Bigots are alive and well in America.
February 10, 2002 11:25 AM   Subscribe

Bigots are alive and well in America. Here we are still fighting for equal rights for all Americans. Some will find this link uplifting because of the outpouring of community support, but to me it's just another sign of how quickly intolerance turns to attempted murder.
posted by fleener (54 comments total)

 
Disgusting. The people who did this have no idea of the extent to which their actions will strengthen the community/state/nation's resolve to fight this crap. Their ignorance is dwarfed by their stupidity.
posted by Zbobo at 12:07 PM on February 10, 2002


They are treating the blaze as an attempted murder.

I've never understood the hatred for others due to their sexual preferences. But to hate them this much, to try to kill them and their toddler, this makes no sense.

If only this were a one-time event. But no, it seems to happen on a regular basis.

Amen Zbobo
posted by ashbury at 12:12 PM on February 10, 2002


I wonder what would happen if we simply ignored the people who attempted murder. I remember way back, the way to deal with a bully at school was to ignore him. What happened to that age old advice? I understand that it would be impossible in this situation, because we're human beings and human beings demand retribution in the fact of injustice. But can we effectively eliminate intolerance with similar intolerance?
posted by dai at 12:17 PM on February 10, 2002


Pardon me, in the face of injustice.
posted by dai at 12:17 PM on February 10, 2002


I'm hopeful because as much as I run this through my brain I cannot appreciate, in any way, the feelings of those that committed this crime. And I was not raised in a time or an environment that fostered tolerance. Therefore, I must believe that the support this couple is receiving is sincerely felt and that the perpetrators are, at best, misguided.
posted by treywhit at 12:29 PM on February 10, 2002


dai--I don't think so. You would be giving these idiots a blank check to do what they want. "Look at me! I got away with it! Who can I victimize next?" What if these people had been killed? Do you still ignore them?

It's been said before, but the only way to stop people from harming and killing others out of prejudice is to teach them from a young age in the family. The family will always be the first and most important training ground. I am constantly telling my toddler to be polite and friendly to everybody and everything. He loves meeting people and I hope that he retains this as he gets older.
posted by ashbury at 12:30 PM on February 10, 2002


...at best, misguided

Investigators said someone had broken in, poured flammable liquid throughout the home, and set it on fire. They are treating the blaze as an attempted murder.

This is far more than misguided. You are giving these people too much benefit of the doubt.
posted by ashbury at 12:33 PM on February 10, 2002


ashbury: I think I was more referring to the thought process of "Look at me! I did that, and no one gave a damn. What's my point then? Might as well do something productive, maybe then people won't ignore me." That certainly is a long shot, but you mentioned that the bring up of a child is of utmost importance. I wholeheartedly agree, and really, I think we should be teaching our children to strive for tolerance, rather than hard cold justice.
posted by dai at 12:37 PM on February 10, 2002


Dai -- I think the best, and legally sound, way to ignore attempted murderers is to lock 'em up and throw away the key.
posted by donkeyschlong at 12:39 PM on February 10, 2002


ashbury - I only say misguided because I have some level of sympathy for those who are so emotionally wicked. Somehow, I feel more sadness than anger.
posted by treywhit at 12:41 PM on February 10, 2002


dai, tolerance goes so far. we can and should be tolerant of other people's ideas, religion, way of life etc. we should never be tolerant of people trying to kill others. it's absolutely shocking that you would suggest that.


But can we effectively eliminate intolerance with similar intolerance?


It is in no way "similiar intolerance", the people burning the house are intolerant of how these women live, something which in no way affects them, the women and the community on the other hand are being intolerant of people burning houses down with the intention of killing its occupants. seriously, let's put on our thinking caps...


posted by rhyax at 12:46 PM on February 10, 2002


Maybe these people think they are doing something productive in ridding the world of such "horrible examples of perversion." I don't know what they are thinking, but I don't think that it's anywhere near as clear as "Might as well do something productive, maybe then people won't ignore me" nor a cry of attention. Altho it may be a different kind of cry for attention. It's fairly well documented that many perpetrators of this sort of social crime (as well as rape, wife-beating, child-beating, etc.)have been victims themselves.

Agreed, tolerance is very important. It's the mainstay of any kind of harmonious living. Justice is also important. I believe that tolerance and justice walk hand in hand. When the levels of tolerance have been broken, justice must step in. As a parent, I'm fully aware of the need to draw the line when dealing with my child and his good/bad behavior.
posted by ashbury at 12:50 PM on February 10, 2002


treywhit -- how would you feel if this happened to you or one of your family? I bet you would feel angry. Sadness and sympathy is great when you're at a distance.
posted by ashbury at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2002


ashbury - Your point is a fair one. I would likely be angry. Still, I do note that the couple stated, "What happened to us may have made you angry -- very, very angry, and that's fine. But anger can lead to violence, and that's not OK."

They suggested that positive steps be taken. I think that's admirable.
posted by treywhit at 1:00 PM on February 10, 2002


It is admirable. I hope that I could act the same way if such a thing happened to me and my family. Which goes back to the other point I've been making: once the terrible deed has been done, the wheels of Justice must begin to turn.
posted by ashbury at 1:05 PM on February 10, 2002


rhyax, I'm gonna go out on a limb and stand by my words. Breaking it down to simple terms, it's basically a matter of right or wrong. The attempted murders say the lesbians are wrong, and vice versa. We just happen to be all on one side in the argument, and we deem murder as wrong. There's no problem with that, but it is still the same intolerance. And it would be nice if the arsonists were more tolerant to society and its various facets.

Now here's the clincher. The morally correct remain the majority in society, and we can use that to our advantage. So, for the minority, it's no longer "if we can't beat'em, join'em". It will be "if they keep on ignoring us, there's no point in being us, so join'em". I think that's something worth considering.

Of course, there are other extreme examples, and so there are always exceptions to the rule. But I look forward to change, and hopefully this is the direction society takes.
posted by dai at 1:14 PM on February 10, 2002


A friend forwarded me this link in the aftermath of 9/11. The questionposed :

This is an opportunity for a massive expression of compassion. It is also an opportunity for a massive expression of revenge. Which world do you intend to live in -- a world of revenge or a world of compassion?
posted by treywhit at 1:16 PM on February 10, 2002


I wholeheartedly agree, and really, I think we should be teaching our children to strive for tolerance, rather than hard cold justice.

I agree, but that's kinda hard to do if the officials who represent us can't represent a feeling of tolerance as well. Kindly remember the background to this crime. Grayson and Neff are suing the state (MT) because they have been denied basic parental benefits based on the fact that their's is a LESBIAN (rednecks shrink in horror) relationaship. It is doubtful that they would have been targets of arson if their names weren't already in the news because of that lawsuit.

I don't think it out of line to say that the arsonist who perpetrated this crime was attempting to influence law. If lawmakers can't recognize tolerant application of law, then can't hate-criminals feel justified in trying to scare those who challenge those laws? I have sympathy for parents who are attempting to raise their kids while being denied benefits for intollerant reasons. I have sympathy for parents who have to teach tolerance to their children, and then try to explain the hypocrisy of elected representatives.

However, laws concerning hate crimes, attempted murder, and arson, aren't so ambigious or hypocritical. Hard cold justice is the perfect procedure to follow and teach in this case.
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:17 PM on February 10, 2002


I'm going to take one more step and say, I would like to live in a world where there are no laws, and no need for laws. Of course, that I have to admit is infinitely unlikely, and highly idealistic, but I would like to strive for that. I suppose that's why I have a rather negative feeling towards to politics and the like.
posted by dai at 1:23 PM on February 10, 2002


Disgusting. The people who did this have no idea of the extent to which their actions will strengthen the community/state/nation's resolve to fight this crap. Their ignorance is dwarfed by their stupidity.

Zbobo, this I've been having a hard time with. Missoula has a very strong and very vocal gay and lesbian community. It is also a hotseat of homophobia. Needless to say, it can be something of a battleground. This may galvanize the Missoula community, but I strongly doubt it will strengthen any resolve amidst the legislature other than the one they've historically shown which is "don't rock the boat". It might also serve to strengthen the violent resolve of those wishing to perpetrate these kind of hate crimes. As for the nation, I desperately hope they're paying attention to the podunks here in the north mountains, because this could be a lot more significant event than many might realize.
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:25 PM on February 10, 2002


Everyone knows lesbians don't burn, fags do!

(Before you all get all huffy at my off colored humor, please read the following)

Main Entry: 1fag·ot
Variant(s): or fag·got /'fa-g&t/
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English fagot, from Middle French
Date: 14th century
: BUNDLE: as a : a bundle of sticks b : a bundle of pieces of wrought iron to be shaped by rolling or hammering at high temperature
posted by LinemanBear at 1:29 PM on February 10, 2002


Why so much analyzing over "why they did it"? Malajusted bigoted slimeball attempted murderers who's only punishment should be a meeting with an electric chair or gas chamber. These people are just Wrong, and I don't care about their thought processes.
posted by owillis at 1:31 PM on February 10, 2002


owillis, I love it when you get right to the point.
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:34 PM on February 10, 2002


Point of clarification, in Montana we only allow lethal injection and good ol'fashioned hangin's (for real).

Please resume ...
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:35 PM on February 10, 2002


It's through events like this that legislation gets changed. The victims in question have a moral high ground to stand on and they should, and have, use it to to change the laws. It's only a matter of time before Montana decides to accept same sex partnerships and accord them the same rights as hetero partnerships.

An event such as this can only end up galvanizing the community into action. Granted, for the time being, the perpetrators feel as though they are in the lead in this game, but ultimately, they will lose.

dai -- you are very idealistic. I respect you for that. I sincerely hope that one day the world will be exactly what you dream it to be. I doubt that it will happen in my lifetime, though.
posted by ashbury at 1:39 PM on February 10, 2002


owillis - Isn't that what we always do? Try to understand WHY they did? To uncover the motive? Was it a plot (JFK)? Was it insanity (Lennon)? Was it our policies or religious fury (9/11)?
posted by treywhit at 1:42 PM on February 10, 2002


treywhit: those are actual mysteries. This incident is not. This form of bigotry deserves punishment.
posted by owillis at 1:49 PM on February 10, 2002


But can we effectively eliminate intolerance with similar intolerance?

We just happen to be all on one side in the argument, and we deem murder as wrong. There's no problem with that, but it is still the same intolerance.


I am absolutely shaking with anger over this discussion. What in God's name is going on with our ethics here? We have become moral relativists to the point of handing flowers and hugs to people who tried to burn up two women and their young child? Intolerance? I can't even construct a coherent argument here, because my moral sensibilities never thought that one would be necessary. I never thought someone would be soft-minded enough to suggest that the pursuit of justice against people who attempt to murder other people was some form of intolerance. If that is intolerant, then I am intolerant. But I am quite happy to be intolerant of evil.

Some people appear to be so open minded that their brains have leaked out, along with their moral compass.

Sorry to comment while I am angry, but I just can't believe this discussion has taken the form it has. As someone who has been on the receiving end of attempted murder based on anti-gay bias, I can't fathom trying to understand the murderous.
posted by evanizer at 1:57 PM on February 10, 2002


You're right to be angry. FWIW, I don't think dai endorses what he's saying. I think he's expressing more of a philosophical thought, along the lines of what if? At least, I'm hoping this is the case.
posted by ashbury at 2:05 PM on February 10, 2002


If the women were burned out of their house by some bigots, then fine, a group hug is in order and we can all go into a round of self-congratulation about our moral superiority. However, I would note that there are no suspects in custody and it is possible that the whole thing was faked to bring positive attention to the court case. Stranger things have happened.
posted by Real9 at 2:08 PM on February 10, 2002


Thanks ashbury, you are mostly correct. In real life, I am very much a realist, very pragmatic, and I actually support the death penalty (but that's another story, I don't want to be guilty of thread hijacking). I view MeFi as a place where we can discuss the whatifs and the dreams that we all have sometimes, and that's the beauty of it all.

Of course, what I said are what I sincerely hope for and believe in (I suppose that makes me an optimist as well). I have great faith in humanity's success of the future, and I believe tolerance in all matters is key. But we live in the real world today, and we have to deal with short term issues first. I just hope we don't lose sight of the horizon.
posted by dai at 2:16 PM on February 10, 2002


But can we effectively eliminate intolerance with similar intolerance?

The insipid commentary of the milquetoast middle-roaders sickens me far more than the lunatic rantings of the extremists. The extremists I can write off as being loons who'll never garner much support; the milquetoast, on the other hand, seems to be an ever-more-popular stance.

There are times, goddammit, when wrong is just plain fucking wrong. And it is at these times when worthy men and women will demand that the wrongdoing be stopped.

Is it intolerant to kill people who would have murdered? Of course it is... AND IT IS A HEALTHY INTOLERANCE. As a society, we need to draw a line in the sand and state firmly "This is the boundry. Step over it, and expect no forgiveness."

One thing is certain: if we continue to ride the fencerail, afraid to demand the best of the people in our society, we will have a society that is not worth living in.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:18 PM on February 10, 2002


Wow, I never thought I would agree with you, five fresh fish :-)

And dai, understood, opening this up to philosophical discussion. But I just can't bring myself to do it in this case, it's just too close to home. Perhaps with a less fresh and less emotionally charged issue. No worries, though.

Real9: shame on you. Not to disagree that there have been faked bias crimes and that always remains a possibility, but it's a bit too early to even suggest that, and I believe slightly irresponsible too.
posted by evanizer at 2:27 PM on February 10, 2002


Real9,

Yes there have been isolated instances of people who create situations in order to publicize a cause, or to draw attention to and issue, and these people are few and far between.

In this particular instance, however, I would remind you that this couple has a child, and unless there is something seriously wrong with them, no parent would put their child in that kind of danger to "bring positive attention to [a]court case. "
posted by ltracey at 2:29 PM on February 10, 2002


five fresh fish, the US has some of the stricter punishments in the western world, AND has the death penalty, and yet we have a high crime rate. We've made that line in the sand, and people ignore it.

I also disagree with Dai's premise that all intolerance is bad. Clearly it is appropriate to be intolerant of those who try to murder or terrorize. But the idea that the tougher we are the better things will be also doesn't hold up. A rational, less emotional response to crime might just be the best way to deal with it.
posted by Doug at 2:31 PM on February 10, 2002


Yes Doug, that is the more realistic approach that we can look into.
posted by dai at 2:35 PM on February 10, 2002


jesus, i'm amazed at your ability to hold these views... i feel like they are just inflammatory on purpose, but i will address them anyway.

The attempted murders say the lesbians are wrong, and vice versa. We just happen to be all on one side in the argument, and we deem murder as wrong. There's no problem with that, but it is still the same intolerance. And it would be nice if the arsonists were more tolerant to society and its various facets.

it is not the same intolerance, the women were acted upon they did not initiate the interaction between themselves and the arsonists. the arsonist found them, not the opposite. further, one group holds that homosexuality is wrong, this act of homosexuality does not invade the arsonist's ability to carry on his life as he would normally do. the other group holds that killing humans is wrong, killing humans does, very much, impact other's ability to carry on life as normal.

Now here's the clincher. The morally correct remain the majority in society, and we can use that to our advantage. So, for the minority, it's no longer "if we can't beat'em, join'em". It will be "if they keep on ignoring us, there's no point in being us, so join'em". I think that's something worth considering.

unless their motivation is to rid the world of homosexuals (which it pretty clearly is), in which case they would be happy to be ignored while they systematically kill lesbians everywhere. if someone is trying to kill you, should you let them kill you in hopes that if they are ignored they will want to kill you less? isn't it more likely that they will only kill you faster if you offer no resistance?

I would like to live in a world where there are no laws, and no need for laws. Of course, that I have to admit is infinitely unlikely, and highly idealistic, but I would like to strive for that. I suppose that's why I have a rather negative feeling towards to politics and the like.

ok, i'm sure everyone feels that way, the way to go about this is not to stop enforcing laws though. if you want to live in a world that doesn't need laws you can't simply end laws to acheive this goal. this world does need laws. so to live in world that doesn't you have to change the world. this is like saying, "i wish i could live in a room that didn't have oxygen, to make this come about, i will suck all the oxygen out of the room" this would, in fact, kill you. to live in a world that doesn't need laws you have to create a world where it is impossible to break laws. you can't change the laws, you have to change the world. don't confuse this with saying that you need to teach people not to kill, then you can do away with laws; i'm saying it must be physically impossible to kill before you can stop a law against murder.
posted by rhyax at 2:47 PM on February 10, 2002


evanizer, I was pointing to a "possibility". I was not making an accusation.

Itracey, no parent?

Does anyone remember the Black Church Burning Hoax?
posted by Real9 at 2:51 PM on February 10, 2002


Does anybody remember the piltdown man? Everything is a conspiracy people! *roll*
posted by skallas at 2:59 PM on February 10, 2002


Alas, there's plenty of evidence, Real9, that this sort of thing is incited by demagogues -- and Montana's been through this before.

And Real9, calling it a hoax is pretty extreme, no? Please point to the individuals in the conspiracy. Here's a far more sober and balanced view of how statistical bubbles and media attention combined to create the hysteria.
posted by dhartung at 3:28 PM on February 10, 2002


(Dang, posted too early.)

Bottom line: the fires at black churches were real; many of the fires were arson; many of the arsons were at least in part some kind of hate crime. What was not true was the concern that this was both a markedly increased phenomenon and due to some kind of coordinated effort. In the end, black churches are subject to fire and arson at a higher proportional rate than white churches, a problem which continues, and may have many factors (poor fire prevention, poor security, lousy neighborhoods, etc.).

In the end, I don't know which is more worrying in the long run -- that there might be a small group of extremists going around trying to terrorize a minority, or that a much larger group of casual arsonists, mostly teens, perpetrate fires out of boredom.
posted by dhartung at 3:37 PM on February 10, 2002


" ... Real9: shame on you. Not to disagree that there have been faked bias crimes and that always remains a possibility, but it's a bit too early to even suggest that, and I believe slightly irresponsible too..."

The problem is, it is too early to suggest anything. The article clearly states that the police have absolutely no clue who did this. The article covers two basic topics - the current situation over partner benefits, and the arson at the house - and in that context it appears completely obvious that the two must be related. Indeed, the discussion up to now has assumed that either bigots did it, or that it is a conspiracy to help the cause. Neither conclusion is even remotely justified by the evidence in the article.

According to statistics - the vast majority of crime is not done by strangers for causes, by is done by people known to the victims, and is done for personal reasons. We have no idea what situations are going on in these people's lives, what sort of history there is, what sort of personal disputes they may be involved in that have nothing at all to do with being gay or wanting partner benefits.

Threatening letters? Maybe. Such things go on all the time though (I lived in Missoula for a few years - know a lot of people there - the Planned Parenthood got several threatening letters a month - doesn't mean every act of violence against anyone that works there was necessarily related to working there).

Seems like everyone pretty much leaped past the notion of evidence straight to "it is obviously a redneck that hates gays, who is terrible and should die a thousand horrible deaths".

"...It's through events like this that legislation gets changed. The victims in question have a moral high ground to stand on and they should, and have, use it to to change the laws. It's only a matter of time before Montana decides to accept same sex partnerships and accord them the same rights as hetero partnerships..."

Their "high moral ground" may not be universally agreed upon (NOTE: Before you flame me, I agree with their perspective - but also understand that many do not). And so long as it being "only a matter of time" before Montana changes the laws ... well I'm certainly not sure about that. Missoula is by far the most liberal city in Montana ... who's current governer and state legislature are Republican. It is a very rural state (less than 1 million people in the entire state), and on the whole quite conservative. The chances of Montana accepting same-sex partnerships as being legally identical to traditional marriages anytime soon are, I suspect, very slim ... as even much more liberal states have not.
posted by MidasMulligan at 3:52 PM on February 10, 2002


Investigators said someone had broken in, poured flammable liquid throughout the home, and set it on fire. They are treating the blaze as an attempted murder.

When I read that line, I immediately thought that it was a bit odd. If the details show that someone walked from room to room and poured gasoline, then I'd be REAL suspicious about it being "hoax/setup". I can't imagine where an arsonist would take the chance of being caught wandering through the house. I could see where someone would soak an entire single room where they entered the house (or the only stairwell) with gasoline and light it.

Of course, the article didn't present any hard evidence from the case so it could simply be bad reporting.

And for the record, I don't honestly think it's a hoax. I'm just stating that Real9's point of view isn't that wacky.
posted by Grum at 3:56 PM on February 10, 2002


Wulfgar!:

You said: "..based on the fact that their's is a LESBIAN (rednecks shrink in horror) relationaship."

I feel that I must point out that most rednecks love lesbians. Otherwise, the Howard Stern show, the Playboy Channel, and Jerry Springer would cease to be.

Admittedly, theirs is a stylized, manicured, lip-gloss-wearing teased-hair version of lesbianism, but to suggest that rednecks shrink in horror at lesbianism is a stretch.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:40 PM on February 10, 2002


Doug: "the US has some of the stricter punishments in the western world, AND has the death penalty, and yet we have a high crime rate. We've made that line in the sand, and people ignore it."

Made that line, my ass. The legal system is a complete shambles. If it isn't someone with money ducking responsibility for his actions, then it's some donkey of a judge making rulings that castrate the law, or it's a screwed-up State or Federal government that makes inane new laws where it's far better to be a cold-blooded murderer than a college kid caught with an ounce of hash.

The reason we have a high crime rate is because there is NO respect for our laws, our police forces, or our government... and as disappointing as that is, it's also understandable, because our government, our police, and our legal system have behaved in ways that are shameful.

There are plenty of moral opinions that I find disagreeable... such as the opinion that homosexuality is "wrong." But I'd be willing to let homosexuality be illegal, if only it meant that murder was the most heinous of crimes. It wouldn't be the best sort of world, but it sure as hell would be a better one than the one we have, where murder sometimes nets six months while some queer teenager gets damn near life because he poked the bum of a younger, but still consenting, teen.

These travesties of justice are the result of milquetoast opinions. Weakness is not, and can never be, strength. And if we, as a society, do not have strength, then we are doomed to rot from the core.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:52 PM on February 10, 2002


mr_crash_davis, in light of the events in Missoula, that's a horrifying duality, don't you think? ;-)

I didn't link the Missoulian article of this event because I felt that many here would find it a local news story, and dismiss it thereby. I hadn't a clue that it would be picked up as a national story, and I'm thankful that it has. A few notes from a somewhat more local perspective:

The police have no suspects, but they have suspect groups.
The arson caused fire was potentialy fatal, and that casts strong doubt on the conspiracy angle.
MidasMulligan is absolutely right. The state legislature and the state budget office are VERY unlikely to change unless ordered to by a court. This arson will not be allowed as evidence in a tort case, nor is it likely to be influential among those who are predisposed to distrust of same-sex rights. That would be Montana, all over.
Just because CNN reports X as the facts, many of the people here who have spent months dissing CNN now take their quaint little blurb about the US outback as a given? This linked story was a manicured, lip-gloss-wearing teased hair version of a nice sentimental get together to support the victems of crime. I suspect, based on local input, that the truth is a lot uglier.


Rock on, evanizer!
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:14 PM on February 10, 2002


Wulfgar!:

Honestly, I didn't mean to make fun of lesbianism or rednecks' love of girl-girl sex (as they see it).

I worked for a time in one of the most redneck-dominated fields in the US. Oil field seismograph mapping, to be exact. Some of the people on my crew were the stereotypical toothless, tattooed, bible-carrying, beer-drinking, NASCAR-loving REDNECKS that we all love to bash. These were men who had no problem with flinging the word "fag" at one another if they were caught glancing in the direction of another member of the crew taking a leak on the side of the road, and yet were quick to point out any pseudo-lesbian content in any adult pay-per-view they happened to see ("Hey, did you catch that new Jenna Jameson video? Man, can she munch a carpet!")

Some time after that uncomfortable career choice, I found myself working on an assembly line between a lesbian woman and one of my redneck crew members. She was far from the fantasy-world lesbians that this guy watched on his Betamax every other night (short hair, no makeup, butch) but he was fascinated by her and her lifestyle, and would fight anyone on the line who dared to make any kind of snide comment about her or her equally butch girlfriend.

What I'm trying to say is that in the circles in which I have traveled, blaming rednecks for the arson at these womens' home is about as likely as blaming Malcolm X for a cross-burning.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:39 PM on February 10, 2002


The police have no suspects, but they have suspect groups

Doesn't anyone else find this ironic as all hell?
posted by Real9 at 6:19 PM on February 10, 2002


I think that the community should be doing more than holding hands and singing "We Shall Overcome." As Reverend Lovejoy said, "There's no justice like angry mob justice."

Fascism doesn't abate when the good people make frowny faces and bake pies for its victims. Homophobia is a symptom that indicates an irreversably polluted soul and the only way that the people of Missoula will fix the problem is to make it very clear that Fascists aren't welcome in their community.

Read that last sentence as you would like-- I don't want to be accused of trolling.
posted by Harry Hopkins' Hat at 6:58 PM on February 10, 2002


red·neck Pronunciation: 'red-"nek ; noun 1830

1 sometimes disparaging : a white member of the Southern rural laboring class

2 often disparaging : a person whose behavior and opinions are similar to those attributed to rednecks

Anyone who uses the word "redneck" in a thread about hate crimes against lesbians doesn't rate anywhere near a 100 on the tolerance-o-meter, and needs to take a look in the mirror.

By the way, the crime rate in the US has been plummeting for years. Looks like fewer and fewer people are ignoring that line in the sand. Things are improving greatly, not spiralling out of control.

five fresh fish, where are you, anyway? You seemed to indicate in an earlier thread that you're not in the US.
posted by aaron at 9:31 PM on February 10, 2002


Aaron: Canada. What's happening in the USA today is what's going to happen in Canada in the future. We're already seeing our justice system perverted, in which some people involved with heinous crimes get a slap on the wrist, while others who victimize only themselves or consenting others get far harsher punishment.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:11 PM on February 10, 2002


Something about this story bothers me, beyond the obvious. Who had access to the fact of the lawsuit and within two days had delivered threatening letters? And within four days had enough information about the victims routine to burn down their home with them in it? Pretty damn bold stuff, breaking in and burning; how would you know that strangers didn't have alarms or guns? Not some run of the mill dull normal bigot. Someone they know, perhaps someone aware of the syndrom of hate crime hoaxes, wanting to discredit, rather than kill them?
posted by Mack Twain at 10:58 PM on February 10, 2002


Seems like everyone pretty much leaped past the notion of evidence straight to "it is obviously a redneck that hates gays, who is terrible and should die a thousand horrible deaths". -- MidasMulligan

Point taken. As of yet there is no evidence that any one person of any persuasion did it. For all we know, it could be a jealous lover.

Stereotyping exists for a reason, though: certain groups or peoples usually act in a certain way. For lack of a better word, "rednecks" have been known to have a very strong dislike of homosexuals. As have religious extremists. As have politicians. Or jealous lovers.

Any way you look at it, whoever did it, for whatever reason, is very disturbed and needs to be found, tried and incarcerated. End of story.
posted by ashbury at 11:54 PM on February 10, 2002


Harry Hopkins' Hat: "There's no justice like angry mob justice." [...] the only way that the people of Missoula will fix the problem is to make it very clear that Fascists aren't welcome in their community.

Yeah. Like, how about arson? That would show those Fascists!

Please, please tell me your post was intended as irony.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 1:31 AM on February 11, 2002


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