Attackers carve slur on young lesbian.
March 28, 2002 9:34 PM   Subscribe

Attackers carve slur on young lesbian. I'm going to be sick.
posted by donkeyschlong (25 comments total)
That was just plain scary, not to mention rage-inducing. But beyond putting these assholes in jail(for a long time), I honestly don't know what the hell can be done about people like this.
This goes well beyond homophobia into just plain bloody-mindedness. If she wasn't gay, these little pricks would've found some other reason to do what they did to her. I honestly don't know if all he education and compassion in the world can stop people whose souls are so devoid of any empathy.
I'm not saying we should stop our efforts in those areas, I'm just disgusted with the state of the world and sickened that those wretches who did this belong to the same species as me.
posted by jonmc at 9:45 PM on March 28, 2002

God, that's disgusting and I agree with jonmc these fu*king idiots would have found some other excuse to do something like this, truly appalling.
posted by zeoslap at 9:50 PM on March 28, 2002

this is horrible. one of the attackers said "you're lucky we don't rape you"; yet...
posted by moz at 9:50 PM on March 28, 2002

Boils your blood doesn't it? It's a sick world that we live in. I hope the guilty are appropriately dealt with.
posted by riffola at 10:02 PM on March 28, 2002

i can only hope that the people who preach that homosexuality is evil from their pulpits every week will start to realize that their words have consequences. even if people don't condone physical violence hate spreads in uncontrollable ways. that of course, in no way, should excuse the people who cut her.
posted by rhyax at 10:05 PM on March 28, 2002

I'm trying to think of a way to phrase my question a little better than is coming to mind, cause all that's coming currently sounds like bad 80's stand up, but: what's the deal with criminals? Or at least, criminals like this. A thief steals (I think) because they feel the benefits of their theft outweigh the inherent risks involved in stealing. These guys are most likely going to be caught (the girl saw them, their car, etc.), so why was carving words into her worth it for them? Are they just so stupid that they don't believe they'll be caught? Do they not CARE about being caught? Or was doing this somehow worth the risk of imprisonment for them?
I guess this sounds pretty naive, but I just don't get it.
posted by Doug at 10:14 PM on March 28, 2002

Doug - Like I said in my initial post, it's just sheer meanness in some people. A normal person sees vulnerability in another human being and their natural instict is to protect, a sociopath's natural instinct is to attack. And without the restraint of conscience, they act on their instincts, and when they do it in groups, it inevitably seems to get uglier. And while I find homophobia as abhorrent as rhyax does, I think what went on here has more to do with the drives that make some people torture animals than it does with garden variety gaybashers.
In the end though, it's all academic. Just put 'em jail and let them rot.
posted by jonmc at 10:25 PM on March 28, 2002

Is the world really *this* sick, riffola? Or is that just a figure of speech?
It was a figure of speech, I believe in the goodness of people on the whole, but it's that one rotten fish in the pond that ruins it for the rest of us.
posted by riffola at 10:30 PM on March 28, 2002

On some level, I think these people are acting out of fear of their own "other"-ness -- an impulse to destroy that which they don't understand in themselves, and see reflected in somebody else. Not to say that there's necessarily latent homosexuality at the root of it, but more self-loathing - a sense that "I"m different, I don't understand why, here's someon with a manifestion of that differentness who is understood by society and my peers to be even more "different" than me, and against whom violence, to varying degrees, will be (yes, rhyax) condoned or even encouraged.

I think this holds up as an explanation for a lot of "hate" crimes that are perpetrated by social outsiders, and even explains the Holocaust, if that insanity can be explained, as the acting out of a society feeling its inferiority in the world community and looking to elevate itself by standing on someone's back.
posted by luser at 10:30 PM on March 28, 2002

but can we for a minute just assume that these are simply inhuman thugs?

not if we want to actually solve the problem here.

further, i never said these were people who went to church regularly (though i disagree that it's "fairly obvious" they're not) i'm saying that people's views have consequences outside their control. if a young kid is feeling like an outsider, sees your "well dressed people asking you to sign a petition to save the sanctity of marriage" from a church that his family supports, that is telling the kid that gays are the enemy. if other factors push him to become violent that memory will likely allow him to target that violence on people he perceives his community views as outsiders. i think if people actually care about the world and others they should try to curtail their hateful speech, and realize when something does happen they share some responsibility.

People are responsible for their actions. I would hate to see these criminals get off on a "the catholics made us do it" defense. Sure, that's laughable, but if there were more people like rhyax in the jury who knows.

this only makes me think you didn't read my comment completely, as my last statement is, "that of course, in no way, should excuse the people who cut her."
i think i should clarify, i'm not saying that the hypothetical preacher spouting hate should be legally responsible for the crime at all, people are responsible for their own actions. but there is some responsibility people in those positions should accept as thinking humans, especially since they claim to be moral leaders.
posted by rhyax at 11:10 PM on March 28, 2002

If this is true, it is ugly. But I have to admit that the first thing that crossed my mind when I read the story was Tawana Brawley . Probably just the similiarities that shorted out a synapse or something. Hope she's going to be okay.
posted by Mack Twain at 11:55 PM on March 28, 2002

o drag behind their truck if a black man hadn't been around? Or that the post-9/11 attacks on people who appeared Arab would have happened to other people if those victims hadn't happened to be there?

I don't know either poster and don't mean to imply anything personal, but this "it can't be a gay-bashing thing, it must be the attackers" men
posted by mdeatherage at 1:20 AM on March 29, 2002

Well, damn it, I'm probably going to get flamed for this...
I saw her on our nightly news here (Denver) and I have to tell you that those carvings looked awfully light to be inflicted by somebody else--especially if she were struggling at the time. They looked to be scratched into the skin with something more like a trepid hand.
It may be true, of course, but I thought it suspicious--given the vehemence that someone would need to have to do something so egregious in the first place.
posted by Tiger_Lily at 1:25 AM on March 29, 2002

The linked article says "violence against gay and lesbian youth is common in Colorado, as in fact it is everywhere." Is it this kind of stuff widespread and under the radar or is it just that I didn't know?
posted by justlooking at 2:55 AM on March 29, 2002

...those carvings looked awfully light to be inflicted by somebody else...

posted by nikzhowz at 3:06 AM on March 29, 2002

Okay, so the one thing I always ask myself about guys who commit hate crimes towards homosexuals is this:

Why do these males do the one thing ... the very one thing ... that in American society will one hundred percent guarantee that they will end up spending a good portion of the rest of their lives having sex with other males?
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:36 AM on March 29, 2002

Now it seems her credibility is in question regarding the incident...shades of Tawana Brawley indeed.
posted by yonderboy at 4:20 AM on March 29, 2002

Great. Question the victim. She must have done it herself, right? Feh.
posted by adampsyche at 5:25 AM on March 29, 2002

I'm gay, and I think she did it to herself, or it occured in circumstances other than those she described. I used to work with gay/lesbian youth; you wouldn't believe how many of the lesbian girls had cut themselves similarly. (They didn't say someone else did it, they just carved words or symbols or slashes with razor blades.) The pain of coming out can be quite visceral, especially if you feel alone. I hope this girl gets some help, and that from this maybe Denver's g/l community can make sure there are appropriate resources for young kids.
posted by pomegranate at 5:38 AM on March 29, 2002

Granted. I just see no reason not to take her word for it under the circumstances. It just smells of blaming the victim because the victim is of an unpopular minority group. 'S all I'm sayin'.
posted by adampsyche at 5:53 AM on March 29, 2002

Cutting and other self-injury resources may be found at

I hate to say it but this is the way I read it, too. I had a neighbor a few years ago with whom ... let's just say I had a complicated acquaintance. One day there were a ton of cops and EMS guys in her apartment, and when I showed up she called me in (I had to get past a burly cop who almost searched me). She'd been badly cut on her face and fore-arms, and while I held her bandaged hand she told again a story of being attacked by a young white kid with glasses who confronted her in her kitchen and grabbed one of her own kitchen knives and began hacking at her. Somewhere in this I was taken aside for questioning -- I'd had my headphones on, heard nothing. I'd had no problems with home invasion and hadn't seen anyone suspicious. I stopped in to check on her frequently that week, and eventually it turned out that she was devastated because the cops didn't believe her story -- no other invasions in the neighborhood, no match on her looking at mug-shot books, they had investigated several of her students and *cough* clients (call her an unspecified professional, all on the up and up, but I'm protecting privacy here). Somewhere in this I'd been questioned myself over the phone which had disclosed to me that they didn't consider her wounds "defensive", i.e. that using a kitchen knife like that would mean stabbing at someone rather than ineffectual slashing. It just didn't match the way it "should" have happened. She tried, I guess, clumsily but subtly, to get me to change my story. As empathetic as I was given either a real attack or a hurting individual, I had to break off contact at this point. It haunts me to this day.

Alas, this isn't isolated, either -- certainly there are Matthew Shepard and James Byrds; but there are also many incidents of Crying Wolf, or hate-crime hoaxes. Here's one where a lesbian paid a friend to beat her; another where a Muslim student reported being pelted with eggs and beaten. more via google. These are bad because they hurt the credibility of the real victims.
posted by dhartung at 6:25 AM on March 29, 2002

I just (as in "twelve hours ago") finished a pretty good book entitled Whispers on the Color Line: Rumor and Race in America all about how urban legends about racism spread through communities. One entire chapter was devoted to stories told by people in which crimes and injuried caused by the "victim" are blamed on some other group, and the story is unblinkingly accepted because it makes "cultural sense." Tawana Brawley says she was attacked by the KKK and folks believe it because it confirms thier worst fears about white racism; Susan Smith says her kids were abducted by a black carjacker and that, too, is believed because it confirms fears of black violence. In both cases the story told was "too good not to be true" and, ultimately false.

This chapter ends: "When one hears of a crime that seems to be too sad, it may well be so. When responding to accusations, whites rely on their history of racial stereotypes and blacks on their history of racial injustice. Crafty criminals use these images to their advantages. Ultimately we, the public, are the agents of justice, and we must strive not to be blind." Food for thought in this case, in which our worst fears about homophobia are confirmed.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 7:26 AM on March 29, 2002

Why do these males do the one thing ... the very one thing ... that in American society will one hundred percent guarantee that they will end up spending a good portion of the rest of their lives having sex with other males?

Great question. I asked the same thing about the two crackers who beat up Matthew Shepard. They're going to spend the rest of their lives getting cornholed by weightlifters a lot less gentle than Shepard might have been. I call this justice.

re: Tawana Brawley. Strange that that name was brought up, though I recognize the relevance. Poor girl, has the spend the rest of her life insisting on a lie. Upside: she is the reason Al Sharpton will never hold elected office.
posted by Ty Webb at 8:35 AM on March 29, 2002

Ty Webb: Great question. I asked the same thing about the two crackers who beat up Matthew Shepard. They're going to spend the rest of their lives getting cornholed by weightlifters a lot less gentle than Shepard might have been. I call this justice.

And while people like you refer to prison rape as 'justice', even in an 'only joking' kind of way, it will keep happening. More generally, as long as people continue to confuse the concepts of 'imprisonment' and 'societal punishment' as though there were no other way to deal with crime, we will continue to suffer the effects of the prison system on society.

'Rehabilitation', as anyone who has been through drug rehab, for example, can tell you, is not a warm and fuzzy experience. In fact it is much like jail, except that the criminal is intended to get better instead of worse.

posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:59 PM on March 29, 2002

scary thing is...I live near Denver and havn't heard a thing about this.
posted by babychet at 8:00 PM on March 29, 2002

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