Archive for the ‘hate crime’ Category
One of the major stories around the social media globe over the past 24 hours has been the savage beating of Mallory Owens on Thanksgiving Day at the hands of her girlfriend’s 18-year-old brother, Travis Hawkins, Jr. As the world called for his head on a silver platter, subplots began to emerge:Mallory is now out of the hospital and recuperating, as seen here, with her girlfriend and other members of her family, sans Travis, of course. There’s more to it than just that, though. Naturally. Mallory, herself, has stated publicly that she doesn’t believe that Travis’ actions on Thanksgiving, the assault that left her hospitalized and bleeding from the brain, was a hate crime. That, despite an earlier comment that Travis never liked either Mallory or, his own sister, Ally.
As more light is shed on this unfortunate situation, one thing that is emerging is that Travis Hawkins, Jr. is a very troubled young man. His troubled didn’t just start on Thanksgiving Day. A read through the comment thread of the above picture of Mallory’s return from the hospital will reveal an angry public grilling Travis Hawkins, Sr., the father of the attacker, with questions about the incident and why more wasn’t done to prevent it. In truth, the senior Travis Hawkins did an admirable job of fielding the questions presented to him. In fact, some would say that he went “above and beyond” in his effort to dispel some of the rumors and/or misinformation that has been circulating surrounding the attack. Indeed, his response shines a whole different light on the situation.
In an amazing show of concern and compassion, it appears that donors from around the globe rose to the occasion and sent in excess of $100,000 to Mallory for what amounts to a “hate crime” defense fund. With the hate crime element seemingly moot, according to Mallory, herself, that will possibly raise another question: “what to do with the monies that were sent specifically to defend a “hate crime”. However, that’s for Mallory and the donors to figure out and shouldn’t be open to discussion or speculation here.
What is crystal clear is that Travis Jr. is a very troubled young man. On his now deleted facebook page, he showed off a tattoo on his arm that simply said “Condemned Man”. The comment thread, now deleted, revealed a mother’s desperate attempt to convince her troubled son that he was not a “condemned man”. That was before Thanksgiving Day’s attack on Mallory Owens. Now, he will be, indeed, a condemned man. Even with a second-degree assault charge, for which he is currently out on bail, he’s looking at substantial incarceration time. Travis will certainly be punished for his actions, but is that where it ends? This is obviously a young man, still a teenager, who is clearly in need of help. Sadly, without intense psychological help while incarcerated, an already angry young man will someday be released, after years of being incarcerated, even more angry and, possibly, volatile. A ticking time bomb. Is that what we want? Is that in anyone’s best interest? What he did Thanksgiving Day was horrendous, no doubt about it. And, there has to be payment for his actions, of course. However, he’s only 18. He will be released at some point in his life. And, without help while he’s away, the man who returns to society could very well return as more of a danger than he is right now. That will serve no one.
As for Mallory, the road to recovery has begun. In the above photo, she appears to be happy and in good spirits. However, it is said that she will require plastic surgery in the aftermath of the beating she absorbed at the hands of Travis Hawkins, Jr. It goes without saying that there is still much to be revealed about this unfortunate event. In the coming days, weeks, and months, I’m sure we’ll learn more about why Travis viciously attacked Mallory. In the meantime, let’s just be happy with the fact that the recovery process has begun. If Travis Sr. hadn’t intervened when he did, one shudders to think of what the outcome would’ve been.
Written by Ron Kemp
November 28, 2012 at 4:43 am
Any man who beats up on a woman has a special place in Hell awaiting him. Any man who brutally beats a woman nearly to death because of her sexuality not only holds a reservation in Hell but also a warm spot at a penitentiary. Hopefully, for a long time.
On Thanksgiving, Mallory Owens went to celebrate the holiday with dinner with her girlfriend, Ally Hawkins, at her girlfriend’s family’s home. Travis Hawkins Jr., Ally’s brother, viciously attacked Mallory, reportedly as the family looked on. Travis Hawkins, Jr. is just 18-years-old!A man who does this to a woman is no man whatsoever. According to Mallory’s sister, this isn’t even the first time this woman-beater attacked Mallory, stating that “…he never liked Mallory and Ally to begin with.” I don’t necessarily like my sister, either, but I’d never raise a hand to hurt her and wouldn’t allow anyone else to do it, either.
There are a few issues involved in this troubling case that makes it even more disturbing. First of all, how is it that the family “stood around and watched” as this attack took place? Why aren’t there charges being filed against every one of them who “stood around and watched” as this young woman was being pulverized by a deranged teenager? If no one intervened during the obvious commission of a crime but remains a witness to it, shouldn’t that make them guilty of “accessory to…” the crime being committed?
Secondly, this attack occurred on Thanksgiving day. That was Thursday. Four days ago! No local Mobile, Alabama picked up the story until this very day, November 26th, four days after the horrendous attack. In fact, the only reason they were “pushed” into “breaking” the story is because it had begun to circulate and go viral on the social media giant, facebook. Several prominent pages, including Wipe Out Homophobia, STOP Teenage Suicide, and Enough is Enough: the blog page, began to publish the story late morning. By mid-afternoon, it had gone viral. It was then that the local stations saw an urgency to push the story. How can that be? Why wasn’t this first-page news immediately after it happened. A 23-year-old lesbian was beaten within inches of her life, and that’s not newsworthy? Or, was that another “boys will be boys” incident that didn’t require any media attention. The editors of all of the local Mobile, Alabama media outlets should be ashamed of themselves for failing to bring this story to light. It shouldn’t have taken a facebook effort to shine light on this travesty.
Thirdly, and most egregious, is what young Travis Hawkins, Jr. is charged with. For the crime of beating a 23-year-old woman nearly to death, Travis is charged with second degree assault. Second degree assault! I know that in the state where I live, second degree assault carries very little time. The crime Travis Hawkins, Jr. committed on Thanksgiving Day, against Mallory Owens, is attempted murder. Period. Further, he should be charged with a hate crime. Alas, his charge is a simple second degree assault charge for beating a woman so badly, she now has metal plates under each eye socket. She now has bleeding on the brain. Her life will never be the same. Second degree assault. At the very least, he should’ve been charged with first degree assault.
In addition to the facebook pages that are responsible for bringing this story the national attention it deserves, there is now a facebook page dedicated to getting justice for Mallory: Justice Today – For Mallory. There is also a petition, that needs signatures!, that is designed to compel the Alabama judicial branch to charge Travis Hawkins, Jr. with what he should’ve been charged with from the beginning: attempted murder and a hate crime. (at LEAST a first degree assault charge) Please sign the petition, then pass it on so that others can sign it, as well.
Shame on Travis for beating on a woman; shame on the Mobile, Alabama media for not picking up this story before today; and, shame on the Alabama State’s Attorney’s Office for charging this young thug with a mere second degree assault in the brutal attack. We demand justice for Mallory, and we won’t rest until we see it.
SIGN THIS PETITION TO BRING TRAVIS HAWKINS, JR. TO JUSTICE:
Written by Ron Kemp
November 26, 2012 at 11:51 pm
“It’s going to get worse before it begins to get better”. As the struggle for Equal Rights continues, as predicted, the battle is becoming much more heated. And, bitter. And, dangerous. In just the past 72 hours alone, there’s been a major escalation in the verbal and physical attacks on the LGBT community, as well as their supporters. Sadly, there’s been one death.
Anyone with access to the Internet, and particularly those who have facebook accounts, are aware of the furor that was caused recently when the makers of the iconic Oreo cookie showed their support for the LGBT community. In response, the lunatic fringe, LGBT-hating extremists went into full attack mode. Some of the venomous things they posted as comments brings full light to the dangerous climate members of the LGBT community are facing today. If you think for a minute that the hatred and intolerance these adults routinely show doesn’t have a major impact on the bullying and LGBT teen suicide rate or the level of violence against members of the LGBT community, you’re wrong.
Over the weekend, Cory Oden, an LGBT man, was brutally attacked simply because of who he is. For the simple “crime” of being a gay man in America – the country that’s supposedly the “land of the free” – Cory endured a brutal attack that could’ve very easily claimed his life. Just because he’s a gay man in America. If you get the time, and are so inclined, please do go show Cory some love and support. Here’s his facebook page. I was reading some of his wall posts moments ago. This has been a life-changing event for him, obviously.
As I lay here on my porch swing looking at the sky, sorting all the jumble in my brain. I can’t stop thinking about all the people in the world suffering. Maybe it be acts of hatred, maybe it be dying loved ones, maybe even just as simple as you don’t know how you’re going to pay your rent and survive in what seems to be a cold hard world. I’ve got quite the battle approaching. Everyone knows its a tough one to rise above and conquer. We have to remember to keep the faith and love flowing through our veins. Whatever struggles you are facing, whatever the outcome may be, just remember to always let your voice be heard and make some noise!!! You never know who just may be listening ♥
In Portland, Texas, a lesbian, teenaged couple was found shot in the head. Nineteen-year-old Mollie Olgin succumbed to her injuries. It hasn’t “officially” been classified a hate crime at the time of this writing. Of course, that’s not to say that it wasn’t.
So, there you have it. In just under 72 hours, one dead, one in critical condition, one in serious condition. What’s my point? If you go back to the insanity of the attack on the Oreo’s ad on facebook, and read the comments, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the LGBT community is under attack…that “they” have declared war on members of the LGBT community and its supporters.
Here’s the point: what we’re starting to see is a culture that’s reaching its boiling point. The religious fanatics and the homophobic extremists are multiplying rapidly, just as we are on this side of the battle line. For all of their holiness and deep-rooted “Christian” faith, they’re leading us into, essentially, a war right here on our own soil. Their verbal assaults have been dialed up to fever pitch. Violence against members of the LGBT community is rising in both frequency and severity. And, people are losing their lives.
Of course, this mentality isn’t anything new in this country. They killed blacks for sport as they fought for their rights. Isn’t it ironic that these people who profess to be good, “God-fearing Christians” are so comfortable with hatred, intolerance and, worse, the death of those they oppose? Perhaps, for them, fearing God is in their best interest, after all.
Written by Ron Kemp
June 28, 2012 at 6:50 am
Tagged with cory oden, cory oden gay bashing in Missouri, lgbt community, mary chapa, mollie olgin, Nabisco and Oreo cookie controversy, Oreo boycott, right-wing fanatics, teenaged lesbian couple shot in the head, violence against lgbt community
This story has caught fire across the Internet, and for good reason. Here’s the blunt, honest truth about what’s going on in our culture today: With the momentum that the LGBT community has picked up in its fight for equality, the far-right has declared war on everyone who falls under that umbrella. The latest example of that is a North Carolina pastor, Charles Worley. The head of the Providence Road Baptist Church made a statement that should be viewed as dangerous, if not criminal:
“I figured a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers,” he says.“Build a great, big, large fence — 150- or 100-mile long — put all the lesbians in there . . . do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals, and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out.“Feed ’em, and you know what?” Worley continues. “In a few years they’ll die. Do you know why? They can’t reproduce.”
Written by Ron Kemp
May 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm
Tagged with Charles Worley, genocide, Harvey Milk, hate speech, Hatred, homophobic pastor in north carolina, pastor in north carolina calls for the death of gays and lesbians, providence baptist church
Secretly, I always tried to keep up with gay-related news stories when I was young. With no electronic media in those days, following national gay-related events was challenging, to say the least. I remember hearing about someone in San Francisco becoming the first openly gay elected official. Of course San Francisco. Here on the East Coast of the U.S., people are trained to believe that that beautiful City by the Bay is nothing more than a haven for gays. Like everyone there runs around in pink tutus, spreading fairy dust everywhere they go. People are strange.
Harvey Milk was his name. I locked that name into my memory bank, even as a young man. Even as a 20-year-old, I believed that more gays should become visible for who they were and the contributions they had to offer. Harvey Milk was a validation. In fact, we shared that same philosophy.
By now, I’m sure that many of those reading this blog, or on the facebook blog page, have read the story of the North Carolina maniac, disguised as a pastor, who told his congregation to physical abuse their young children if they thought they were beginning to show homosexual tendencies. That’s right! In his words, “I give you a special dispensation this morning to…” crack the perceived limp wrists of their very young boy if they thought he was showing homosexual tendencies. “Man up”. He also urged them to PUNCH the boy.
I have to pause for a moment to regain my composure and dignity.
What’s worse is the “congregation” he was delivering the “sermon” to were laughing, cheering, and offering their “amen” to the words of this barbarian. I’m guessing that advocating the harm of a child isn’t a crime in North Carolina. Or, is that ok “as long as it’s done for religious, political, or philosophical beliefs.”?
My mind wants to go back to the person who “Anonymously” posted a comment last month to one of the blog entries who said that it was “absolutely absurd” to blame religious and political “leaders” for what’s going on in this country, and around the world, today when it comes to the LGBT community and, in particular, the LGBT youth. Those words don’t go away. I seeth every time they replay in my mind.
It doesn’t get any clearer than this: what we’re witnessing right now in this country is an all-out war against the LGBT community. Keep in mind, as well, that there was also recent a “DJ”, DJ Dominic Dieter, who went on record as telling a father that he should get one of his friends to screw his lesbian daughter straight. For a nation so obsessed with terrorism, and the threat thereof (and, rightfully so), it’s interesting that groups who publicly wage war against a segment of our population aren’t considered domestic terrorists. To be fair, I will add that a number of these maniacs are, in fact, listed as hate groups. Wouldn’t you, as a Christian, be just a little leery about going to a church that is listed as a hate group? Well, yes, of course you would. That is, of course, unless your mind is as warped as those who lead these “churches”.
Here’s the issue in plain black and white: we are in the fight of our lives, as a community, right here and right now. At stake is our freedom, as a community, as “they” systematically attempt to erase all gains that have been made over the past few years as it pertains to marriage equality and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. WORSE, what’s at stake is the very lives of the LGBT teens from coast-to-coast and border-to-border as we see one political and/or religious “leader” after another all but say “we don’t care that they’re killing themselves. If they’d stop being LGBT, they’d feel better about themselves and wouldn’t commit suicide.” We need to let them know that this is 100% unacceptable. From this constant attack, led by highly visible “leaders” comes the mentality of the young ones that it’s okay, and even expected of them, to bully those they perceive to be LGBT.
I get a little emotional about this.
This just shows what we’re up against. It shows that we need to fight harder, with even more conviction, and we need every single available voice to speak up loudly and clearly. The message needs to be crystal clear: we are NOT second-class citizens; we are NOT mistakes; we ARE equal in every sense of the word; and, God’s opinion of me and my life is between me and God. Being gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgender has NOTHING to do with the quality of our character. We are PEOPLE, first and foremost.
Spread the word. Every voice is needed…right now!
Written by Ron Kemp
May 2, 2012 at 10:04 pm
I was just asked, on my facebook blog page “why all the gay posts?” The fact of the matter is that there can’t be enough good news, “normalized” posts and stories about the LGBT community. Not at this point in time. There are far too many people, in this country and around the world, who would like nothing better than to see us disappear. Some of them would even resort to violence to achieve their goal. Such was the case with 24-year-old Daniel Zamudio of Chile.
In the early morning hours of Saturday, March 3rd, Daniel was brutally attacked by a group of neo-Nazis, ranging in age from 18-25, simply because of his sexual orientation. He sustained serious and irreversible brain damage during the attack and lied in a drug-induced coma for 3 weeks. Tuesday night, Daniel Zamudio, succumbed to his injuries.
Chilean police have the 4 men who are allegedly responsible for this heinous crime in custody. The level of hatred directed at Daniel was astonishing. Amongst other things, they carved swastikas into his flesh. Just because he was gay!!
“Why all the gay posts?” Because, madness like this must end! Because, hating someone on such a deep level, simply because of their sexuality!, that you’re willing to mutilate them is a symptom of a contagion that’s affecting the entire globe. Because, people who are LGBT deserve to live a rich, full, and happy life just as much as their non-LGBT counterparts. With so many people standing at the ready to humiliate and shame them, to discriminate against and minimize their worth as a human being, to inflict emotional and/or physical harm on them, sometimes to the point where it costs them their lives, I’m going to be on the front line every single day letting them – US!!! – know that we are second-class citizens to no one!
Daniel Zamudio’s life should not have ended the way it did. NO human being should ever have to endure that level of hatred and intolerance. Ever. Gay, straight, black, Jewish, or whatever. It is not okay with me to know that we live in a world where what I do in the privacy of my own home, with someone I love, can get me killed! It shouldn’t be okay with anyone. Yet, it happens. Worse, I live in a country where we have politicians working to pass laws that condones and encourages this level of brutality against the LGBT community. And, it will continue to happen as long as people sit on the sidelines, shake their heads, and say their dutiful “that’s terrible” or “this has to stop” rather than get involved, at some level!, in bringing about a difference.
Daniel, the world mourns you. May you rest in peace.
This verdict is in: Dharun Ravi, GUILTY of hate crime in the Tyler Clementi case. This arrogant young man had a chance to plea out to a lesser charge, one that would’ve assured him no jail time, late last year but opted, instead, to take it to trial. Foolish mistake. Instead, Mr. Ravi was found guilty on all 15 charges against him. Sentencing is to come, and he’s looking at years. Tyler Clementi’s family was sentenced to life without him on September 22, 2010 because of Dharun Ravi’s actions. He gets off easy.
As 18-year-old first-year students at the prestigious Rutgers University, Ravi and Clementi ended up being roommates. Tyler had just come out to his family as being gay before he left for college. Once at school, and as Ravi’s roommate, he met with a man with whom he’d apparently started becoming intimate with. Dharun Ravi decided it would be cool to secretly set up a webcam and broadcast Tyler and his partner during their intimacy on his Twitter account. As a result, Tyler Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. The case made national, international!, headlines. It was also one of a flurry of LGBT teen suicides in September 2010 that included Seth Walsh and Asher Brown.
Dharun Ravi, incredibly, was offered a plea bargain December of last year that would’ve all but set him free. He would’ve received no jail time and would’ve been able to remain in this country. He declined. He wanted to argue his case. He lost. And, now, he’s facing prison time as well as deportation.
In my own opinion, the question that isn’t being explored is why was he offered a plea deal in the first place? Why was the State of New Jersey willing to offer this man much lesser charges with no consequences when his actions led directly to the suicide death of Tyler Clementi? To me, that’s almost as troublesome as Ravi’s actions. Luckily, he had the misguided notion that he could win if only he was able to have his day in court to present “his side” of the story.
“His side” of the story is irrelevant. A jury told him that today. Tyler Clementi is gone forever because of Dharun’s actions. Let’s hope that this very high-profile case of homophobic bullying, it’s tragic results, and now the consequences for the perpetrator sends a message to those who think that bullying is cool or acceptable: there will be consequences for your actions.
The Clementis suffer the consequences of your actions every single day of their lives, Mr. Ravi. Now, so will you.
Everytime it seems we’re turning a corner on some of the madness we face, something comes along to remind us that there’s still plenty of work that needs to be done. And, this one ranks right near the top of the list of the worst things I’ve ever seen.
On Monday, March 12th, trending on storify was tweets to people’s unborn children. Tweets that vowed to KILL their unborn child if he or she turned out to be LGBT. I don’t think it gets any worse than that. Luckily, these tweets were picked up on by someone, and these people are being put in the spotlight.
Codie Sowders wrote:
#ToMyUnbornChild if you so much as think about being a homosexual I’ll put a bullet in your damn skull
From Daborey Burrell comes this:
#ToMyUnbornChild if you turn out gay, I will burn you alive.
Rob Grant wrote:
#ToMyUnbornChild if your gay or retarded I will kill you.
And, this tweet from Chris Woodie:
#ToMyUnbornChild If you think gay is an option,let me know because we’ll abort you
Extremely graphic, I know. However, I think it’s urgent that we know, and fully realize that there truly ARE people out there who, by their own admission!, would kill their own child if he or she were gay. Worse, they said it unabashedly, as if the murdering of unwanted LGBT children was just the norm.
My first thought was “I sure hope they don’t have any other children!” Any person who can even formulate such a thought about any human being at all, let alone their very own unborn child should, at the very least, be mandated to have every snip and tie done as to assure that they can never, ever reproduce. This level of homophobia is reprehensible.
Here’s the danger: this level of hatred, intolerance, and violence is precisely the accelerant that fuels the violence against the LGBT teens we’re seeing today. And, as we’re being shown more and more every single day, the violence against LGBT teens, the bullying, is a learned behavior taught to them, in many if not most cases, by adults. Directly or indirectly. Imagine: Codie Sowders has another child, or children!. Wonderful parent in all aspects; however, the child or children knows Codie’s intolerant feeling towards gays. And, that level of hatred would be impossible to mask despite the best efforts. Well, what do you think the odds would be of that child, or those children, growing up to become homophobes themselves? And, thus, the vicious cycle continues. The bullying continues. The LGBT teen suicide rate remains the same. And, frightfully, if an LGBT child is born to any one of these people, the murder rate will go up as well. By their own admission.
I’ve got a real problem with this one. Hopefully, a lot of people have a real problem with it. Just reading these real tweets from real “people” should be enough to get your blood up to 210 degrees. For that other 2 degrees needed to reach boiling point, realize that there are teachers, judges, police officers, definitely politicians. priests and preachers…people from every walk of life with this level of homophobia.
It’s getting better, yes. We still have lots of work to do.
I found out about this just a little bit too late to make it there in time. Glen Burnie is 40 minutes from where I live. In fact, I once lived IN Glen Burnie. Cozy little blue-collar city nestled between Baltimore and Annapolis.
For some reason, Fred and the gang thought that this would be a good place to bring their message of hate. See, Glen Burnie High School’s principal is a lesbian. So, of course, their God sent them on a mission to come and attempt to traumatize the entire school in an effort to get her to step down. That’s their message: “God Hates Fags!” And, it’s their duty to spread their message any and everywhere they possibly can.
After learning about their planned protest last week, the city of Glen Burnie planned a counterattack. A very effective counterattack. Fred and his crew of haters, all 3 of them, were met with the surprise of their miserable lives. Ordinary citizens, black, white, gay, straight, young, old, and everything in between showed up en masse to tell them that their message of hate is NOT welcome here in Maryland. The school was surrounded by the counter protesters even before the prophets of hate made their appearance. The County Police were there to form a barrier wall between the good guys and the evil ones. Bikers showed up on their loud bikes specifically for the purpose of drowning out any nonsense Fred and company may spew from their mouths. What an awesome display of complete rejection!
“You cannot allow hate to come into your community without confronting it,” said Chris Panasuk, counter-protester.
Great quote, and even better point. If enough communities would send them the same message, maybe they’d crawl back under the rock from which they came. Then again, probably not. Moot. What’s important is that, after a scant half-hour, The Hate Gang got the message, tucked their tails, and left town.
I could be wrong, but if God hates anything at all, it would be people who use His name to justify their own hatred and intolerance. Apparently, their Bible doesn’t include the first book of John. Right there, 1 John 4:8, in plain black and white, it says “God is Love”. Maybe they just missed that part.
Awesome display of solidarity, Maryland. Today made me proud to be a Marylander!