Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor


  IDENTITY

Who Needs Hate?
by Yasmin Nair
2005-06-01

This article shared 4963 times since Wed Jun 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs ( NCAVP ) recently released its annual report on violence against gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people. The group reports a 4% increase in anti-GLBT incidents, totaling 1,792. A press statement about the report issued by the Michigan-based Triangle Foundation declared that there has been a "toxic climate" against gays in the last year. The report itself addresses the Right's "open warfare against all that they hold in contempt, including and especially the LGBT community."

With language like this, it's easy to believe that queers are in a state of siege, surrounded by hatred, that utterly unquantifiable emotion. But we ought to stop and think carefully about this concept of hate and where it takes us. Reports like this one seem to only detail the facts about incidents of violence. But the truth is that the apparently simple concept of hate violence/crimes ( the idea that some crimes are motivated by hatred towards specific groups ) in fact leads directly to hate crime legislation which in turn has insidious effects on the justice system.

To designate a crime as one motivated by hate means to implicitly ask that the penalty be substantially higher. Penalty enhancement leads to absurdly greater levels of punishment and even the death penalty. My own report on the Daniel Fetty case ( www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php ) shows how even the possibility that a crime was "hateful" can be used to bring the death penalty to the table even when the legislation is not in place. And surely state-sponsored murder is among the most violent acts in society.

Moreover, "hate" is as unstable and illogical a legal concept as it is an emotion. Determining what counts as an act of violence against GLBTQs or a "hate crime" produces results that are often bizarre and at times even laughable.

One example of the former is this "case narrative" from the NCAVP report, which I quote in its entirety: "A 19 year-old man was bludgeoned to death with a pipe while standing on a corner in Queens. ( New York ) " I see the horrific crime, but not why it's included in a report about anti-gay violence. And there are laws on the books to punish murder. In another instance, a bar owner was found asphyxiated inside his establishment in Binghamton, New York. What are we to note here, besides the possibility that the victim was gay? And why are we not content to find the murderer and simply prosecute him or her for murder?

A Chicago incident from April 2004 sheds a different light on "hate crimes." Mike Banko and Jeffrey Durbin reported being attacked by a group that included a woman who threatened them with a baseball bat and allegedly screamed that she would "take care of the faggots." The investigation of the incident as a possible hate crime was dropped when the woman, Myrna Vazquez, turned out to be a lesbian; police then decided that the altercation resulted from "road rage." The quick shift in this case, from hate to no hate, only shows how ludicrous and unreliable hate can be as a legal concept. Even if we took "hate" seriously: was it determined that a lesbian could simply not hate gay men because of her own identity? What if either man had called Vazquez a dyke? Would that be no less hateful? Would the two men have been punished for "hateful speech," but only if they had been straight, just as Vazquez was to be punished for calling them faggots? Does threatening someone with a bat not constitute enough of a crime? Are we now to police thought and speech as well?

How do we measure hate? How do we decide what counts as a homophobic crime? And who ever committed a crime of violence out of love? None of these questions are answered by the incessant call on the part of anti-violence groups and "victim advocates" to record and register hate. The resulting rise in hate crimes legislation means a further curtailment of civil liberties. Post 9/11, we are faced with increased surveillance of our actions and speech. Tabulating and recording supposedly homophobic "hate" means that we LGBTQs are actually asking for an increase in the patrolling of thought and speech. Far from providing justice to all, laws based on "hate" confer special status to a few whose suffering is deemed worse than that of others. The concept of hate crimes and hate crime legislation can never be part of a progressive agenda for social justice. We need to get rid of both.

welshzen@yahoo.com


This article shared 4963 times since Wed Jun 1, 2005
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Aurora garden damage seen as possible hate crime 2020-09-02
- In Aurora, a garden that included a shed painted rainbow colors to support the LGBTQ community was destroyed recently after someone smashed it with a pickup truck—and local authorities are viewing the attack as a possible ...


Gay News

Annual event spotlights trans lives lost 2020-08-30
- On Aug. 30, Valerie Griffin celebrated the life of her daughter—Dejanay Stanton, a trans woman of color—with an annual summer get-together billed as "The Main Event Part 2." The event, in its second year, was also ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'Disarm Hate' features LGBTQ+ gun-control activists after massacre 2020-08-18
- Narrated by the iconic actor Harvey Fierstein, the film Disarm Hate seeks to create awareness about gun violence against the LGBTQ+ community following the 2016 Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando that took 49 lives as the ...


Gay News

Smollett indicted on new charges 2020-02-11
- Embattled actor Jussie Smollett has been indicted on new criminal charges nearly a year after Cook County prosecutors dropped disorderly-conduct counts against him for allegedly arranging a racist, homophobic attack ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Backlash in Tennessee, judge dies, voucher program, hate-crimes bill 2020-02-11
- More than 140 businesses signed a letter announcing their opposition to Tennessee's recent slew of anti-LGBTQ laws, which has been dubbed the "slate of hate" by activist groups, NBC News noted. The collective, known as the ...


Gay News

FBI report shows rise in anti-LGBTQ hate crimes 2019-11-12
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released its annual report on hate crimes in the United States, finding that 2018 saw a rise in anti-LGBTQ hate crimes across the nation—up nearly a percent when compared to ...


Gay News

LETTER Response to hate 2019-10-30
- Dear Editor: God's presence is always reflected in us. As a person of faith, I believe in Jesus Christ. No wonder this generation is starving for the community, connection and relationship when we see attacks on ...


Gay News

WORLD Pride events, UK hate crime stats, lesbian Colombian politician 2019-10-29
- Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Taipei for the 17th annual pride parade, with organizers expecting a record turnout after the Taiwan government became the first in Asia to pass same-sex marriage ...


Gay News

New report details network of organizations working against LGBT rights 2019-10-10
- (Washington, DC) Today, Accountable for Equality released a new report that outlines the vast and broad network of state and national organizations working to eradicate equal rights for LGBT Americans. The report, titled Blocking Progress & ...


Gay News

Reports: Would-be Vegas bomber targeted Jewish, LGBTQ communities 2019-08-10
- A man who authorities say worked as a security guard was arrested and accused of plotting to firebomb a Las Vegas synagogue or a LGBTQ-centered nightclub/bar, CBS News reported. An FBI-led anti-terrorism task force arrested Las ...


Gay News

LGBT flags vandalized at Wicker Park church 2019-06-26
- Police are investigating a possible hate crime after a message was spray-painted on an LGBT flag at Wicker Park Lutheran Church, 1500 N. Hoyne Ave., WGN-TV reported. Surveillance video shows the vandal armed with spray paint ...


Gay News

Barrington community members show support after hate crime 2019-06-11
- Local politicians and Barrington residents were among those who registered support the evening of June 10 at a meeting of the Barrington village board in support of a gay student whose house had been vandalized. Police ...


Gay News

Student bullied in Barrington, Commissioner Morrison responds 2019-06-10
- ELK GROVE, Ill. —June 10, 2019—Cook County Commissioner Kevin B. Morrison calls on residents to support one another amidst recent bullying and harassment of an LGBTQ youth in Barrington. Commissioner Morrison said, "We must all work ...


Gay News

Gay teens claim bias by Big Boy Gyros 2019-05-29
- Two teens from Lane Tech High School—Kendall Anderson and Peder Sevig—have accused Big Boy Gyros, 3541 N. Western Ave., of anti-LGBT discrimination stemming from an alleged incident involving a hug between the couple at the restaurant ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Presidential candidates, Truth Awards, Chick-fil-A, hate crimes 2019-03-26
- Democratic presidential hopefuls will speak about their views and policy platforms regarding LGBTQ rights at a debate at UCLA on Oct. 10—the eve of National Coming Out Day, NBC News reported. UCLA's Luskin School of Public ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Privacy Policy     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.