Fight this Hate shows a small selection of hate crimes and/or harassment that has taken place recently in the United States. Southern Poverty Law Center keeps detailed accounts of hate crimes. Colorlines tracks all manner of topics related to race and publishes them daily. The following incidents are only a small sample, and each includes a form of direct action.
Transgender Hate Crimes
On Christmas Day 2016 a transgender man, aged 44, was riding a 4 train in Harlem. When two women got on, he offered to scoot over. One of the women refused to sit by him saying she “didn’t want to sit next to a black person.”
The man and woman argued, and when he tried to get off the train in Harlem, the woman allegedly slashed his face. The woman has since been accused of a hate crime.
Mic reports: Fully 75 percent of the trans and gender-nonconforming Americans killed because of their identities since 2010 were Black women. Mic is an online news source founded in 2011 by Chris Altchek and Jake Horowitz “under the shared belief that millennials are inquisitive, have a healthy skepticism for conventional wisdom, and crave substantive news to spark interesting conversations.”
On December 8, Mic launched a new database that tracks deaths of transgender homicide victims. It is called Unerased, and can be accessed here.
If you witness an event like the transgender man having his face slashed on the subway, what can you do? Be an actual witness. Be willing to testify, to report the hate crime to the police, and to the FBI if necessary. Muslim Advocates has compiled information for every state to make reporting easier.
Native American Issues
This month nine children from the Havasupai Indian Reservation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon in Supai, Arizona, sued the U.S. Bureau of Indian Education (BIA) in U.S. District Court, alleging that it does not provide the quality education guaranteed by federal regulations.
Havasupai Elementary (K-8) is the only school on the reservation, and it is run by the BIA. The students are taught only reading, writing, and arithmetic. They are not taught their own language. They accuse the BIA of not including the Havasupai community in decisions affecting the school, not providing education for disabled children, understaffing which results in weeks of school closure, as well as other issues.
For education beyond the eighth grade, children must leave home. The reservation is accessible only by helicopter or mule or on foot. The trail to the reservation is eight miles from Hualapai Hilltop, which is 66 miles from the nearest town Peach Springs, Arizona. Children are sent to BIA run boarding schools, where only twenty percent graduate high school.
Join and support Native American Awareness
On Friday, January 13, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor joined with tribes and members of Congress to celebrate the enactment of four historic Indian water rights settlements that will benefit nine tribes.
The celebration included leaders from the Blackfeet Tribe, the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations, the La Jolla, Rincon, San Pasqual, Pauma and Pala Bands of Mission Indians, and the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians.
Sandra de Helen, author of the lesbian thriller Till Darkness Comes also pens the Shirley Combs/Dr. Mary Watson series. She is a poet, journalist, and a playwright. Her plays have been produced in the Philippines, Ireland and Canada, Chicago, New York City, and in thirteen states. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Dramatists Guild. Her books are available online, at Another Read Through Bookstore in Portland, Oregon, and Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego. Samples of her work are available on her website.