Brynn Craffey


Filed By Brynn Craffey | February 18, 2008 11:55 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics
Tags: bullying, homophobic behavior, Lawrence King, LGBT youth, Oxnard, shooting

My dad plopped a folded Oxnard.jpgsection of the Sunday paper in front of me. "This should make you feel better," he said.

And he was right.

While no demonstration after the fact can bring Lawrence King back to life, this outpouring of emotion against intolerance on the part of hundreds of Oxnard students gives me hope. It would never have happened back when I lived in Ventura.

There were no bullhorns, no speeches and no politicians. Just a mass of mostly adolescents wearing bright clothing, carrying signs and singing John Lennon's "Imagine" and "Give Peace a Chance."

The size of the turnout surprised police, school officials and even the two Hueneme High School sophomores who put the event together just three days ago, spreading the word with fliers, cellphone calls and MySpace bulletins.

"We were expecting maybe 100 or 200 people," said Courtney LaForest, 16, as she gazed at a broad "peace circle" formed by march participants at Plaza Park in downtown Oxnard. "This is incredible."

Courtney said the turnout reflected a community's anguish over a senseless shooting that has destroyed the lives of two young men. It was also a public plea for tolerance on school campuses for those who are different, she said.

"I didn't know Larry. A lot of people here didn't know him," she said. "We are saying you don't need to accept people who are gay, but you should tolerate them."

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This is what our country needs more of...

personally, i wouldn't have complained if i read about some fundamentalist churches being burned. call me old fashioned. i am sick of the hate mongering, and all of the pain that it causes.

There will be a vigil in San Francisco this evening for Lawrence King. For those who live in the San Francisco area, this is a time to stand up and be counted among those who detest this violence.

Jeri: We agree with a lot, but there are even some fundamentalists who hate the violence, even when it's directed against gender variant people. I'm reluctant to condemn an entire group for the actions of some just as I wouldn't want the gender variant community to be condemned because of the actions of a few of us.

Responding to violence with violence gets us nowhere. This evening in San Francisco is an opportunity for a non-violent protest. We need a lot more of those across the country, and maybe a large one somewhere - maybe in DC.

Hello Shakay,

I detest violence, and of course you are correct. I was responding at a purely emotional level. I am just so frustrated that the hatred that inspires this type of violence continues to be espoused. I love the first amendment but enough is enough. Ideas are real; they have consequence. (i.e. German propaganda espoused that Jews were subhuman) There has to be a line drawn. We cannot accept the murder of innocents, solely because they are gay or black or Jewish or Muslim or from outer space. The propagation of hate has to end.