Monday, December 22, 2008

Out lesbian is victim of violent hate crime  

Hate crimes against GLBT people are completely out of control. Yahoo! News has an extremely upsetting story about a 28 year-old out lesbian who was jumped by four male strangers, who saw the rainbow sticker on her car and taunted her for being a lesbian. They beat her, raped her, and robbed her. I can't imagine she'll ever fully recover emotionally from this event.

There were 1,415 sexual orientation-based hate crimes in 2006 and 1,460 in 2007. It's a fucked up world we live in.

What You Can Do:
  • Learn more about hate crimes - who they happen to, how they happen, and how often they occur.
  • Contact your representatives and urge them to champion stronger hate crime laws.
  • Host anti-hate events, like Stop the Hate, on your campus or in your community.
  • Contact your local media and persuade them to cover hate crimes that don't get enough media coverage, like this one.

What next?

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6 comments: to “ Out lesbian is victim of violent hate crime

  • December 23, 2008 at 9:58 AM  

    Oh my god, that is so horrible. I don't doubt that all of the recent talk about gay marriage rights has resulted in more hatred brewing in homophobes. Disgusting.

    Though, I don't get why rape isn't always considered a hate crime. The motivation is always to gain power over a woman. It's misogynistic in it's definition.

  • December 23, 2008 at 10:35 AM  

    This vicious, violent criminal sexual attack upon this victim, in this case a lesbian, represents just that - a criminal event. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the entire "Hate Crime" movement is completely out-of-touch with the reality of violent crime.
    Prioritizing violent crime based upon the self-identified personal attributes of the victim is wrong, and undermines the very premise of equality under the law.
    Imposing harsher criminal penalities upon those convicted of these crimes is lacking in any basic rhyme or reason.
    Perhaps the concept of "hate crime" retribution is better left for victims seeking civil remedy under our tort system.
    Lastly, even suggesting that "rape" be classified as a "hate crime" demonstrates a lack of understanding in both the crime and the criminal justice system.

  • December 23, 2008 at 10:53 AM  

    Well, Danyell, keep in mind that rape is a violent act. It is often used to keep women down, as seen in other countries as well, such as the Republic of Congo, where the rebels use it as a war tactic. It's possible that these men wanted to harm this woman as much as possible - and everyone can agree that to be the victim of a rape is one of the most traumatizing experiences that can happen to you.

    Hollywood Beach, I think hate crime laws are essential. It isn't trying to "prioritize" anything - it's adding on an additional punishment for spreading hate. Our ultimate goal in this nation is one of equality and acceptance - how can we possibly reach that if we don't use harsher punishments for those who believe that certain groups are superior to others, and thus violence against these "inferior" groups is justified? Violence is one thing, but using violence as a way to attack an entire group of people is in another category. It's not prioritizing - it's making sure that the punishment fits the crime.

  • December 23, 2008 at 2:24 PM  

    Amy- I'm confused if your comment was agreeing or disagreeing with mine.

    In general, I'm not entirely convinced that naming anything a "hate crime" is in fact progressive. I do think to a certain extent it "prioritizes" some forms of violence. It sends a signal that attacking someone because of what group they might belong to is worse than random violence, or violence for profit.

    But also, as I said before, some things aren't considered "hate crimes" that should be. And sometimes it's the other way around. Have there been times that someone was charged with a "hate crime" when prejudice was not actually a motive? (Say, for example, a White male assaults another White male because of some dispute and it turns out the 2nd guy is actually gay, but the 1st had no idea. If you don't know all the details, it could appear to be a hate crime, when it is just a violent crime.)

  • December 23, 2008 at 2:25 PM  

    Hate Crime laws impose a harsher penalty on some crimes than on others, which are politically determined - in other words,which call some crimes more socially egregious than other similar crimes based upon a description of the victim.
    "Hate Crime" advocates generally classify all crimes upon GLBT victims as worthy of a "Hate Crime" label.
    In truth, a GLBT victim of a violent crime shares the similarity of the seemingly less-worthy hetero victim of being accessibile and vulnerable to the criminal offender at the time of the crime, in other words, crimes of opportunity.
    These crimes also fail to take into account gay-on-gay crimes.
    All violent crimes demonstrate a degree of animosity toward the victim - and the courts have held that "hated" is not a required element in hate crimes.
    Every single crime should offend every other person - regardless of any designated victim label. We should stop trying to make our victims as somehow more violated than any other crime victim.
    A secondary crime of immense importance is the failure of local law enforcement agencies to recognize, respond to, and thoroughly investigate GLBT-oriented crimes. This should be a higher issue of importance to anyone concerned with GLBT-victim crimes.

  • December 23, 2008 at 3:58 PM  

    Danyell, I'm sorry if you were confused, but basically, here's my main argument: hate crime laws are definitely not perfect, but I really feel that they play an important part.

    Hollywood, I tend to disagree with you when you said: "We should stop trying to make our victims as somehow more violated than any other crime victim."

    I understand what you're saying, but in the end, I think that when someone is attacked for their personal beliefs, orientation, race, religion, etc, it is a different degree of violation than if they were attacked randomly. Imagine that a Black woman is jumped in a park by a man who beats her repeatedly and steals her wallet. Very traumatizing. But now imagine the same situation happens, but while beating her, the man yells out racial slurs. You cannot tell me that this woman is not more susceptible to emotional damage in the 2nd scenario than in the 1st. Because as horrible as it is to have someone attack you physically, it can worse to be simultaneously attacked emotionally.