Alex Blaze

Jose O. Sucuzhanay died yesterday

Filed By Alex Blaze | December 14, 2008 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: ecuador, hate crimes against LGBT people, jose o sucushanay, Mike Huckabee, violence

An Ecuadorean real estate agent who was brutally beaten last week in Brooklyn after having racist and homophobic slurs yelled at him died in a hospital yesterday.

His crime? He was walking home from a nightclub with his arms around his brother. Apparently that so offended a group of people in an SUV that they pulled over and beat him to a pulp. By all accounts, he was straight.

Not that that should matter, since a hate crime like this is wrong no matter whether the assailants were correct in their assessment of the victim's sexuality. But it does show how homophobia doesn't have a very specific target - it's meant to stop all acts of same-sex affection through violence. It doesn't stop to respect other cultures.

In the midst of the extreme-right constructing a narrative of violent attacks by gays on churches, actual violence against gays continues unabated. They've always been, by far and away, the more violent side in the Culture War created in their own imaginations. This attack is just one of many.

Does anyone get the impression that Mike Huckabee or James Dobson cackled when hearing about this? They should know that this is how their vision of a world without queer people gets enacted and enforced.

A vigil was held today at the scene of the crime. Pictures and video at Boy in Bushwick.


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This sad story has some complications. There is the possibility that the slain man's family may, because of religious beliefs that are not inclusive, want to distance themselves from the "gay hate crime" element. They may prefer to establish grounds for this as an anti-immigrant attack. Also, even though the arm-in-arm walking of the two brothers might be actually a cultural thing devoid of sexual meaning, one or both of them may be/were gay. At this point we don't even know if the attackers knew their victims. The brother who lived is, so far, the only one who can describe the attack and what the attackers said. The dynamics of anger in this case are complicated. It is possible that the attackers made homophobic slurs but that those words may have been just an unleashed torrent of hatred with no specific anti-gay premeditation. I think there will be many elements to the investigation which will forever leave us wondering why the attack happened and what were the actual motives. The family of the slain man will be the key to how this case proceeds.

While the nervous nellies (aka middle of the road, moderate, morons) on our side wring their hands and furrow their brows about members of the LGBT community being too angry by organizing boycotts and calling in gay and demonstrating against religious zealots innocent people are being beaten to death routinely by the right wing reactionary fascists.

And we are supposed to exercise caution so THOSE people will change their minds about us??

We cannot sit back and take this abuse under the delusion that it will help us receive fair treatment.

How classy of you to use a homophobic taunt while denouncing homophobia.

Whether the taunts were used because the attackers thought the brothers gay, or just out of general principals, it doesn't change the results one bit. A man is still dead. He was still attacked and beaten no matter what motivation spurred the assailants on. It all comes down to bigotry and the atmosphere of hate, anger, and fear that the right has been inciting for the past several years and during the last election.

It isn't just religious bigots, it is the neo-cons and their cronies as well, screaming about immigration and foreigners, the threat to our 'way of life' posed by illegal aliens and terrorists and what have you. They have all stoked the flames of anger and fear that drive some to commit unspeakable acts of violence.

Welcome to the flip side of rigid and reactionary conservatism.

Uh, no. You're not blaming this on the religious right, as the assailants-- not mentioned in this contribution-- were BLACK, a demographic that ranks utterly Democrat, thus isolated from the talking points of conservative radio talk.

the assailants-- not mentioned in this contribution-- were BLACK, a demographic that ranks utterly Democrat, thus isolated from the talking points of conservative radio talk.

It's not about race. It's about fear and hate and the people who use them to gain wealth and power and drive wedges between families and friends.

You misspelled the name of the Democratic Party. You called it "Democrat."

You stated an alleged fact, that African Americans are "isolated from the talking points of conservative radio talk." Please show us your evidence.

What have you done to expose and isolate violent social conservatives and their enablers from the family of decent human beings?

It's not about race, you're right. The purpose of mentioning race was to demonstrate that Bill O' Reilly and Rush Limbaugh aren't to be blamed for this. Southern white men are not to blame for this. Black men do not go having dinner conversations with their nemeses. Black men do not go listening to radio hosts who rail against the myths of reverse racism and the evils of affirmative action.

I said "Democrat" because people belonging to the Democratic party refer to themselves as "Democrat", not "Democratic". Your pointless pedantic distractions do little in terms of contribution.

What have you done to end bias, besides promoting a belief system that lends itself to abuse due to its inherent lack of rational foundation?

What have you done to end bias, besides promoting a belief system that lends itself to abuse due to its inherent lack of rational foundation?

What belief system is that? Does it have a name? As to what I've done, I lost one job because social conservatives voted me out. I voluntarily left another job because I didn't want to keep making weapons of war. I speak out in person and on the net in this pro-military, anti-LGBT, gun-loving, Jesus hugging conservative town in Alabama and have even scored a few small victories by showing that people with my values exist and won't give up.

More relevantly, back to my question, what have you done to expose and isolate violent social conservatives and their enablers from the family of decent human beings?

Don't be coy, REVEREND. You know what little book you use for reference.

What I've done? Tended to homeless LGBT youth in Miami, given seminars to families of Hispanic LGBT's (families known to follow edicts of the anti-LGBT Catholic Church), spoken at schools-- where our children are bullied daily-- participated in the No On 2 promotion among our community (which sadly failed, as bigots of your religious ilk approved by a 62% supermajority).

Nice try at trying to silence me by getting into a boasting match, though.

Don't be coy, REVEREND. You know what little book you use for reference.

I'm an atheist and former Unitarian. The "Rev." is something I've been using on the net since 1989. I explain it here

Nice try at trying to silence me by getting into a boasting match, though.

You asked. I answered.

I'm sorry for having been testy before, but your use of right-wing cant ("the Democrat Party") tripped one of my triggers.

Now let's see what we can do together to be so strong that people who are swayed by voices from social conservatives will fear to use violence because fellow conservatives will disown them - when signs like "Pray for Eric Rudolph" and pictures of Obama and nooses will be unthinkable.

Fair enough; I'm not some figure of history that was raped and led to massive retribution among Roman houses, either ;).

And I agree on that issue. This is not a war to win liberals; we must get non-social conservatives on our side. Pam's House Blend had a contribution with a wonderful quote by Rustin outlining what we ought to do.

Well, the point is, that there has been a message put out there, and no matter how some may have heard it, they have gotten it.

No, these people probably did not listen to Rush or Bill or any of that ilk, but the message that they have preached for these many years goes beyond their target audience now a days.

There is, within many communities, the echoes of the hate and anger spread by the right and neo-cons. A general tolerance for this hatred and anger against immigrants and illegals is alive and well throughout this country, especially in lower and working class communities. Immigrants are the new "jew" if you think of this in terms of 1930's Germany.

I'm an immigrant who inhabited Northern Florida (and Miami, but Miami is a non-issue, as would be obvious) for a few years; I don't need to be reminded of the xenophobic inclinations American civilization possesses.

The problems is not with the extremists you like to fault; it's with the self-nominated "moderates" who persuade people into thinking that there should even be a debate on this. Lou Dobbs is far more dangerous than Rush or Coulter may be.