Showing posts with label Bigotry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bigotry. Show all posts

November 25, 2016

No Mex, No Asians, No Blacks and Only White Gays



I missed this posting from Owen Jones, who I happen to like and it was posted on the Guardian on Nov 23; I missed it because of the Thanksgiving holiday. I put a lot of importance on this subject of racism and bigotry in the gay community because I have seen it among ex friends and gays I have come in contact with and I find it repulsive and incomprehensible that people that have been victims of racism and bigotry will exercise it on others. Unfortunedly it is true and common. What I don’t see to often is other gays calling it out. 

During the Presidential election it was nice seeing many gays particularly on Facebook calling other gays out that said they were voting for Trump and posting fake news on Hillary Clinton who has been a friend of the community for most of her life and who had committed no crime and the only thing she was guilty of was something that others had done as well in her previous position and it was to have a private server. No crimes but accusation for everything because it was a well planned campaign by the Republican committee and others from Breitbart Alt right magazine and latter the Russian government even before they even knew who the GOP nominee was going to be. 

As I told someone on Facebook, compared to crimes Trump was going to court for and everything else we have seen about him , his character and serious quirks,  Hillary was, is a saint. No question about it in anybody’s mind that takes the fakes news and dumped them and measure the two candidates on the same things we have measured every Presidential candidate before. Even if this man did not mean everything he said and was going to do the opposite like a civilized politician then he is the biggest lier one that cannot be trusted by the electorate or the International community.

 So, there are gays saying they wont vote for her for the same reason anti gays are using. She can’t be trusted and she is a criminal who should be locked up. Every time I ask what crimes, no one was able to tell me anything that made sense or that it was documented. So they were swallowing the line of people that don't like gays. It was easy to be dismayed. As a result of this we have a lop sided election in which the looser gets over 2 million votes more. Not even in Russia would you find such blatantly criminal campaigns to make their candidate win. To me I expect it from the right and even a few gays but not for the numbers I saw. Would those numbers be enough to change the election? I don’t know but my main concern is that the numbers show intolerant racist gays who based their vote on the hard line Trump took on immigrants. Nothing to do on Hillary. They knew there will be no wall but they knew that Trump would at least be a lot tougher than Hillary on immigration and a few other minor  immigrant details like in school and who gets an education. That really hurt and we will all pay the price because our elected officials cannot be better than the people that select them except Trump wont even be any of that because he is not the winner of the majority of the nation votes.


Racism is a serious problem within the LGBT community and needs to be addressed. Despite the determination of many minority ethnic LGBT people to do just that, it is not happening. “How can I be a bigot when I am myself a member of an oppressed minority?” is a prevailing attitude among some white LGBT people. But another far more pernicious reason is that the LGBT world revolves around white gay men to the exclusion of others. The rainbow flag is whiter than it appears.

“I’m sexualised for my skin tone and never treated as a person,” Saif tells me. “The community is trained to accept a white, ‘masc’, muscled gay man and the rest of us are not really accepted or ‘one of their own’.” It’s not the individual he blames, but being conditioned by a community that venerates the “sexual image of a white gay man”. According to research by FS magazine, an astonishing 80% of black men, 79% of Asian men and 75% of south Asian men have experienced racism on the gay scene.

This manifests itself in numerous ways. Some are rejected because of their ethnicity; on the other hand, some are objectified because of it. On dating sites and apps, profiles abound that say “no Asians” or “no black people”, casually excluding entire ethnic groups. It’s like a “bastardised ‘No dogs, no blacks, no Irish’ signs”, as Anthony Lorenzo puts it.

“On apps like Grindr,” writes Matthew Rodriguez, “gay men brandish their racial dating preferences with all the same unapologetic bravado that straight men reserve for their favourite baseball team.”
Homi tells me he has Persian ancestry, and is “sometimes mistaken for being Greek, Italian, Spanish, etc”. Once, at a nightclub, he was relentlessly pursued by a fellow patron. Eventually, he was asked: “Where are you from?” When Homi answered India, the man was horrified. “I’m so sorry – I don’t do Indians! Indians are not my type.”

Historically, LGBT publications been dominated by white men and have neglected issues of race
And it is not simply a western phenomenon. Luan, a Brazilian journalist, tells me his country has a “Eurocentric image of beauty” and there is a “cult of the white man, which is absurd, given more than half the population is black or brown”. Others speak of their experiences of being rejected by door staff at LGBT venues. Michel, a south Asian man, tells me of being turned away because “you don’t look gay”, and being called a “dirty Paki”. He says it has got worse since the Orlando nightclub massacre, where the gunman was Muslim.

And then there’s the other side of the equation: objectification. Malik tells about his experiences of what he describes as the near “fetishisation” of race. The rejection of people based on ethnicity is bad enough, he says, “but it can be just as gross when someone reduces you to your ethnicity, without consent, when dating/hooking up”. His Arab heritage was objectified and stereotyped by some would-be lovers, even down to presuming his sexual role.
When the Royal Vauxhall Tavern – a famed London LGBT venue – hosted a “blackface” drag act, Chardine Taylor-Stone launched the Stop Rainbow Racism campaign. The drag act featured “exaggerated neck rolling, finger snapping displays of ‘sassiness’, bad weaves” and other racial stereotypes, she says. After launching a petition against the event, she received threats of violence. “White LGBTQs who are truly against racism need to step up and take ownership of what is happening in their community,” she writes.

LGBT publications are guilty too. Historically, they’ve been dominated by white men, have neglected issues of race, and have portrayed white men as objects of beauty. Dean stopped buying mainstream gay magazines two years ago. “The only time they would write about people of colour is when they had done something homophobic,” he says. “The gay media is completely whitewashed.”

There has been positive change in recent months, one leading black gay journalist tells me, but only because of the work of ethnic minority LGBT individuals “holding magazines to account, setting up their own nights across the scene” and using social media, blogs, podcasts and boycotts to force change.

While LGBT people are much more likely than heterosexuals to suffer from mental distress, the level is even higher among ethnic minorities. Undoubtedly, racism plays a role. As Rodriguez puts it, seeing dating app profiles rejecting entire ethnic groups causes “internalised racism, decreased self-esteem and psychological distress.”
Many of the rights and freedoms that all LGBT people won were down to the struggles of black and minority ethnic people: at the Stonewall riots, for example, non-white protesters. The least that white LGBT people can do is to reciprocate and confront racism within their own ranks. Shangela, an actor, tells me that racism from the LGBT community “hurts more because it’s coming from people that I’m meant to share a kinship with”.

The far-right movements on the march across the western world are consciously trying to co-opt the LGBT rights campaign for their own agenda. Muslims are portrayed as an existential threat to gay people, particularly after Orlando. There are those who only talk about LGBT rights if it is to bash Muslims or migrants as a whole. American white nationalist websites now sell LGBT pride flags along with the Confederate flag. This week, Milo Yiannopolous – a gay attention-seeker who has become an icon of the US far right – was at the centre of a media storm because a platform to speak at his old school was withdrawn. In the Netherlands, the anti-immigrant right was led by a gay man, Pim Fortuyn, until his assassination. In France, reportedly a third of married gay couples support the far-right National Front.

The struggle against racism has, of course, to be led by people of colour who suffer the consequences – such as Black Out UK, which fights for a platform for black gay men, and Media Diversified, which campaigns for minority representation in the media. But unless white LGBT people – who the official gay scene venerates – listen to the voices of those who are sidelined, little will change.

Being oppressed yourself does not mean you are incapable of oppressing others: far from it. LGBT people have had to struggle against bigotry and oppression for generations. It is tragic that they inflict and ignore injustice in their own ranks.

September 7, 2016

911 Calls of a Gay Black Man Being Beaten by Hassidic Jews /Heard in Court

Follow Up

 Taj Patterson looks bad but he is lucky to be alive and to New Yorkers who got involved

We have been following the incident of a gay black man being merciless beaten by a group
of coward *Hassidic’s men in a Brooklyn Street. The New York Daily News have been there from the beginning and thanks to their coverage we can keep track of the trial of the defendants that did not go into a plea agreement.

*Hassidic is a sect of more conservative jews who observe a more conservative view of the Old Testament. They dress differently, tend to live in the same neighborhoods, their own security, ambulance and they only work for each other. They tend to be quiet and mind their business 
when out and about in the city but in the neighborhood where they live they tend to behave as if the sidewalks and street belongs to them. I know because I happened to have lived by one of their neighborhoods in Boro Park, NY. and have worked among some of them.

A Brooklyn judge presiding over the gang assault trial of a Hasidic Jewish man listened to what 
may be the most compelling testimony of the case presented by prosecutors — two 911 calls.
Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough
 introduced two emergency calls placed during the early morning of Dec. 1, 2013, when Taj Patterson was brutally beaten 
allegedly by a group of Jewish men including Mayer Herskovic — 
in Williamsburg.
“There’s a bunch of Jewish guys beating up a black kid... 
There’s like 20 Jewish men and one, one black kid,” 
said the unknown female caller.
“I didn’t see any weapons — it just didn't look good — 
he was begging for a ride, but I didn’t want to put him in my car... 
It doesn’t look safe,” she continued.
Earlier in the non-jury trial, Patterson testified to Brooklyn Supreme 
Court Justice Danny Chun that he was walking towards his 
Fort Greene home on 
Flushing Ave. when he heard the scream of a “negative slur” and 
saw someone running after him.
As the group of alleged assailants grew to almost two dozen men, Patterson desperately 
attempted to retreat into two vehicles that were driving by, 
but neither stopped.
 Video surveillance showed Patterson banging on the cars and running 
away from at least three people — one wearing a jacket used by Shomrim, 
a group of Jewish civilian patrols.
One of the drivers called 911. “It looked like one of the guys was using a 
phone to hit him, but I didn't see any weapons... Yeah, they (sic) looked fine, 
he was begging for a ride. They were telling us not to let him in the car 
so we didn't want to get involved,” she told the operator.
The caller also described a traffic jam near the intersection of Flushing Ave. 
and Warsaw Pl. and urged the operator to send an ambulance to help Patterson,
 who was “drooling.”
A male’s voice can be heard on the second 911 call saying, “Open the car.”

During the vicious assault, Patterson’s sneaker was ripped off his foot and thrown to 
the roof of 475 Flushing Ave. by the same person in the gang that shoved their thumb 
into his eye, according to trial testimony.
 Four co-defendants — Pinchas Braver, Aaron Hollender, Joseph Fried 
and Abraham Winkler — either had their cases dismissed or pleaded 
guilty to lesser charges on the indictment.
If Herskovic is convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.

Security camera footage shows the chase leading up to when Patterson was attacked.

June 15, 2016

Has the Shootings Changed Ted Cruz,Ryan,Trump and GOP Stance on Gay Rights?

The Orlando massacre is unlikely to mean much change in how the Republican Party deals with gay rights.

The Sunday shootings gave the GOP, long struggling to erase an image of intolerance, a big stage to show its support and sympathy for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. But a day later there was little sign that the party would take the opportunity to alter its positions on key gay-rights issues.

Presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday emphasized his belief that cracking down on terrorists would be a boost for gay rights. Meanwhile, other influential party voices are expected to insist that the party take a strong stand for “religious liberty” in the Republican platform, a phrase used to describe legislation that critics charge allows religious conservatives to cite their beliefs in discriminating against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.

Gay-rights advocates say such legislation merely masks opposition to same-sex marriage, something the Supreme Court ruled a constitutionally protected right one year ago.
What might be different when the party’s platform committee begins meeting July 11 is the tone. “I don’t know if it changes the arguments. Maybe it changes the tenor,” said Ed Martin, president of the Eagle Forum, the Alton, Illinois-based conservative group active on Republican platform issues.

“Religious liberty” has been an important rallying cry for conservatives. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, whose supporters will have a big say on the platform, made the issue a centerpiece of his presidential campaign.

Trump was cheered last week when he told the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Washington conference he would uphold “religious freedom, the right for people of faith to freely practice their faith, so important.”

Republican gay-rights activists said they were heartened Monday by at least part of Trump’s comments after the shootings.

“I refuse to allow America to become a place where gay people, Christian people, and Jewish people, are the targets of persecution and intimidation by radical Islamic preachers of hate and violence,” the New York real-estate mogul said in a speech on terrorist issues.

 Trump gives a show paid by gay’s blood. .A draft dodger hugs the flag, What does it mean?

Donald Trump

Trump suggested the way to assure rights for gay people and others is to get tougher on terrorism. “A radical Islamic terrorist targeted the nightclub not only because he wanted to kill Americans, but in order to execute gay and lesbian citizens because of their sexual orientation,” he said.

This tie to national security is expected to be a recurring Republican theme, a way of showing how the GOP aims to protect gay rights.

“The Orlando shootings are a reminder of the major issues facing the country,” said Roger Beckett, executive director of the Ashbrook Center in Ohio, a research center named for a former conservative Republican congressman that offers instructional programs on government.

Gregory Angelo, president of Log Cabin Republicans, an organization representing gay conservatives and their allies, said he found Trump’s statements and those of other GOP candidates a “tipping point in the LGBT rights movement in the United States.”

At least, he said, they were acknowledging that gay people had been targeted for attack. And that’s better than what happened after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when televangelists blamed gays among others for the catastrophe.

The reaction after Orlando, Angelo said, shows “that people can have civil disagreements about things like marriage, but come together when Americans are attacked simply because of who they are.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, after the Orlando shootings

But none of that means any big policy or platform change is imminent.

Across the country, Republicans have backed measures in the name of religious freedom that many gay-rights activists find offensive. In Indiana last year, for example, Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation barring state and local governments from hindering people’s ability to practice their religion. Though sexual orientation wasn’t specifically mentioned in the measure, many saw it as permitting businesses to deny services to LGBT people.

After major corporations threatened to stop doing business in the state, Pence relented.

That didn’t stop others. After North Carolina passed HB2, its “bathroom law,” this spring limiting transgender people to the restrooms of their birth sex, the Obama administration issued a directive telling school systems to permit students to use the restrooms that align with their gender identity. A dozen states are challenging that action in a federal lawsuit.

61% Percentage of people in a Gallup poll last month who said same-sex marriages should be recognized by law as valid
The challenge for the Republican Party remains the same. In a report on how to expand the GOP, a high-level party study urged “We need to campaign among Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans and demonstrate we care about them, too.”

However, no one is predicting any big breakthroughs anytime soon. “This situation is still too fluid to make any proclamations regarding the GOP platform,” said Angelo.

“Religious freedom” advocates are determined to see their principles survive, and Trump’s forces so far have sent no signals they will oppose religious liberty planks in the platform.

The Family Leader, an influential Iowa-based Christian group, “will continue to stand on the principles of the Bible in regards to God’s design for marriage and will continue to defend the unalienable right of religious liberty endowed upon us all by our Creator,” said spokesman Drew Zahn.

But thanks to Orlando, any anger will be muted. “The Orlando shootings are going to moderate that conversation,” said the Ashbrook Center’s Beckett.

BY DAVID LIGHTMAN: 202-383-6101, @lightmandavid

September 7, 2015

Bigot/homophobe Westboro Bap.Church Comes After Homophobe-self centered Kim Davis

Hold on Junior! this story can unglue any sinning christian! When I came aware of the Westboro Baptist church coming out after kim Davis with a vengeanc I needed to find out why this was happening. If not for my own knowledge then for my own humor and posting of facebook

To my surprise the homophobes/bigots of Westboro church have a point. I mean if you are going to follow the scriptures in a very cynical, non spiritual, factual way in which it is written, then a lot of christians which hold the bible this way when it comes to gays then you most hold their feet to the fire when they plainly disobey the bible.  More importantly, the part of the bible Kim Davis disobeys is been part of many religions over centuries including the Jews and those who follow a prophet for which you can’t print cartoons (you know which) and a god name Jehovah which destroyed animals and humans because he was upset. 
What I mean is we are not talking about a few passages which can be attributed of what was happening at the time rather than in modern times which has different needs and laws but a corner stone of most all religions that recognized marriage between two people. 

Check out the tweets below and see about this particular sin and what the West-Bores are saying about it and Kim Davis:
“Divorce” is the sin. The same one the Kennedy’s had to pay the Catholic Church to be called Annulled instead of divorce. Even today in the Hebrew religion a woman cannot divorce a man unless granted by a rabbi in which the husband, not the wife most consent.
For more on this story, click Westboro Baptist Church Now Has Kim Davis In Their Hate-Fueled Sights by Addicting Info.

August 25, 2015

Assylum Seekers in Germany Face Violence from right Wingers


I don’t know if what’s happening in Germany could happen here but based on the right wings antics it surely could. I like to think that there are more moral and good people in this nation than close minded bigots who believe that people that live in any one nation are natural of that land. It is a lack of knowledge and understanding of the species to think that the world has always been the wait is now. 
Some of us that have studied the geology and human history know that even the continents at one point used to be united where now are divided by water. The Grand Canyon and countless pieces of nations show the fossils of fish and rocks in mountains which show the carving of the waves. Since the beginning of time we know that the thinking of certain close minded people that they belong here and no one else has led Civilizations and kingdoms to fall.

Germany has always been on the out fronts of bigotry perhaps because in the past they have retain a certain kind of Caucasians. These particular divisions of skin type have been explored and used even by people that did not possess such qualities of pureness. An example of that is A. Hitler and his henchmen. They were not always looking as good as the troops they segregated at the beginning of their bloody term in power. At the end it didn’t matter what you look like or how old you were as long as you could walk. If we don’t learn from this period of blood by blood type then we surely re lived again. 

ISIS a group that exists to support it self like the HIV virus or any virus for that fact. No reason for being except to multiply and be. The sad part is that we have them here, in our country too. We have some gays that hate other gays because where they are from. Make no mistake I am not talking orientations but preferences to be a certain way and believe in certain things. You could prefer to partner with a blue eye caucasian as you could prefer to partner with someone looking like a black slave that just arrived from Africa 200 yrs ago. That doesn’t mean they wont break bread with them. There are some that have determined that some people are inferior to them and they have the right to treat them as less than humans. This is the ISIS in all our races and this is the ISIS born in the most religious and bigot group of people. Those that believe that due to a book most know nothing about or how it came to be it has to be interpret as an excuse to divide some people from each other. 

The problem with the immigrants in the US is not financial with most. How would we know that?
When you question someone who do not want immigrants due to financial hardships the nations might face…( no proof of that but there is proof of the opposite since this country is a country built by immigrants) when you talk to these economically conservative folks about how they feel about immigrants they will give you a Donald Trump speech.” As a matter of fact those that have followed Trump do not know how he really feels about immigrants because he has said the opposite not too long ago. But as an experienced bull shit’r he says what gets him closer to his objective.

Just as we judge the ISIS inhumanity to Christians and gays and I wonder if Christians know they are together in this with gays like they were together with the six million jews killed in the ovens and gas chambers? Yet we sometimes don’t even get credit as victims of murder and discrimination when a cake maker does.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has strongly condemned violence at an asylum seekers' shelter that injured dozens of police officers.
Mrs Merkel described the behaviour at some in the eastern town of Heidenau as "abhorrent" and "shameful".
Security was increased at the newly-opened centre near Dresden at the weekend after two nights of protests.
Left-wing activists staging counter-demonstrations have clashed with the right-wing protesters.
Germany says it expects up to 800,000 people to seek asylum by the end of 2015.

German police officers patrol after renewed clashes near a migrant shelter, in Heidenau, Saxony, Germany (22 August 2015)
Anti-asylum demonstrators clashed with police on Friday and Saturday nights

German news magazine Der Spiegel reports that the violence on Friday night followed a demonstration earlier in the evening, called for by a Facebook group linked to the far-right NPD party.
The group later distanced itself from the violence that followed.


Germany shocked by riot - by BBC Berlin correspondent Jenny Hill

"The Nazi shame of Heidenau" is how Bild described what happened near Dresden. There was outrage too that the German chancellor did not immediately condemn the violence. "Merkel must break her silence," ran one headline.
And this morning she did. Her spokesman described the far-right demonstrations as "disgusting" and "shameful" - sentiments with which most Germans agree. 
Attacks on asylum seeker accommodation are rising but the numbers are still relatively small. The neo-Nazis who hurled bottles and fireworks in Heidenau are a despised minority. 
A recent poll revealed 67% of Germans were "very worried" by attacks on refugee homes. In another survey 93% said it was right to give asylum to those fleeing conflict. And an extraordinary number of people here are giving up their time or their possessions.
All over the country there are warehouses stacked with second-hand clothes, toys, supplies for the refugees.

Protesters opposed to asylum centre march in Heidenau (21 August 2015)
The violence followed this demonstration opposing the asylum centre in Heidenau on Friday

Speaking ahead of talks with the French President Francois Hollande, Mrs Merkel said it was "abhorrent how right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis attempt to spread their idiotic message of hatred".
It was equally shameful, she added, that citizens, including families with children, "support these things by marching along".
In a statement President Hollande called for the creation of a "unified system for the right to asylum."
He added that Europe's migrant crisis was "an exceptional situation that will last for some time."

Asylum-seekers arrive at a refugee centre in Heidenau (22 August 2015)
Asylum seekers are being put up in a building that was formerly a DIY store

Police had to use tear gas and pepper spray in the early hours of Saturday morning to lift a blockade of the asylum seekers' shelter. Hundreds of people, some alcohol-fuelled, hurled bottles and stones at police, injuring 31 officers, reports say.
A further night of violence followed on Saturday, and two police officers were injured.
German media report that a police "control zone" introduced in the area immediately around the centre on Sunday appears to be working. The violence between left and right-wing groups on Sunday night took place outside this zone.

Hooded left-wing protesters arrive near the security zone around a former hardware store that has been turned into an emergency shelter for refugees in Heidenau, Germany (23 August 2015)
Late on Sunday masked left-wing protesters were in the area around the former hardware store

Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, visiting Heidenau on Monday, praised the town's mayor for his courage in speaking out against the violence.
Mr Gabriel was also due to speak to the refugees on Monday and tour the building where they are being lodged, which is in a former DIY store.
About 300 asylum seekers have already arrived at the reception centre, which is due to take 600 people.
Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has promised to use "the full force of the law" against those who carry out anti-refugee violence.

Sigmar Gabriel (at right) talks to a resident in Heidenau (24 August 2015)
Sigmar Gabriel (right) talked to residents as well as visiting the asylum seekers' shelter

March 11, 2015

College Students Knew and Sang lyrics used before Blacks were Hung to Trees


Sigma Alpha Epsilon's national chapter shut down the chapter on Sunday, March 8, 2015, suspended all of the chapter's members and threatened to remove those responsible from the fraternity for life. (Credit: KFOR)
Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national chapter shut down the chapter on Sunday, March 8, 2015, suspended all of the chapter’s members and threatened to remove those responsible from the fraternity for life. (Credit: KFOR)
The video shows a group of young white students chanting the n-word loudly and boisterously while riding on a bus.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national chapter shut down the chapter Sunday night, suspended all of the chapter’s members and threatened to remove those responsible from the fraternity for life.
In the video, the students are heard chanting, “There will never be a ni**** in SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me.”
“SAE” stands for Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. “Sign with” means join the fraternity.
“I was not only shocked and disappointed but disgusted by the outright display of racism displayed in the video,” SAE National President Bradley Cohen said in a statement.
‘Racism is alive’
A black student organization, Unheard, posted the video online Sunday with the comment, “Racism is alive at The University of Oklahoma.” It was addressed @President_Boren.
That’s the University of Oklahoma’s president, David Boren.
He took less than an hour to tweet back his disgust.
“If the video is indeed of OU students, this behavior will not be tolerated and is contrary to all of our values. We are investigating.” He threatened to throw the fraternity off the campus, if the allegations were true.
‘We are disgusted’
But SAE’s national headquarters beat him to the punch.
“Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national headquarters has closed its Oklahoma Kappa chapter at the University of Oklahoma following the discovery of an inappropriate video,” it said.
“We apologize for the unacceptable and racist behavior of the individuals in the video, and we are disgusted that any member would act in such a way,” it added.
A group of students gathered to pray over the racist insults. One of them told CNN affiliate KFOR he was “nauseated, frustrated,” but he was happy with the SAE headquarters’ decision.
“We should be past this. This is disgusting,” he said.
Spray paint marked a wall of SAE’s fraternity house at the university. It appeared to read, “Tear it down.”
Police posted squad cars in front of the house.
Forced to change
SAE says it was founded shortly before the American Civil War, when racism and secessionist anger against the abolition of slavery ran hot.
SAE has had to work hard to change recently, after a string of member deaths, many blamed on the hazing of new recruits, Cohen wrote in a message on the fraternity’s website.
“The media has labeled us as the ‘nation’s deadliest fraternity,’ ” he said. In 2011, for example, a student died while being coerced into hypothermia and excessive alcohol consumption.
SAE’s previous insurer dumped the fraternity.
“As a result, we are paying Lloyd’s of London the highest insurance rates in the Greek-letter world,” Cohen said.
Universities have turned down SAE’s attempts to open new chapters, and the fraternity had to close 12 in a period of 18 months over hazing incidents.
On Monday, OU students plan to protest peacefully against racism.

KTLA 5 News
News/Media Website · 625,692 Likes
 · Yesterday at 12:08pm · Edited · 

A fraternity has shut down its University of Oklahoma chapter after a disturbing video showed members singing a racist chant that used the n-word.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon suspended all of the Oklahoma chapter's members and threatened to ban those responsible for life.
In the video, the students are heard chanting, “There will never be a n----- in SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he'll never sign with me."

November 11, 2014

Homophobia is still one of the last acceptable forms of bigotry

Almost 2.8 billion people are living in countries where identifying as gay could lead to imprisonment, corporal punishment or even death. In stark contrast, only 780 million people are living in countries where same-sex marriage or civil unions are a legal right.
These figures, reported by the International Lesbian and Gay Association in May 2014, show there is still much to be done in the effort to attain universal rights for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual) communities worldwide. Yet there has also been significant progress over the past 10 years, and this too should be acknowledged. In this extract from the Outlook on the Global Agenda 2015, Kenneth Roth, the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, is questioned on what has been achieved so far and the challenges that still lie ahead.
What progress has there been on LGBT rights since you established Human Rights Watch’s LGBT rights programme 10 years ago?
There’s been enormous progress globally and locally. It’s important to note that the fight for LGBT rights is not a Western phenomenon; many of the governments at the forefront of the defence of LGBT rights are from the developing world. The historic LGBT resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council, adopted in September 2014, was led by governments from the global south, primarily Latin America, and backed by others from all over the world, including South Africa. Even governments usually opposed to human rights enforcement, such as Cuba, Venezuela and Vietnam, supported it.
Yet, because of this global support, we’re recently witnessing an intensifying backlash. To a large degree, this is due to the greater visibility of the LGBT community in societies that have begun to recognize their rights. But LGBT people are also convenient scapegoats for embattled leaders, who are trying to rally support from more conservative sectors of their society. Whether it’s Uganda, Nigeria or Russia, the decision to scapegoat the LGBT community is an outcome of serious challenges to the regime, for widespread corruption or abusive authoritarianism.
The status of the LGBT community is a good litmus test for the status of human rights in society more broadly, precisely because it is such a vulnerable minority – similar to the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Where the rights of LGBT people are undermined, you can be sure that the rights of other minorities and critical members of civil society will soon also be in jeopardy.
When you look back over the last decade, what do you think was the main driver for change, in regulation and people’s mindset? 
Broader changes in society have driven some of the greater recognition of LGBT rights, such as more equitable relations between genders, the rights revolution generally and the greater respect for individual autonomy. Within that context, you saw the LGBT population gradually coming out, so people suddenly discovered that they had a gay brother or son or neighbour or close colleague, which started shaping public perception and reinforced the social changes.
It’s easy for bigotry to exist in a context of ignorance, but when you’re being bigoted toward a close friend or neighbour, you start thinking: “Maybe LGBT people are really just people; maybe I should recognize their rights. Why can’t they love whom they choose, just like I can?” Yet the lingering fear of ‘the other’ is also applicable to some of the other trends we see in this year’s Outlook on the Global Agenda – like increasing nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment.
Conversely, that ties back to what you said about scapegoating; by making the LGBT community less visible – and thus less relatable – unscrupulous leaders can take political advantage… 
Yes. In Uganda for example, the LGBT community is scapegoated in an artificial context – the narrative is that homosexuality in general is a foreign import, not part of the traditional culture. There’s a great irony here because much of that homophobia is the product of interventions by a well-financed US evangelical movement, and the prohibitions in place are a continuation of the British colonial-era bans on same-sex relations. Moreover, it’s not like the West has been secretly airdropping gays into other cultures – an LGBT population has existed in all societies for all time; gays have simply been more or less open, depending on the politics and the mentality of the moment.
Given the backlash, who should we be targeting to combat it? 
Begin with the leaders doing the scapegoating and their policies. In response to the homophobic environment created around the Sochi Olympics, the International Olympic Committee recently announced new rules for the selection of host cities, including a requirement of full non-discrimination. That implicitly says that if Russia had been fostering the homophobic environment at the time of selection, Sochi would not have been selected. That’s a very important signal to send.
At the same time, there must be a broader coordinated educational effort. Anything that helps to increase the visibility of LGBT people, to move beyond past stereotypes and ignorance, to show that gays occupy the same range of positions in life and society as everyone else, that will help to make societal change happen more quickly.
The young are the core of societal change; what pressures do they face? 
In many ways the younger generation is much more accepting than their elders. I see a positive trajectory as young people grow up with variations in sexual orientation around them being the norm. But the younger generation is also a battleground. A lot of the leaders that promote homophobia do so by insisting that they’re not anti-gay, but just trying to shelter the impressionable young from ‘gay propaganda’. In many ways, they see that the trends are going in favour of LGBT rights and they’re trying to fight back with the younger generation.
What role can non-governmental stakeholders play, such as businesses?
Business is a very important stakeholder in this debate. A significant section of consumers insist on respect for LGBT rights, so the global corporate giants can’t get away with permitting discrimination in the workplace or embracing homophobia in any sense. That becomes important, because these companies operate globally and so can become oases of respect for LGBT rights, even in societies where the government hasn’t caught up with the agenda.
Where business currently falls short, though, is in embracing role models. Lord Browne regretted not being more open about being gay when he was CEO of BP, and it’s sad that many corporate leaders still feel that they have to live in the closet. The more that corporations can highlight the LGBT people among their leadership, the quicker these societal transformations will be encouraged. That said, if you look at the number of business or political leaders coming out now compared to a decade ago, we’re seeing good progress.
Do you think the international community is a good driver for LGBT rights? 
Positive action is taken at several different levels – local, national and global. What happened at the UN is important as part of the effort to legitimise LGBT rights; to have such an overwhelmingly positive vote is an important rebuke to those governments that want to pretend homophobia and bigotry are consistent with international human rights standards. They’re not.
Other things the international institutions can do is to collect information on the treatment of the LGBT community worldwide to probe governments that fall short of recognition of its rights. Perhaps most critical, though, is to defend the political space in which local human rights and LGBT activists operate. International multistakeholder organizations, such as the World Economic Forum, could clearly play a leadership role in this debate, by holding sessions devoted to trends in the rights of LGBT people. For example, a session on best business practices with respect to LGBT rights would give an opportunity to talk about, not just the formal non-discrimination steps, but also the more personal leadership role that corporations might play.
What kind of challenges have civil rights groups faced over the past decade? 
Ten years ago we created a formal LGBT programme within Human Rights Watch, because we wanted to make the point that LGBT rights are an essential part of the human rights agenda. One of our first real interventions took place in Egypt, where there had been a crackdown and a raid on what was called the Queen Boat; this was literally a boat in the Nile that had been a gay bar, and the occupants were arrested and brutally beaten by the police.
Human Rights Watch put out a protest, but a few of our Egyptian colleagues objected, claiming that homosexuality was immoral conduct, and the repression of gays was not a human rights issue. They feared that their broader human rights work would be discredited if they took on LGBT rights. Now times have changed and you don’t hear that argument anymore; there is a vigorous Egyptian movement that embraces LGBT rights as part of its broader human rights programme. But this shows the pressures that civil society groups can face as they take on an area that has been circumscribed by homophobia and regressive views.
Historically we’ve seen a lot of tension between religious movements and the LGBT community. Do you think this will continue, or is there a positive role religions could take on? 
I don’t view religion as necessarily a negative force, although it obviously sometimes has been. I think enlightened leadership can emerge in all religious traditions. No tradition is static, every tradition is subject to ongoing, endless interpretation, so there is ample room within them all to respect something as essential as a person’s sexual orientation.
Look within Christianity. On the negative side, you have the right-wing evangelical movement, which is very well-funded and a nefarious homophobic force. On the other hand, you’ve got the Catholic church which, even before the current leadership, has taken positions against violence and discrimination toward the LGBT community. Pope Francis took it a step further by explicitly adopting an accepting attitude, both at a doctrinal level and in his personal posture and statements. He shows what an enlightened leader can do, even within a very conservative institution.
What is your biggest hope and biggest concern for the future of LGBT rights? 
Obviously, this backlash is my biggest concern at the moment. In terms of hope, homophobia is still one of the last acceptable forms of bigotry in some regions, and my hope is that that changes.

By Kenneth Roth

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