butterfly_haze (butterfly_haze) wrote in love_and_peace,

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Hate Crimes

The following was written for my Eng class last term -- thought I would include it in my LJ.

Mathew Shephered was a gay college student. October 6, 1998, he was at a Laramie Wyoming bar. Two men, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, walked in. The two drove with Shephered to an open field, beat, tied him to a fence, and stole his wallet and shoes. Later he was found by two motorcyclists who actually thought he was a scarecrow because the way he was leaning and tied to the fence. Shephered was flown to Poudre Valley Hospital where he was in critical condition for days. He died of injuries on October 12, 1998.

James Byrd, a 49 year old black man in Texas was beaten, changed to the back of a truck and dragged for miles. The three men, John King, Lawrence Brewer, and Shawn Berry were later arrested. “I feel as though I've been (dragged) 120 miles, chained by my feet, to the bumper of a Corvette doing about 90 mph.“ This was written by Brewer in 1993 to his ex-wife and said in court that it was a coincidence and had only kicked Byrd once.

A 38 year old Journalist, Daniel Pearl, was kidnapped on January 23rd and later killed. The kidnappers had videotaped him while alive and his murder. Pearl was the 10th reporter to be killed that did coverage on the “war on terror” according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Pearl thought that he was meeting someone after following a tip from a sorch about a story of an accused “shoe bomber”. His kidnappers wanted the release of Pakistani detainees in Cuba. Pearl was accused of being a spy, that the CIA and his newspaper had denied, but the kidnappers said they would kill Pearl if the demands of letting the Pakistani detainees go. Pearl was a journalist for 14 years.

Robert Davis was beaten by police officers on October 9, 2005. He is a retired elementary school teacher and lives in New Orleans. The Associated Press filmed the beating, even after one of the police officers pushed the cameraman behind a truck. Davis does not believe that he was assaulted because he is African American and the four police officers were white. Davis was being charged with battery, public intoxication, and resisting arrest. He says that he has not had a drink in 25 years. Lance Schilling, S.M. Smith, and Robert Evangelist, the officers, were released after pleading not guilty to a judged and placed bond. Robert Evangelist and Lance Schilling were fired and Stuart Smith was suspended for 120 days for participating in the beating. All charges against Davis were dropped.

In “Tomorrow Will Be a Better Day” a 16 year old, named Josh Rittenberg, explains how his father is worried about what is going to happen in Josh’s generation. As Josh looks through family photos he realizes things that his grandparents and great-grandparents witnessed during their lives. Josh mentions how his generation will go through bad and good situations as they did. His Dad always told him when he was younger how tomorrow will be a better day, and Josh wanted to tell his Dad the same when he was worrying about Josh’s generation.

“We Are Each Other’s Business” by Eboo Patel talks about doing something instead of keeping the silence when things are said or done that would hurt someone. He mentions his Jewish friend and how he didn’t step in or be there to comfort his friend. He realizes now after feeling humililiated about that part of his life, that he can’t take back what happened during that time, but can actively take part on preventing it from happening to others.

If you want to change the world, you can't just wait and wish for it to happen -- you got to be part of the action

***START TODAY!!****

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