Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-07-19
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

VIEWS: We are Trayvon Martin: LGBTs, Blacks united by murder
by Rev. Irene Monroe
2012-04-11

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


What does Trayvon Martin's murder have to do with gay-rights protection?

The quick answer is the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act (mostly known by Matthew Shepard's name). And this might be the only option the Florida Justice Department has in moving forward to arrest George Zimmerman and charge him with murder.

The nation is outraged that in 2012 an unarmed, African-American, 17-year-old high school student can be shot dead by a neighborhood watch captain because his egregious offense was "walking while Black" in a gated community.

By now you are familiar with the story. On Feb. 26, Trayvon Martin left a 7-Eleven convenience store to head back home to his father's fiancée's gated community in the Retreat At Twin Lakes in Sanford, Fla. George Zimmerman, 28, of mixed ethnic descent (mother's Peruvian, and father's Jewish—he identifies as Hispanic) began following Martin and called the Sanford Police Department. Although Zimmerman was advised by his superior not to pursue Martin, he shot Martin in self-defense after a physical altercation initiated supposedly by Martin.

Was Zimmerman motivated by racism, therefore, racially profiling Martin?

And was Zimmerman's act also a hate crime?

Many politicians are throwing around the "H-word" concerning Martin's murder. Now many African-Americans are, too.

Renowned African-American filmmaker Tyler Perry told CNN.com that "Racial profiling should be a hate crime investigated by the FBI. That way, local government can't make the decision on whether or not these people get punished."

Perry recalled his experience when he was pulled by Atlanta police for making an illegal turn and having tinted windows. Then a Black officer pulled up at the scene, recognizing Perry. The arresting officers apologized and let him go. Perry stated that the incident, however, has stayed with him, opening his eyes to what type of treatment he might have endured if it wasn't for his celebrity status.

In 2009, President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act in law. Many African Americans were irate that their protection under the law—which they argue they have fought for since being shipped to America in 1619—had to be associated with a white gay male who was killed in 1998.

Some African Americans, and, of course, heterosexual homophobes, wanted to know why couldn't they have the James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act act solely to protect them. Many further argued that the law would serve to solely protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender and queer Americans and would do precious little to protect them, particularly since the bill is commonly referred to as the Matthew Shepard Act.

"The more time I spend in the LGBT community's civil-rights movement the more I'm struck by the need for all the various human communities to support one another. ... Martin's death is as personal to me as any white lesbian's death. Martin is my brother, and whether one is Black, white, gay or straight, we are all human beings together in this struggle for human dignity. It's as simple as that," Carol Fischer, wrote me in an email. Fischer's a white lesbian and producer of bloomingOUT, a weekly queer radio show on WFHB Radio Station in Bloomington, Ind.

In 1998 both James Byrd Jr., and Matthew Shepard were victims of bias-motivated crimes. Byrd, an African American was murdered by three white supremacists who chained him to the back of their pick-up truck at his ankles and dragged along a three-mile asphalt road until he was dismembered. Shepard was tortured, tethered to a fence and left to die because he was gay.

With Florida's Stand Your Ground permitting Zimmerman to walk without charges, the Shepard-Byrd statute not only reminds us of how bias-motivated crimes links gays and Blacks, but that it's also the best hope for Trayvon Martin and his family seeking justice.


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

GUEST COLUMN Supporting Black & Pink 2017-07-19 - I have always taken more of an "academic" approach to the world, preferring to learn by keeping my nose in a book rather ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN Harry Potter and the LGBTQ family 2017-07-19 - June 26 is an auspicious date. Not only did the U.S. Supreme Court issue its marriage-equality decision on that day in 2015, but ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINTS I am a bad homosexual 2017-07-18 - The following is a June 25 Facebook post that was reprinted with permission: I am a bad homosexual. I won't be ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN School: Still not so safe 2017-07-12 - In the year of 2017 LGBT culture has become more accepted, but tensions are still high in places such as public schools. ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINTS Will the Court let business refuse the LGBTQ community? 2017-07-12 - Recently, the U. S. Supreme Court announced that in the fall it will hear the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. ...


Gay News

Paragraph 175 revisited: Genocide in Chechnya 2017-07-11 - The Russian government openly supports the persecution of LGBT individuals and imprisons detractors, according to many reports. What is happening in Chechnya ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINTS If you're not Black, use the N-word at your own risk 2017-07-04 - "Death and life are in the power of the tongue."—Proverbs 18:21. That's one of my favorite Bible verses. It came to mind ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINTS The enduring use of the N-word 2017-06-28 - In this political climate hate speech is becoming common use. And there has been an uptick of the use of the N-word, even ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN From the Inside Out 2017-06-21 - In prison, everything gets around by word of mouth, and that's how I first heard about Black and Pink. When I was ...


Gay News

VIEWS LGBTQ pride events display disparities 2017-06-21 - June is Pride Month for LGBTQ communities across the country—and parades abound. While we all rev up each June for pride so, too, ...


 



Copyright © 2017 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
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos 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      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.