Wednesday, August 28, 2013

the roots of this summer's epidemic of hate crimes

Islan Nettles, a beautiful 21 year old student who was pursuing her dream of becoming a successful fashion designer, was out for a walk with friends when Paris Wilson and a group of angry young men shouted homophobic slurs and began beating her into a coma. She died from those injuries last Thursday.

Michael Felenchak and Peter Nortman had gone out to the movies and were leaving the multiplex holding hands when a group of six young men brutally beat them while shouting homophobic slurs. The two men were hospitalized, suffering broken bones and needing stitches.

Mark Carson, a frozen yogurt store manager, was heading home with a friend just after midnight on a Saturday night in May when he was accosted by Elliot Morales, who taunted him with homophobic slurs and then shot him in the face, killing him.

These victims are not alone. There has been a rising epidemic of bashings and killings all over America this summer. In New York City alone, once thought to be a safe haven for gays and lesbians, hate crimes doubled over a six month period when compared to last year's total. What has caused this dramatic change? As gay men and women have begun, for the first time, a long, steady streak of huge gains in public opinion polls, at the ballot box, and in the courts, Christian Evangelicals have exponentially increased their hate-filled rhetoric, using lies and propaganda to incite a violent and murderous holy war against them.

Pat Robertson, founder and Chairman of the Christian Broadcast Network (CBN), rules over an influential and successful multi-billion dollar media empire that claims to reach half a billion viewers, through its programs and preaches its beliefs to billions further through it's ministries in countries all over the planet. Robertson and the CBN were instrumental in convincing Uganda to adopt a "kill the gays" law that requires the death penalty for convicted homosexuals of the growing African nation where CBN has provided tens of millions in aid.

Yesterday, after steadily increasing his anti-gay rhetoric all summer, Mr. Robertson claimed to hundreds of millions of viewers that gay men with AIDS (HIV) wear sharp rings to purposely infect innocent people with the virus by shaking hands and cutting them:
You know what they do in San Francisco? Some in the gay community there, they want to get people. So if they got the stuff (HIV) they’ll have a ring, you shake hands and the ring’s got a little thing where you cut your finger. Really. It’s that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder.
Robertson also recently claimed that gay men are bent on the destruction of the church, the military, marriage, businesses, and all of society, saying homosexuals are possessed by demons, are equivalent to rapists,murderers, and pedophiles.

Robertson hasn't been working alone, Bryan Fischer broadcasts his anti-gay rhetoric for two hours each day reaching tens of millions of listeners through the American Family Association's 180 radio stations in over 40 states. Two days ago, Fischer lauded Russia's recent criminalization of gay men and women, who have begun to be rounded and up and brutalized, under a false propaganda law. Fischer states, "this is the sort of public policy that we've been advocating" but, he says, "the law doesn't go far enough." In the past, Fischer has promoted the murdering of gay men and lesbians through a "kill the gays bill."

Bradlee Dean, a recovering drug addict and convicted criminal, hosts "The Sons of Liberty Radio" Show broadcast and webcast to millions of American homes weekly. On their show this weekend, Dean's co-host Jake McMillan stated, “half of the murders in large cities were committed by homosexuals; thirty-three percent of child abuse cases were committed by homosexuals; half of the foster children molestations were done by homosexuals.”

There is no evidence to support any of these statistics, so one need hardly guess at the purposes of disseminating these lies.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, has listed Robertson, Fischer, Dean and McMillan as members of anti-gay hate groups whose soul purpose is create a hostile environment for gays and lesbians, with their stated ultimate goal of incarceration followed by the death penalty.

With hate crimes against gays and lesbians rising to record levels this year, it appears these hate groups have begun to achieve their goals. With the gay rights movement being the longest and most peaceful the world has ever seen, the question is, how long before gay men and lesbians begin to fight back preemptively? Will they fight for their lives when their government offers no protection from harm?

#gay #hate #crime #new york #city #christian #epidemic #crime #bashing #death #fundamentalist #group #robertson #fischer #dean #mcmillan #lesbians #lgbt #marriage #equality