haters and bashers

because that is what bashers do to lure queer folk
bashers even go into gay bars and pick men up and then take them to their friends for a beating
it is really ugly what they do
so in a weird way, sex rooms in the clubs are kinda safer in a way – as long as you use condoms
when I worked for the gay paper
I interviewed a guy that that happened to
it was really harsh. and it was a tough interview for me
the worse part was the police
because they kept saying it was a mugging
but it was not
it was hate crime
they only beat him and they did not rob him
he had a lot of cash and jewelry on him too
so the police bashed him for a second time
failure of authority – especially police to serve and protect is the worst failure of a secular society

My heart is in Texas today….

BREAKING: Teenage lesbian couple found shot in park near Corpus Christi; 1 dead, 1 hospitalized

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One member of a teenage lesbian couple is dead and the other is in serious but stable condition after the pair were found shot in the head in a park outside Corpus Christi over the weekend, according to news reports.

Nineteen-year-old Mollie Judith Olgin was found dead, and 18-year-old Mary Christine Chapa was rushed to the hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery and is now stable and able to communicate.

Olgin and Chapa, who had been together for five months, were found by visitors to Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas, at about 9 a.m. Saturday. Their bodies were in tall grass beneath a scenic overlook deck, both with gunshot wounds to the head from a large-caliber handgun.

Police believe the shooting happened at about midnight Friday, but they have no suspects or motive. Portland Police Chief  Randy Wright told MSNBC that investigators believe the shootings were committed by a third party but are unsure whether they are related to the girls’ sexual orientation.

“That’s always something that we’re looking for, but as of this point, we have not been able to establish that that had anything to do with the attack,” Wright said.

However, Wright added that it appears “this was not just a random attack but that’s something that we really have to develop over time.” And he told KRISTV that the attack “does have some of the earmarks of a targeted attack.”

 

Outing: Politicians vs Celebrities

Queer Nation was a backlash gay movement that didn’t want a place at the diversity mosaic melting pot table, they wanted to kick the table over. It was more aggressive than other gay groups of the time, which took a “same as you, just happen to be gay” approach.

The major activity of Queer Nation was outing famous people who were anti-gay in public but gay in private. Not just major Republicans, either; but Hollywood Celebrities.

Part of the urgency at the time was AIDS, which seems strange to look back now at the government and health agency inaction and red tape delays while citizens died. Of course, being gays were not “good” citizens – so it’s not really surprising that many people thought that AIDs was a manufactured illness to eliminate societies’ undesirables.

Which, given that the euthanasia programs of the 1950’s into the 1970’s in Canada and the US of sterilizing “undesirables” in mental institutions and other facilities; didn’t seem that far a stretch. Especially when you consider that the Brits allowed Coventry to be bombed and likely the US allowed Pearl Harbour to be bombed to advance or protect a government agenda. Protecting the secret of radar for the first and to sway public sentiment to get into WWII for the latter.

Aside: Wow, I suddenly understand why there’s so many 9/11 Truthers. They are just expending the pattern. But, why go into an elaborate conspiracy when plain covering your ass and incompetence is the simpler and more elegant explanation for events.

But, back to outing. At first glance, those politicians (link to brain rewards post) who condemn gays publically, propose and support unconstitutional laws to discriminate against gays but who are gay in private – deserve to be exposed, outed and removed from office.

These self loathing closet cases are betraying everyone – publically, they are betraying their fellow gays and privately, they are betraying the voters who are anti-gay and voted for that politician.

In the 80’s, this seemed more than fair to me – but then, to liberal thinkers, being consistent in word and deed is important. (religious thinkers tend towards you’re supposed to fail to live up to the word so you can repent – and it’s the quality of your humble repentance that’s important.”

But now, older and less of a black vs white thinker, I see that perhaps I

But more than politicians, it was celebrities who were outed. Probably because they were less discrete in their sexcapades than more opinion sensitive politicians – so there was a larger pool of people to do the outing – and the public is largely apathetic to politicians so it may be that their sex partners had no idea that they were a public figure – so, it’s a sad commentary that the public knows more and worse cares more about what celebrities are doing than the public figures who have input into legislation which affects us all.

The idea behind celebrity outing was to create the appearance that being gay was okay – to provide role models for gay teens, since they are more prone to suicide than straight teens. Back then to my mind, celebrities were less desirable targets. After all, reluctant role models aren’t anything to emulate.

It also seemed less fair to punish a celebrity with career loss than the politician, since the politicians used their careers to cause harm to real people. But celebrities were escapism, not public policy.

However, most people aren’t really aware of what public policy is and they live their lives indifferently because when you have a strong sense of how the world should be, you tend to perceive it is that way – and cruelly punish anyone who challenges that perception. (Like not allowing them to share in rights – it’s why people who say, gays aren’t banned from marriage, they can marry an opposite gender person like everyone else is so infuriating, since it’s a demand to conform without regard to the gay reality that we aren’t going to live hypocritically and cause harm to those people we’d be lying to by marrying them)

So now, older and more a grey thinker – it may well be that closeted celebrities do cause more harm than lying politicians.

What’s funny is that we expect politicians to lie, but somehow actors who play other people are somehow revealing a truth. It’s funny because it’s true – we use fiction to understand our non-fiction world.

Entertainment, where we think that we escape reality, actually reinforces the reality of whatever the public norms of the day are; it’s not an escape. Entertainment stories, no matter how much greyness they appear to include, is black and white thinking. Which is comforting to us, since everything is clear and simple, even if it’s not easy. Heck, we don’t like anything easy.

If you watch cartoons from earlier decades, the blatant racism is overwhelming to current sensibilities – but wasn’t anything to raise an eyebrow in the 30’s. The newest edition of Huckleberry Finn isn’t even going to have the n-word appear – which alters the cultural context of the book – a whitewashing. But we don’t do any good or anyone favours by pretending that the discrimination wasn’t real or wasn’t as bad.

You have to wonder who’s sensibilities are being catered to – the group who was discriminated against, or the discriminators. By ignoring the elephant in the room, you leave yourself no room to deal with anything else.

Entertainments that reinforce public norms (aka stereotypes) play a huge role in shaping what that black and white world that we think we live in. So, when you don’t see gay characters in movies, TV and books – or the ones you see play a limited role – often a cautionary tale where the character dies because they can’t be “normal” or who find something or someone who facilitates them re-joining the normal herd – often as a result of their lover’s death – it’s easy to think that either there aren’t gay people because they get normal or die; so when you encounter a gay person who’s a person who’s gay – it challenges that black and white world view that entertainment tells us we live in – it causes the anger, resentment and hatred that drives the anti-gay sentiment – which in turn, reinforces what entertainment has told us the world is like.

Legislation is easier to undo and challenge than public norms. The laws of the land are the reality that we live in, they are clear but complicated, interdependent on each other and have a hierarchy of authority. At the top is the Charter or Constitution that explain the basic premises of society – while legislation and other levels of law making have to fit within that larger framework of fairness.

There is no footnote in the highest legislation which says that people from identifiable groups are not included in the rights that all citizens are entitled to because they are citizens.

Yet, under the framework of individual and collective rights where everyone is equal under the law – yet, before 1900’s, “everyone” didn’t include the slaves or aboriginal people at all and only nominally included white women.

White women demanded equality as represented by being able to vote, but it was still well into the 1970’s that what women could wear to schools was out of their control, same for obtaining bank loans without a male co-signer.

Black Americans stepped up to demand equality and the rarer and less public lynching have morphed into hate crimes.

Which explains a lot about why so many black activists hate gays and lesbians being covered by that “hate crime” umbrella. It’s hard to be a victim class when other groups are victims too – it makes being a victim more the norm and any one of is less a special case.

What it takes to increase tolerance and acceptance is that people in the majority know members of the minority – to see them as people. This is fairly easy to accomplish in cities, which tend to be where minorities live – and harder in rural areas, which are more demographically homogenous.

Worse for minorities like gays and athiests, because we look like anyone else – and so, unlike an ethnic or other visible minority, those of us who are in invisible groups have to actually come out and tell people that we’re gay and/or atheist.

So, let’s start by outting ourselves and make it easier for people in public positions to be out and encourage more self-outing.

Hate Speech and Crimes

Hate speech and crimes is a very unclear concept for many people – most likely because they are lucky enough to not be the subject of hate based on a shared characteristic with a group.

Hate crimes are easily confused with a crime motivated by hate.

Hate crimes are motives by hatred of a group and the victim of the violence is random, whereas a crime that’s motivated by hate is more likely hatred of the particular individual victim of the violent crime.

A hate crime is not about the individual victim – it’s about attacking a group of people by proxy or symbolically through attacking a random individual from the group or perceived to be a member of the hated group.

A gang of individuals, usually men – because as far as I know, there’s no documented cases of roving gangs of women randomly attacking people or attacking random people. Not to say women can’t be violent or in gangs – just that their violence tends to have either a defensive or financial motivation.

So, a gang of men laying in wait for the first person who is or appears to them to be a member of a group of people that the men don’t like, is very different than a mugger laying in wait for the first prospective victim.

For the mugger, it’s not personal, it’s not about any group the victim may belong to, it’s about money and opportunity.

The victim of hate crime can belong to any number of groups – the three main ones are a religion, an ethnicity or being gay/lesbian/bi/transgendered.

So, a member of an identifiable group does get mugged and in the course of the mugging, also suffers injuries.

That a victim of a crime is also a member of an identifiable group doesn’t make it a hate crime either – they could be simply the best target that the mugger identified.

So, how do you tell?

Victims of bashings are generally not mugged. They are assaulted, but their possessions are not usually taken from them – and when they are, it’s an afterthought insult – salt in the wound.

Muggers are concerned with obtaining the valuables and getting away – which may include assaulting a resisting person – maybe even killing – but mugging for profit is not about humilating or punishing a person.

Bashing is. A characteristic of bashing includes name calling, insults and often some form of humiliation – perhaps the removal of a religious symbol or garb, cutting of hair, violence or injury to specific body parts or facial characteristics of the group identity and in the case of gay bashing, often rape.

The other characteristic is the degree of alarm that the crime raises in the community.

The general public tends to not be fearful learning about muggers or con-artists working an area.

However, religious, ethnic and gay groups are alarmed when a member of their group is bashed or murdered in a manner that is suggestive of hatred towards their group. This also includes vandalism of group identified property such as cemeteries, community centres, religious buildings and, well, I guess gay bars are a kind of a house of worship for us.

Now, where there’s a hazier distinction is violence against women.

Women are alarmed and even warned by police when there’s evidence of a serial rapist or serial rapist/murderer.

I do beleive that rapes and murders of women meet the hate crime criteria.

The male perpetrator generally targets a specific subgroup of women – either women from a group that they loath – often sex workers or street involved or lesbians – or women from a group that cannot have through normal methods or women who are a stand in for another woman who spurned them or other sexual inadequacy hang up.

Interestingly, the women and sometime male victims who have escaped or been released by a male serial rapist/killer, have accomplished this by becoming an indiviual to the man – breaking their group identity and their fantasy. Forcing their abductor and would be killer to see them as a person – often by talking about their family and lives focusing on how much they’d be missed.

This tactic doesn’t work with female serial killers, as they tend to kill  victims known to them – often related or in their care – and are not acting out fantasies. Women serial killers tend to be drawn to careers where they can murder without notice for decades or they become partners with a male serial killer, acting out his fantasies.

Hate Speech is to promote hatred towards a group and directly or indirectly inspire hate crimes such as bashing or murder.

Hate speech isn’t just not liking a group of people either. You don’t have to like or accept everyone. But for an orderly society to work, we do have to tolerate each other and accord each other not only social courtesies but same treatment as anyone else.

Hate speech is to promote violence or harmful discrimination against a group of people because they are part of the group.

Hate speech is an attempt to make one group lesser than all other groups (or just your own group?) and to make the target group less than human.

No one is subhuman, we are all humans, there are no sub-species of humans.

The rule of thumb for tolerance is, if the comments against a group were being said about a different group, would it be okay? If not, then it’s not okay to say the things.

The rule of thumb for hate speech is, by saying these things and people believing it, will it change people’s attitudes for the negative? Will it allow the listeners to feel entitled to actively harm the target group? Will this speech validate a listener’s hatred and violent inclinations towards the target group?

Is the speech creating the perception that the target group is deserving of violent actions? That they will have little recourse after the fact?

But what about freedom of speech?

Free speech is not a get out of being labelled a hate monger free card.

Free speech is not entirely free nor is it limited to the first speech.

Just as one person has a right to an opinion and expression of it – so is everyone else to agree or disagree with it and to respond. So, don’t be surprised if the response is less than pleasant or agreeable to that first speaker.

After all, most people will not take kindly to a speech that says that they are second class, sub human or unworthy of consideration and deserving of negative or violent treatment.

Free speech was also never intended to cover all speech – you can’t scream fire when there isn’t any, you can’t slander people and you can’t promote violence and hatred – these are reasonable limits on speech for an orderly and civil society.

Sadly, if you are a woman on the street being attacked, you are more likely to be helped if you scream fire instead of rape or help.

Since people will react to a scream of fire, since it may potentially impact them.

Heavy sigh.

Have you been a victim of hate crime?