Michael Crawford

At What Point Do We Say Enough is Enough?

Filed By Michael Crawford | September 24, 2007 10:19 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: gay rights, hate crimes against LGBT people, lgbt rights, politics

At what point do we say that the latest attack against a LGBT person is the last one and that we will be silent no more? At what point will we allow the fear and anger at the news of another woman being punched in the face for being a lesbian or another gay man dragged from a car to spill forth in an explosion of action demanding an end to the violence and the second class treatment of LGBT people?

In recent weeks these stories have surfaced in the LGBT blogosphere and news weeklies, if not the traditional media or the gay glossies like Out and Genre.

Two gay students at Vanderbilt University were verbally harassed and beaten.

Josie Smith-Malave, the openly lesbian contestant from Top Chef and three other women were attacked by a mob of twelve people outside a bar on Long Island.

The Triangle Foundation in Michigan held a rally yesterday to protest the failure of employees at a resort hotel to assist a lesbian who was assaulted.

A couple of lesbians have filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Rochester Police Department alleging that police officers let go the homophobes who attacked them. One of the women also says that one of the officers called her a "drunken dyke."

Three teenagers were arrested in Washington, D.C. after a series of anti-gay attacks that included pushing a teenaged transgender woman through a plate glass window.And these are just incidents that have been reported. Imagine the number of attacks that are not reported because the victims are too scared to come forward or where the authorities refuse to treat the cases as hate crimes. Meanwhile back on Capitol Hill members of Congress passed a resolution condemning MoveOn for running an ad that hurt a general's feelings rather than move forward with passing a federal hate crimes bill. And the homo-hating conservative evangelicals with their constant cries of "God hates fags," the lies they spread to dehumanize and degrade us and their pseudo scientific experiments in conversion therapy provide a (im)moral rationale for these attacks.

In some ways, with these words, Larry Kramer better expresses what I feel better than I can. I do not agree with his sense of pessimism, but I definitely agree with the righteous rage that bleeds from these words and urges LGBT people to clear and vocal action.

"I have recently come to believe that gay men and women are a tragic people. We are so wonderful but we are also so f*cked up. So blind. So ignorant in ways to look after ourselves. So uninterested in the Outside World that is disappearing us when we thought we were making them pretty and giving them songs to sing. So without agendas. So without any idea how to utilize our wonderfulness. We know who the enemy is and we just stand there letting them shoot us over and over again. We stand here and we let them do it."

Cross posted at Bloggernista

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If memory serves, the 2000 election was the first time the Republicans used antigay bigotry as the major focus of their campaign.

In the Reagan/Bush1 period they used anti African American themes (the Willie Horton revolving door ads) and witch-hunting in the 50's. Each time the targets of their scapegoating were victimized: Nixon remarks about ‘bums’ killed the students at Kent State and Jackson State, Eisenhower and McCarthy caused the witch-hunt’s; racism was reinforced during Reagan/Bush1, and gays and lesbians were harmed by a string of anti samesex laws and spikes in the number of beatings and lynchings in 2000 and 2004 and even in local elections when antigay bigots focused on us.
Nor have Republicans been the only party to use these tactics. Bill Clinton eagerly singed and Congressional Democrats voted for DOMA to appease bigots. All their candidates refuse to support samesex marriage because they fear as Bill Clinton claims, that it's 'the kiss of death for Democrats.' And the superstitious right chimes in with their weekly barrage of bigotry and provocations to violence in churches, mosques and temples.

We’ll be the center of attention again in the 2008 elections and see more victimization. What’s needed is a campaign EVERY time there's a beating or murder with a publicity machine and demonstrations demanding the police and prosecutors do their job. We should always demand harsh sentencing.

"We know who the enemy is and we just stand there letting them shoot us over and over again. We stand here and we let them do it."

My GOD, I love Larry Kramer. He nails it so damn often. I strive to be as good of a rabble-rouser and writer as he is.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | September 25, 2007 7:44 AM

Police in Washington, D.C. are investigating three attacks that have occurred in as many weeks. And D.C. is one of the most LGBT friendly cities in the country.

And as Larry Kramer says "We stand here and we let them do it."