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.
No Justice for Black people
There is no justice in the United States for Black people killed by the police. Black men and women are murdered with impunity by the very people who are sworn to serve and protect ALL the people. Yet, every year we hear of more killings of Black people by cops, and one by one they go free of charges. In 2016, at least 308 Black people were killed by police. In 2017, as of June 18, 141 Black people have been killed. See statistics at Mapping Police Violence.
Black Lives Matter movement started after the Trayvon Martin was killed. Here is the history of the organization, which was founded in July 2013.
The year before, in 2017, another young black man was killed. Unarmed, not threatening anyone, killed in his own home. His name was Ramarley Graham, and he was killed by the aptly named Officer Haste. A story this month in New York Magazine outlines details of how it happened that Ramarley Graham was killed, who killed him, and what the consequences were (none for the officer).
Although Graham had a record of seven arrests, none of which resulted in convictions, it was not unusual for his neighborhood. (Nor did Officer Haste know whether Graham had a record or not.) It happened that 2012 was “the height of the “stop and frisk” era: While black and Latino men between the ages of 14 and 24 made up 4.7 percent of the city’s population, they accounted for 41.6 percent of stops in 2011.”
On June 16, 2017, the officer accused of killing Philando Castile was found not guilty in his death. Philando Castile’s girlfriend video-taped the shooting and the aftermath. Castile was pulled over for a broken tail light. He did everything he was asked to do and more, yet he was shot while reaching for his wallet. Mr. Castile was licensed to carry a gun and was recorded on a dashboard camera video calmly telling Officer Yanez that he had a weapon in the car. Officer Yanez told him not to reach for the weapon, and Mr. Castile and his girlfriend Ms. Reynolds both tried to assure the officer that he was not doing so. Within seconds, Officer Yanez fired seven shots.
Philando Castile was a 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker. He had been pulled over previously. Forty-six times, in fact. Police often pull over Black people stating they “look like a suspect” or for minor infractions, such as a broken tail light.
Prosecutors in the Castile case said Yanez had not engaged in any of the dialogue he was trained to do. “He was making assumptions and jumping to conclusions without engaging in the dialogue he was trained to have in a citizen encounter like this,” Jeffrey Paulsen, a prosecutor, said in closing arguments. “And that’s his fault, not the fault of Philando Castile.”
#TerenceCrutcher = No Conviction
#SandraBland = No Conviction
#EricGarner = No Conviction
#MikeBrown = No Conviction
#RekiaBoyd = No Conviction
#SeanBell = No Conviction
#TamirRice = No Conviction
#FreddieGray = No Conviction
#DanroyHenry = No Conviction
#OscarGrantIII = No Conviction
#KendrecMcDade = No Conviction
#AiyanaJones = No Conviction
#RamarleyGraham = No Conviction
#AmadouDiallo = No Conviction
#TrayvonMartin = No Conviction
#JohnCrawfordIII = No Conviction
#JonathanFerrell = No Conviction
#TimothyStansburyJr = No Conviction
And THIS is why we need to remind EVERYONE that #BlackLivesMatter
Fight this Hate
Get involved with Black Lives Matter. Support the ACLU. Support Southern Poverty Law Center. If you see the police doing anything they shouldn’t, use your ACLU app on your phone to film. That video will go directly to ACLU.
Straight Men Are Killing The Trans Women They Love, Here’s Why
We think of hate crimes against gays and lesbians, we think of hate crimes against transgendered people, and we know most of these crimes are committed by straight white men.
But straight men who fall in love with transgendered women often are accused of being gay. This stems from the fact that some people are under the [mistaken] impression that transgendered women are men in dresses. Trans women are women.
Here is a heart-breaking case that illustrates what I’ve written above. The article is written by Jen Richards of Her Story, an Emmy-nominated web series Jen co-created. If you haven’t watched Her Story, you owe it to yourself to do so. Season One is up, and free. The entire season will take you about an hour to watch, and you may find your heart and mind opened after.
Fight this Hate
Watch Her Story. Educate others about hate crimes, LGBTQQIA issues, stand up for people.
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.