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Archive for December, 2008

Giving Up Hope for a Gay Tomorrow

December 31, 2008 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

Staying motivated is often the most difficult thing when it comes to LGBT activism and human rights generally.  The odds are against us, yet we cannot lose.  Losing is not an option in this battle because every time those that propagate hatred against us are victorious, they gain power.  We may loss battles, but we cannot lose the war.  Why?  Our lives are at stake.  This is not an issue of marriage, it is not an issue of Due Process or Separate But Equal clauses.  We have our lives to lose and I believe that my life, and the life of those around me, is worth fighting for.

Yesterday, my hope and motivation faltered.  Sometimes, even I lose focus and wander into the land of despair.  I start to have terrible thoughts like “we’re going to lose” or “where is everyone else.”  I start to feel alone, tired and scared.  Especially when the very leadership I call upon doesn’t respond.

Yesterday, you likely heard a loud thud noise.  My hopes and dreams of equality slammed to the ground while I browsed local HRC websites in South Texas looking for information on the National DOMA protest for January 10th. I checked every local LGBT organization I could think of – all of their websites – NOTHING.  I emailed San Antonio’s HRC over two weeks ago.  No response.  I contacted the “organizer” in one city (two weeks ago) offering to volunteer – no response.  I contacted her again thinking she’s likely busy and missed the email, no response.  I also checked Austin’s Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce website which has a calendar of LGBT events – January 10th, nothing listed.  I checked San Antonio’s Gay and Lesbian Community Center’s website – not listed.  I emailed San Antonio’s Gay and Lesbian Community Center, the email was returned undeliverable.  We are relying on these local organizations to lead us – but perhaps it is time that we learn to lead ourselves and to play by our rules.

I was devastated.  I looked inward for the answers to the questions that are already starting to roll out into the blogospheres “when, where, how is the DOMA Protest going to work when there is so little information available?”  Today, I spoke with a dear friend who I haven’t spoken with in a couple of weeks and she reminded me of the importance of human rights and human dignity.  She reminded me that being tired or frustrated is fine, but that if I give up, I lose.

So, as we ring in the new year, I challenge each of my readers to download the letter to Obama and the signature pages [link].  Start obtaining signatures today!  Don’t wait for January 10th. Send it to your friends, your neighbors, your family and have them sign it and start getting signatures as well.  Have them send it on to their family, friends and neighbors.  It is time we each step forward individually and swallow our fear and make a difference. It is time for us to stop waiting for someone to speak out for us and start speaking out for ourselves.

Stand up my LGBT brothers and sisters.  Stand up and be counted.  Run with me toward victory because victory is our only option.

Instructions for the letter to Obama:

1) Download the letter;
2) Sign the letter;
3) Get others to sign the letter;
4) Scan it and submit it to the upload page (to be provided by JTI circa January 10) JTI has since stated they want the hard copy of the letter, please mail the original signatures no later than Monday, January 12, 2009 to:

Join The Impact
PO Box 141491
Columbus, OH 43214

If you are a blogger, post this information to your blog.  If you have a website, a gay friendly business – anywhere on the web… circulate the information via link or write your own.  If you use Digg or Reddit – put this information there.  Print multiple copies and take them to your friends.  We don’t have to wait until January 10th to gather signatures or sign the letter or to have others sign the letter.  We can do this, we can win, we must be victorious!

Remember, a full address is not needed but a zip code is required.

He Did Not – “Barack the Magic Negro”

December 30, 2008 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

Chip Saltsman, RNC Chair Candidate, decided it would be a funny Christmas gift to his friends and associates to give them a “comedy” CD by Paul Shanklin which included a song where Paul Shanklin impersonated “Al Sharpton” and mimicked the Peter, Paul and Mary song, “Puff the Magic Dragon” changing the words to “Barack the Magic Negro.”  Magic Negro was an intended reference at the benign literary figure generally associated with postmodern folk who takes away white’s guilt.  The figure has been embodied by Sidney Poitier, Morgan Freeman and others on the big screen.  As a humorist with few limits, I’m not laughing.

Peter Yarrow, co-author of Puff the Magic Dragon, isn’t amused either.  He has responded to the parody at the Huffington Post stating:

It is almost unimaginable to me that Chip Saltzman who sent the CD, would seriously be considered for the top post of the Republican National Committee. Puff, himself, if asked, would certainly agree.

Protecting our Children from Themselves

December 29, 2008 By: jaysays Category: LGBT News, Youth Issues

In 1989, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services compiled a study indicating that Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual peers and such suicides likely compromised up to 30% of the overall youth suicide rate.  The study was quickly sealed by the administration of George H. W. Bush.  Representative William Dannemeyer (R. California) went as far as to say that Bush should:

…dismiss from public service all persons still employed who concocted this homosexual pledge of allegiance and sealed the lid on these misjudgments for good.

The report was ultimately leaked to the press in spite of the governments efforts to prevent it.  The report stated:

… mental health and youth service agencies can provide acceptance and support for young homosexuals, train their personnel on gay issues, and provide appropriate gay adult role models; schools can protect gay youth from abuse from their peers and provide accurate information about homosexuality in health curricula; families should accept their child and work toward educating themselves about the development and nature of homosexuality.

Had the recommendations of the report been taken by the Bush administration, the story of LGBT equality, mental health and physical well being may have become drastically different than it is today and our children may have had a stronger chance of survival.  Unfortunately, no action was taken by the administration to protect our children from their greatest danger, themselves, and as a result more children have died.

The arguments today against homosexuality seem to revolve around the protection of our children.  Everywhere we turn people are saying, “You’ll harm the children.”  The fact is that the unfriendly heterosexual persons have done the greatest damage to their own children.  Perhaps many of them feel it is better to have a dead child than a gay child.  It is my greatest hope that the upcoming Lifetime movie, Prayers for Bobby, (scheduled for release the end of January, 2009) will shed light on this tragic situation and save the life of our dearest renewable resources, our children.

In 1999, a study by the Center for Disease Control/Massachusetts revealed that 33% of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered youth had attempted suicide.  This is 1/3 of all LGBT children!!!  Should you be concerned?  YES!

I’m a parent, what do I do if my son/daughter is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.   I implore you to visit PFLAG’s website to obtain additional resources.  If you are afraid of humiliation, think of your child and the stigma that is being placed upon them.  Find strength for your children’s sake and make a call for help.

I am a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered youth and I feel alone, scared, hopeless, lost, confused, angry, ashamed etc.  For LGBT youth in need of assistance, the following links are provided:

  • OutProud: “Support, advocacy and resources for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth.”
  • Youth Guardian Services: “Are you a gay, bi, or trans young person between the ages of 13-25? Come find friends, fun and support on the YOUTH lists.”
  • National Youth Advocacy Coalition (NYAC):  “…a national social justice organization working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people to strengthen the role of young people in the LGBTQ rights movement.”
  • Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) – Student Organizing Department: “The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.”
  • Gay-Straight Alliance: “Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is a student-run club, typically in a high school, which provides a safe place for students to meet, support each other, talk about issues related to sexual orientation, and work to end homophobia. Many GSAs function as a support group and provide safety and confidentiality to students who are struggling with their identity as gay, lesbian, bisexual,transgender, or questioning. “

Arizona Lawyers Attempting to Reject LGBT Clients

December 28, 2008 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, LGBT News

The Arizona Bar Association proposed changing the lawyers creed [pledge] to include sexual orientation and to read as follows:

I will not permit considerations of gender, race, religion, age, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, or social standing to influence my duty of care.

As if echoing the recently signed “Right of Conscious” Legislation allowing doctors to deny patients care due to moral reservations, a group of 30 lawyers from the Alliance Defense Fund (“ADF”) make claims that the proposal is “unconstitutional” and would require them to represent clients they find immoral. [On a personal note, does anyone else find it ironic that lawyers are concerned with morality?]

There are numerous potential problems with this sort of bigotry, including defendants’ rights to a speedy trial.  Assume for a moment that a person is arrested on charges (be they valid or not) and after weeks or months (or justice forbidding longer) the person is finally prepared, with their Court Appointed lawyer, to go to trial.  On a pretrial interview, the Court Appointed lawyer finds out that the defendant is a homosexual and decides he/she can no longer represent this person.  Trial is now delayed and additional time is spent in prison.  Or worse, trial resumes with a new Court Appointed lawyer who has not been able to properly prepare to represent the defendant.  Is this not also unconstitutional?

Oddly enough, the lawyers’ pledge already includes religion, which means a Christian attorney cannot deny an Atheist person proper legal representation solely based upon the religion of that person.  Would this not also be a valid, moral argument and thus unconstitutional?  Yet the ADF has taken no moral stance on this issue.

I have contacted the ADF and will be providing a follow-up report based upon their response.

Read more at 365gay.

$44 Million Dollar “Right of Conscience” Regulation Allows Doctors to Reject Gay Patients

December 27, 2008 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, LGBT News

Another [potential] oversight of lawmakers and the Bush administration occurred December 26th when Bush signed the Right of Conscience Bill (which this author is endearingly henceforth referring to as the Reich of Conscious Bill) into law.  The Bill, aimed at allowing doctors to refuse abortions due to moral issues, will also allow doctors to refuse to treat gay patients should they morally object on moral grounds.

The new regulations effectually establish the rights of doctors to refuse treatment of any sort to any one or any thing to which they morally object.  Such refusal could result in severe injury or death when patients are turned away from treatment because the doctor feels their conscious cannot allow them to treat such a patient.

Imagine this scenario, as an example.  A young woman goes to the emergency room after being raped.  The doctor, being against premarital sex due to moral issues, could, due to moral reasons, deny the woman treatment.  Although an unlikely scenario, the legislation is potentially that damning.

Legal Director of HRC, Laura Schwartz, has stated that the legislation could also give doctors the right to refuse any treatment to gay people, including treatment for the common cold.

A bill proposed by Senator Clinton would nullify this legislation if passed; however, the bill will die with the end of the congressional session.

You can read more from the Southern Voice:  Rule change could allow doctors to reject gay patients – Southern Voice Atlanta.

Transgender Woman Leeneshia Edwards Shot in the Face in Memphis

December 26, 2008 By: jaysays Category: Hate Crimes, LGBT News

Another hate crime occurred against the LGBT community on Christmas Eve when Leeneshia Edwards of Memphis, TN was shot in the face, back and side.  It appears from the wounds that Leeneshia was shot at close rang while getting out of a car.  Police have not been able to interview the victim as she remains in critical condition.

The shooting occurred around 5:00 a.m. at the 3100 Block of Boxtown Road in South Memphis.  Police have no suspects.  If you have any information on this case please contact Memphis Crime Stoppers at (901) 528-CASH.

My best wishes and hopes for a speedy recovery to Leeneshia and her family.

I encourage you to visit planetransgender: Leeneshia Edwards Memphis Transgender Woman Shot in The Face for additonal information.

Three Black Gay Men Killed in New Orleans

December 25, 2008 By: jaysays Category: Hate Crimes, LGBT News

Felix Pearson, age 19, Kenneth Monroe, age 27, and Darriel Wilson, age 20 were murdered in their residence in New Orleans on December 11, 2008.  The men were found on December 13, 2008 after someone reported seeing part of a man’s body on the floor threw a window.  The initial reports indicate that the three men were gay and one possibly a transgendered person.  Although the reason for the murder is currently unknown, the investigation has not ruled out a hate crime.

Violence against LGBT people has risen dramatically since the passage of California’s Proposition 8 and Florida’s Amendment 2, largely in part due to the community outrage over the civil rights violations.

Regrettably, such violence is likely to continue to increase.  With the ideology that homosexuals deserve to die and that their “blood will be on their hands [heads]”, compassion for these crimes only exists among a minority of LGBT people and their straight allies.

Although in some parts of the country, such as California, straight allies and LGBT people compromise only a slight majority, in the Southern parts of the United States the statistics are frightening.  In Texas, for example, 72% of people are against homosexual equality leaving a meager 28% who defend LGBT people from such hate and violence.

The statistic is taken from the vote to ban “gay” marriage in Texas.  Although a slight leap from violence to marriage equality, the fact remains that those that do not support full equality for all people are encouraging the negative treatment of homosexuals and, although potentially unwittingly, “condoning” poor treatment of LGBT people.

For more information on the murders of these three individuals, please see Three Black Gay Men Killed in New Orleans, Police Hunt for Suspects.

Prayers for Bobby Coming to Lifetime

December 24, 2008 By: jaysays Category: LGBT News, Youth Issues

The Lifetime Original Movie, Prayers for Bobby, starring Sigourney Weaver will premiere on Lifetime on January 24, 2009 at 9:00 p.m. The movie is based on the true story of Mary Griffith and her son, Bobby. After Bobby attempts to come out of the closet as a homosexual, Mary, due to her religious opinions states that no son of hers will be a homosexual. The result is Bobby’s suicide. The story is a coming of age tale about Mary losing her son and finding a new way.

See the trailer, watch the movie and thank you Lifetime and Sigourney Weaver (who co-produced this movie) and everyone involved in this project for spreading the message of the harsh reality of LGBT Youth suicide.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: White Power Movement is the Same as Gay Civil Rights

December 23, 2008 By: jaysays Category: Stupid Things People Say About Gays

I find it remarkable that people actually exist who make comments such as this:

The movement to normalize shitfuck unions is predominantly a white phenomenon — therefore with the inevitable loss of white power in America, assbugger/bulldyke “marriage” will become more absurd.   awamoriwhiskey

Perhaps what is unknown to the writer of the above comment (in spite of being 45 years old) is that the white power movement (for which the “Christian Identity Movement” was a large part) is also anti-homosexual. The “white phenomenon” is a stretch of the authors imagination in his effort to establish a white conspiracy to ensure other minorities do not join in the quest for equal CIVIL rights for homosexuals.  It is another fear inspiring tactic of the bigots to elude that they are the “righteous”.

Further, the movement to prohobit anti-marriage persons from allowing same-sex marriage recognition is not an effort to “normalize” the unions at all.  Normalizing the unions implies several things, the primary being that homosexuals are attempting to make gay marriage the standard.  In spite of religious rheteuric, gay people are not actively recruiting.  Christians of all creeds (particularly Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses) have cornered the recruitment market and appear often on my doorstep attempting to recruit me.  I have never, nor do I currently have plans to ever, knock on sopeone’s door and ask them to be a homosexual. The sell would be too hard because homosexuality doesn’t have many great selling points at this moment in time.   After knocking on the door to recruit, we would only be able to provide comments such as: people will hate you, you will be treated poorly, you may get beaten or murdered, you’ll never get government benefits even though you are paying for them, etc.

Gay Rights, What Are We Fighting For/Against

December 22, 2008 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

Unfriendly, anti-gay, heterosexuals have attacked the marriage issue and the LGBT community has stood its ground, highlighting historical evidence, state law, U.S. law and regulations.  The community has even had to defend itself against the Bible, just like many other minorities over the years including African Americans and Jewish people.  But what is this talk of civil marriage equality really about?  Surprisingly, it’s not about marriage at all, it’s about freeing a people from the fetters of bigots, extremists and homophobic people in society.  It’s about no longer being afraid and about being allowed to live and pursue the American dreams of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Although not providing civil marriage equality to same-gender couples is unconstitutional, an argument which should be strong enough standing on its own, the issue is much more personal for LGBT people.  We have watched as our friends and family have been brutally and unforgivingly beaten, raped, attacked and/or murdered by the homophobic right wing; such attacks often being declared to be because of “God”.  It is an underlying issue for LGBT people, to believe that governmental equality under the law may help to end the social injustices we are faced with every day.

So that we may never forget what it is we have lived through and what it is we are fighting against, let’s take a walk down memory lane:

  • Nazi Germany:  The “fathers” of the pink trianlge ,placed this badge upon homosexuals in concentration camps in order to identify them as such.  Homosexuals, like other groups of persons, were murdered under the Nazi reign.
  • Giovanni di Giovanni, a Florentine boy, was castrated and burned on his anus with a red-hot iron by court order for homosexuality.
  • Knight von Hohenberg and his lover in 1482 were burned at the stake for being homosexuals.
  • Jacques Chausson (1661) was burned alive for allegedly attempting to seduce the son of a nobleman.
  • The Shia death squads in present day Iraq have increased their extrajudical killings of LGBT people.  “In 2005, the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa on his website calling for the execution of gays in the ‘worst, most severe way’.”
  • Robert Hillsborough in 1977 – murdered by a man shouting “faggot.”
  • Harvey Milk – assassinated by Dan White in 1978.
  • Tennessee Williams – assaulted by five teenage boys who were inspired by an anti-gay ad ran by a Baptist minister.
  • Terry Knudsen, murdered in 1979 in Minnesota.
  • Rick Hunter and John Hanson who were beaten in 1982 by police calling them queers and sissies.
  • Declan Flynn murdered in Fairview Park, Dublin in 1983 – his attackers received a suspended sentence.
  • Charlie Howard, murdered 1984.
  • Rebecca Wight – murdered by Stephen Roy Carr who claimed he was enraged by her lesbianism.
  • James Zappalorit (1990) – stabbed to death.
  • Julio Rivera (1990) – beaten with a hammer and stabbed to death with a knife.
  • Paul Broussard (1991), murdered.
  • Brandon Teena – raped and murdered in 1993.
  • Scott Amedure (1995) – murdered after revealing his homosexuality on a Jenny Jones’ show.
  • Roxanne Ellis and Micelle Abdill in 1995 by a man who stated he thought their lifestyle was “sick”.
  • Eric Robert Rudolph bombed the lesbian nightclub, Otherside Lounge, injuring five patrons in 1997.
  • Matthew Shepards beating and death from exposure after being left tied to a fence in 1998.
  • The bombing of the Admiral Duncan pub which wounded 723 and killed at least 2 people.
  • The murder of Pfc Barry Winchell due to his relationship with Calpernia Addams, a transgendered woman in 1999.
  • The 1999 murders of Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder by Matthew and Tyler Williams, White Supremists who claimed they were “obeying the law of God.”
  • The murder of Steen Fenrich by his stepfather in 2001 – his skull had “gay nigger number one” scrawled into it along with his social security number.
  • Arther “J.R.” Warren in 2000 by a group of teenagers who believed that Warren was spreading rumors about his sexual relations with one of the boys.
  • The shooting of 7 people in Roanoke, Virginia in 2000 (killing one) because a Ronald Gay was upset over what his surname “meant” and was told by God to find and kill lesbians and gay men.  He described himself as a “Christian Soldier” working for his Lord.
  • Aaron Webster was beaten to death in 2001 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • Fred Martinez, a transgendered student was attacked and beaten to death in 2001.
  • Hundreds of soccer fans attacked participants of a Pride Parade in Belgrade in 2001.
  • In 2002, Nizah Morris was murdered in Philidelphia, the case was dreadfully mishandled.
  • Bartrand Delanoe, Mayor of Paris France, was non-fatally stabbed in 2002.
  • Gwen Araujo (17 years old) was murdered in 2002.
  • Sakia Gunn was a 15 year old African American lesbian who was murdered in New Jersey.
  • Richie Phillips was lured to his death because he was gay in 2003.
  • Nireah Johnson and Brandie Coleman were murdered in 2003 because Johnson was transgendered.
  • Glenn Kopitske was killed after a homosexual encounter with Gary Hirte in 2003.  Hirte believed that the homosexual act was “worse than murder.”
  • Brian Williamson, a Jamaican Gay rights activist was murdered with a machete in 2004.
  • FannyAnn Eddy, a gay and lesbian activist was murdered in 2004.
  • Daniel Fetty was murdered in 2004 by two men in Waverly, Ohio who beat him to death with bricks and boards.
  • Ronnie Paris, a THREE YEAR OLD boy, was murdered by his father because his father was concerned that Ronnie was gay and would grow up to be a sissy.
  • Jason Gage was bludgeoned to death with a bottle and stabbed in the neck with a shard of glass.
  • In 2005, Yishai Shlisel stabbed three marchers in a gay pride parade in Israel claiming he acted on behalf of God.
  • Jody Dobrowski was murdered in London in 2005.
  • In 2005, Lauren Harries, her father and brother were attacked in their home because Lauren was transgendered.
  • In 2005, a Jamaican mob chased a man they believed to be gay.  The man jumped into the water to escape the mob and drowned.
  • Gisberta Salce Jumior, was tortured and anally raped with sticks over a period of three days, then thrown into a pit and left to die by a group of 12-14 boys aging between 12 and 16.
  • In 2006, Jacob D. Robida entered a bar, and upon confirming it was a gay bar attacked the patrons with a hatchet and gun, wounding three.
  • Students in Jamaica rioted in 2006 and attacked an “allegedly” gay student.
  • Richard Jefferson and Ryan Smith, CBS Evening News producer and researcher were beaten by a group of four men and two women with tire irons in 2006.
  • Kevin Aviance was robbed and beaten by a group of men yelling anti-gay slurs at him.
  • Six men were brutally beaten by a group of other men (one of which was a 15 year old boy) after leaving a San Diego Pride event in 2006.
  • Michael Sandy was attacked and while trying to escape, was hit by a car in 2006 by a group of youths who were luring gay men via the internet.
  • Gareth Williams, a gay rights activist and three gay men were stoned in Kingston, Jamaica in 2007.
  • In 2007, 100 men gathered outside of a funeral in Jamaica and proclaimed “We want no battyman [gay] funeral here. Leave or else we’re going to kill you. We don’t want no battyman buried here in Mandeville.”
  • Roberto Duncanson was murdered in New York by a man claiming that it was because Duncanson had flirted with him.
  • Sean Wiliam Kennedy, age 20, was murdered in 2007 by Andre Moller (18) because Moller didn’t like his “sexual preference”.
  • Micahel Marcil was attacked and beaten by Andrew Lefebcre and Sheri-Lee Rand in Ontario in 2007.
  • Also in 2007, 30 participants at a gay pride event were attacked by multiple assailants.  They were stopped by the police before they had the opportunity to use the Molotov cocktails they had prepared for the occassion.
  • In September of 2007, Osvan Inacio dos Santos, age 19, was attacked and murdered.
  • Craig Gee was attacked in 2007.  His skull was reduced to powderand his leg was broken during the attack.
  • In 2008, three gay men were attacked in their dwelling by an angry mob who had been threatening them to leave the community.  One of the three is still missing and feared dead while the other two survivied after hospitalization.
  • In 2008, Alexandre Peixe dos Santos was attacked and beaten in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Approximately 2,680 gay people were murered betwen 1980 and 2006 in Brazil just for being gay).
  • Duanna Johnson was beaten by a police officer in Memphis, TN.  The police were reportedly calling Duanna (a transgendered woman) a “faggot” and “he-she”.  Shortly after threatening a lawsuit against the police department, Duanna was shot by three “unknown assailants”.
  • 2008, Lawrence “Larry” King, a 15 year old junior was shot by a classmate and ultimately died from the wounds.
  • Lance Neve was beaten unconscious becase he was “gay”.  His skull was fractured and the attack also left him with a broken nose. (Rochester, New York, 2008.
  • Steven Parris was murdered by Steven Hollis and Juan L. Flythe after they found “gay messages” on Parish’s cell phone.
  • September 2008, Tony Randolph Hunter and his partner were attacked near Washington, DC.  Hunter later died from his injuruies.
  • In November, 2008, arsonists burned the home of openly gay Melvin Whistlehunt.  Investigators found anti-gay messages spray painted on the back of the house.
  • Lateisha Green (“Teish” Cannon) was murdered in November 2008 for being a transgendered person.

The above list is not definative (or all inclusive) of crimes against homosexuals.  It was taken in large part from information available from wikipedia.org.  Every time someone is beaten or murdered for their sexual orientation/identity, part of our humanity dies.  To our heterosexual friends who remain indifferent to our plight, I call out to you and ask that you stand up and be counted as our friends, neighbors and fellow country men.  We must stop this injustice.  We all have the right to feel safe.