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    September 25, 2007

    A hate crime hits home

    Posted by: Chris

    14194458_240x180 I wonder if Joe Solmonese will finally get it now. After ignoring anti-gay hate crimes in Alabama and New York in favor of the  "Jena 6" bullies in Louisiana, now one of HRC's own has apparently been bashed outside a Northwest D.C. bar.

    The victim, an HRC intern who previously worked for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, left BeBar on 9th Street at 1 a.m. on Saturday and was hit from behind by a group of three who shouted anti-gay slurs. Local TV station NBC-4 reports (video here):

    "He suffered injuries to the back of his head, as well as to his face," friend Joe Solmonese said.

    Solmonese works with the victim at the Human Rights Campaign. "He went to the emergency room Saturday night," he said. "He was taken by ambulance. He had some stitches in the back of his head. He's bruised in his face. He was given an MRI, checked out internally. He's back at home and recovering now."

    I wonder if HRC will finally get it now. D.C. police had said more than a week ago that they were investigating a series of gay and transgender-bashings in the city. Preoccupied up until now with race politics and the Jena 6, HRC said and did nothing.

    Now, unfortunately, it's hit one of their own. I'm betting we won't hear HRC's diversity director Donna Payne dismissing this attack simply because the young victim was "treated and released" at the hospital. That's what she did in an oped for the Advocate, minimizing the Jena 6 attack that left  Justin Butler battered and unconscious, saying "The white student was sent to the hospital and released the same       day."

    I wish the BeBar bashing victim a very speedy recovery, and I hope the bruises on his face heal soon. If any good at all can come from such violence, let's hope it wakes up Solmonese, Payne and HRC to where they should be focusing their attention.



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    1. James on Sep 25, 2007 12:26:49 PM:

      Sort of confused. So a gay rights organization cannot have questions about the Jenna 6 and fight anti-gay violence? Okay. If you insist.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Sep 25, 2007 1:17:14 PM:

      Oh, I can tell you why they're ignoring and minimizing it.

      "The victim could only describe one of the three attackers, police said. One was described as a black male with tight braids. The races of the other two attackers were not known."

      ( http://www.washblade.com/thelatest/thelatest.cfm?blog_id=14461 )

    1. James on Sep 25, 2007 1:34:05 PM:

      Ahh, NDT. Glad to see you haven't changed! :-) Hope you are doing well.

    1. Double T on Sep 25, 2007 1:54:49 PM:

      You're comparing "apple and oranges".

      So when they arrest the 3 attackers, they should charge them with attempt to murder and give them 20 years?

      There has to be some fair equity in the justice system.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Sep 26, 2007 3:12:50 AM:

      I really feel for this kid. Donna Payne is going to beat the living sh*t out of him for obviously lying by accusing a black person of committing a crime against a gay person.

      Trust me. He'll be in the Blade in a week or so, talking about how he's seen the error of his ways and it was nothing but white gay racist syndrome that made him think that a black person could ever possibly do such a thing.

    1. James on Sep 26, 2007 8:31:10 AM:

      Sure NDT that's going to happen because liberals are the true racists and conservatives are the only heirs to MLK. Sure. Okay.

    1. Terrance on Sep 26, 2007 12:39:35 PM:

      Back in July I started documenting hate crimes on Wikipedia. Since it quickly grew beyond the scope of Wikipedia's notability requirements, I launched a new site: The LGBT Hate Crimes Project.

      I'm slowly going through through cases and documenting them with citations from available news articles and archives.

      Unfortunately, there's no shortage of cases. I'll definitely add this one to the ones I'm researching and documenting.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Sep 26, 2007 7:23:15 PM:

      "Sure NDT that's going to happen because liberals are the true racists and conservatives are the only heirs to MLK."

      Not exactly.

      Liberals are only the dupes of racists.

      In the case of Donna Payne, her political philosophy would be more aptly described as Mugabeism.

      She and her fellows like Sharpton and Jackson merely exploit white liberal guilt to create a veneer of social acceptance for it.

    1. Citizen Crain on Sep 26, 2007 11:38:06 PM:

      Double T, you're missing the point. If inequities in charges and sentencing are as common as you say they are (and I would agree), then why pick the Jena 6? Why pick a case in which six guys knocked unconscious and brutally beat a defenseless student? Especially when the facts mirror the types of beatings that gay kids and adults (like this guy and your's truly) are subjected to daily?

      I'm not trying to exclude anyone from the conversation, but you just have to be on the other side of one of these beatings to understand the visceral disgust I have at the idea that any civil rights movement, but especially the gay rights movement, is defending the Jena 6 bullies.

    1. Jason on Sep 28, 2007 4:07:02 PM:

      I have read the term "bullies" used to describe the Jena 6 several times on this and other sites. Question is: Why are the six black students automatically labeled "bullies" and "thugs", in Crain's words while the white student is "defenseless"? Are we certain he was defenseless? As I recall a previous altercation with this pure, sweet, special lily-white boy involved said student brandishing a rifle. Last time I checked, a rifle was a defense, though we can't be sure if he had it at that time. Many people are making a lot of judgements about these six young men based on nothing more that what they look like (chiefly, the fact that they are black and therefore "thugs") the very thing gays claim they are against.
      Second: Martin Luther King once said that "a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere". It is important for the LGBT community to stand up for the Jena 6 beacuse if overzealous prosecutors get away with railroading people of color, who is to say that gays are not next?
      Injustice to blacks and injustice to LGBT people are not mutually exclusive.

      Third: It is possible for HRC to walk and chew gum at the same time. They can fight for the Jena 6 and gay victims simultaneously people. The fact that HRC is speaking out for the Jena 6 does not make them disloyal to the LGBT community, just as the NAACP supporting gay rights does not make them any less interested in fairness for African Americans.

    1. Double T on Sep 28, 2007 5:28:23 PM:

      CC, Yes I do get it. Being attacked is one of the worst things that could happen. You are violated both physically and mentally.(And maybe I was a little bit of a smartass with you). I get it. I get it.

      1) Yes, punish the Jena 6 (appropriately, this I have no problem with)
      2) You are isolating the beating as a stand alone event. It was not, it was part of a series.

      Thank you for not excluding me from the conversation, but while we are on the subject of “visceral disgust”, there’s plenty of baggage here. The black community could teach you a thing or two about “visceral disgust”, enslavement, rape, murder and the list goes on, at the hands of their white neighbors.( Enslavement is a reach, both I’ve met many people while living in Georgia who did not think Blacks were real human beings ) And Blacks could argue that a white person could never really understand what it’s like.

      But HRC is not defending the "bullies". They are trying to do two things. 1) Address the problems with the system. 2) Build Allies.

      WHY pick this case? In part, because they were asked. In part, you take what’s out there. Life doesn’t always hand you the prettiest cases to argue. I need only point to L.Craig bathroom fiasco. Wouldn’t you rather he had been in a different venue to argue his defense?

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