Waymon Hudson

An Unsettling Trend of Anti-Gay Violence in South Florida

Filed By Waymon Hudson | February 27, 2008 11:23 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics
Tags: Florida4Marriage, hate crimes against LGBT people, Naugle, Simmie Williams Jr

I am very disturbed with the recent string of anti-gay crimes in Broward County, Florida, home of Fort Lauderdale. PhotobucketFirst, there was the senseless murder of 17 year-old Simmie Williams Jr, which Police are investigating as a possible hate crime based on his sexual orientation or gender identity. Then, a gay couple was brutally attacked and gay-bashed in the popular tourist area of Las Olas Blvd while having anti-gay slurs screamed at them.

These events point to a very unsettling trend in South Florida. There seems to be an atmosphere of intolerance being created in South Florida. I cannot help but see the connection between the virulent anti-gay rhetoric of people like Mayor Jim Naugle and the Florida4Marriage group and wonder if their continued demonization of the LGBT community is leading to this increase in anti-gay violence. The dangerous, hate-filled words of these people have inflamed violence against innocent members of our community and must not go unchallenged.

I am outraged that this hatred and violence is causing LGBT people to live in fear and feel terrorized by the threat of violence for simply being who they are. This is unacceptable.

PhotobucketNo one deserves to be beaten or murdered for who they are. We must not let these incidents go unnoticed. EVERY official from every level of government needs to speak out and say we will not tolerate this violence in our community.

It is time that Florida, and all of America, begin to have the conversation about hate-based violence and the terror that hate crimes inflict. We in the LGBT community refuse to live in fear and will not allow these acts to continue.

We need all people to stand with us against hatred, bigotry, and violence and say “enough is enough.”

Join the coalition of community leaders and organizations as we gather to remember Simmie and stand up against the rising tide of violence Thursday, Feb 28th at 4:30 for a memorial service at the murder site at the 1000 block of Sistrunk Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale.

Immediately following, join community leaders and elected officials for a town hall at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center (1717 N. Andrews Ave.) at 6:30.

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Hi Waymon, I just wrote a very similar on Ft. Lauderdale:

"The Sun-Sentinal made it clear that these three crimes were "not related." I feel that is like saying three lynchings in a given city in the Jim Crow south aren't related. Sure, it may have been a different group of people that hurt or killed someone, but it is the same system, the same tolerance of hatred, the same structural injustices that allow and even create an environment conducive for these crimes to continue to go on being uncared about and unpunished year-in and year-out. . ."

more at http://www.lawrence.com/blogs/mypunkheart/2008/feb/27/ftlauderdale/

Sure, it may have been a different group of people that hurt or killed someone, but it is the same system, the same tolerance of hatred, the same structural injustices that allow and even create an environment conducive for these crimes

I couldn't agree more, Billy. Well said.

I wish I could be there with you. I'll be there in spirit.

This is indeed a sad situation, and I agree with the post at Mypunkheart. The religious right and neocons have in a sense declared open season for their followers on the LGBT community.

Florida has a bad reputation among many of the people I know for having an over abundance of rednecks, like that self proffessed "fag killer", and unfortunately, many of them are in law enforcement down there.

It is just too sad.

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of history.

If someone had spoken out and said, "No. This violence against my people must end," in the 1930's, maybe six million people would not have been murdered.

The list of people on the Transgender Day of Remembrance list is approaching 400.

How many will it take before people become outraged, and shout, "No. This violence against my people must end."

I'm shouting it must end. Now. Not one more name!