizens, one on the economy on Tuesday, August 15 and
another on social issues on Wednesday, August, so our best guess is that
he would be on that second one. If we learn any more, we'll post it on our
message board. However, if you want to contact the party for details, you
Since we wrote, there has been some news about the passage of another
"hate law", this time in New York. It had been held up for quite a long
time because there was disagreement about including sexual orientation in
the law. this gives us a chance to remind you of a good website set up by
the aunt of Steen Fenrich, whose death we reported some months ago. She
has more details about this story at:
Or reach it through the memorial link Doreen Jones has made with our site,
both through our memorial links, and on our message board.
We would also like to remind you of two other things we've mentioned
There's the case of Mike Batey who, in the opinion of at least one of the
group who keep this site going was the victim of a false conviction based
on his sexual orientation. have a look at:
And we have mentioned the play, "The Laramie Project" which is now playing
in New York. We have located a website which may be helpful to anybody who
wishes more details:
Last, and very far from least, we were contacted by a lady from
Connecticut who has been beset by a neighbor who left a racist note on
her door, and who then offered to settle it by a fist fight. If there's
anybody who has any idea how she might be able to find help, please let us
And, as for most of us, the holiday season isn't over, we hope you
continue to enjoy it, and trust you don't have to contend with the grass
and forest fires.
The Stop Hate 2000 e-Team
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