Monday, October 23, 2006

Elegy for a Stranger

Fastlad, on the brutal assault-unto-murder of Michael Sandy.

...I was seated next to a new reporter I'd just met on the job and - aware of the impression this must be making on her - I found that I was weeping. Michael Sandy wasn't anyone I knew, yet my response was heartfelt: not even 30, seeking a simple human connection, even braving streets where he wasn’t welcome, to be betrayed, beaten, and run to ground by a pack of thugs.

Boy, that sounds familiar. But look how it plays:

Michael was responding to an internet hook up. He went to a historically racist neighborhood to do it. It was racism. It was homophobia. It was unfortunate. It was stupid.


That’s the reason for the ostentatiously muted response from community leaders: He was looking for sex, he was gay.


Since Michael won’t roll back his tombstone and rise again, religious leaders won’t concern themselves with his fate either. And since he was gay they won't concern themselves with any lingering parallel. Jesus asked us to love one and other, just not in that way, okay?

Wrong pigmentation, wrong preference, wrong crowd, wrong number.


''If love will not swing wide the gates, no other power will or can.''
- James Baldwin.

More at fastlad.

Also, from BlackAmericaWeb:

Michael Sandy could have been any one of us, and yet he was us. He was a black, he was a Black male, and he was a black gay male.

If Michael Sandy would have been heterosexual, would that have brought out the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s and the Rev. Al Sharpton’s of black America? Would that have made it okay for the NAACP to get involved and for other Black civil rights groups to take notice?

I am beginning to think so...

and from the New York Blade:

A teenager who knew the assailants told The New York Times that the attack wasn’t a hate crime against blacks or gays: "They were looking to rob him. They didn’t think he would fight back if he was gay."

But prosecutors in this hate crime case don’t have to prove that the assailants don’t like African Americans or gays, Hynes explained. Prosecutors just have to prove that Sandy was targeted because he was gay or African American. "If you select a member of a class because you think they’re particularly vulnerable—that’s the hate crime."

The assailants indicated they had used the Internet to plot similar attacks in the past, Hynes said.

"The Internet is increasing as a vehicle to victimize people," said Clarence Patton, the executive director of The New York City Anti-Violence Project. Patton said that the police don’t consider race to be a factor in this case.

"Perhaps we move to that point in our history as a country where you have opposite races who are engaged in something like this where race is not an issue, and it’s only about sexual orientation," Patton said.

"What’s hard to believe is that Michael’s race was not in some way considered some sort of bonus to these young men," Patton said...


Taihae said...

And there are politicians that will tell you that things like racism are no longer even an issue. were not incredibly far here from when a girl who doesnt dress like a nun is raped and its her fault for having a spark of natural sexuality in the first place? even when we're different its just the same.

ChasingMoksha said...

OT: Belle, are you having trouble with the Bitch|Lab link, or is just me?

belledame222 said...

No, it's not just you. There was some problem with the server or something; she's working on it.

Rootietoot said...

What a truly horrible thing to happen to a person. I really know almost nothing about the situation, as I don't read the news much, and I don't know who he was, except that he was a human being, brutally attacked and killed, and that, all by itself, is tragic and terrible.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

I don't know taihae, NYC can be differnt with regards to what the politicians peddle. Though not perfect, I think the message has to be more honest.

Thanks to Belle for highligthing such a tragic and both important news event. My heart goes out to Michael's family. I am sorry that we live in a country where people act the way they did that night in Brooklyn.

Renegade Eye said...

I returned the favor, and linked back to you.

Actually atleast it was mentioned in the media.

Anthony Kennerson said...

WOW....and they say that we have progressed so far as humans.

Maybe not far enough, in my opinion.

There is not a pit in Hell deep enough for anyone this callous and racist and sexually repressed to commit this act. was a deliberate denial-of-service attack that befell B|L's is back and running now. I say that she should go Rumsfeld on the freaks who perpetrated this crime (that's Rumsfeld as in the "Sweep it up...everything related and not").


Katie said...

"fault for having a spark of natural sexuality in the first place"


I'm going to keep that phrase in mind. Maybe put it in various scathing comments I paste up on my wall.

This post triggered my philosophical side, by the way, belledame. Thanks.