Thursday, November 02, 2006

Morning Edition 11/2/06

Do You Get It?
A young black man is chased out into traffic before being beaten, his jaw fractured, his life changed. Another young man is chopped to pieces by his attacker, his body parts placed in plastic trash bags and spread throughout the NYC transit system. The stories are many. More disturbing, the stories are recent. They read like a 1950s and 60s newspaper. They sound like the victims of race mongers of yesteryear, but they aren’t. They are the stories of gay men attacked by predators that are incensed and blinded by a trait these men cannot change. Like the complexion and race of their predecessors, they are hated for an aspect of themselves that is as much a part of them as the color of their skin or their eye color. I realize my blog family is primarily straight. It is to you that I bring the problem because it is those in your circles who are the perpetrators of these atrocities. Like a silent attendee at a Ku Klux Klan meeting, you are aware that the plan is to exterminate those different than those sitting with you. You can continue to sit quietly, hear the plan and do nothing; safe in the belief that if you’re not striking the blow, you’re not really guilty of anything. I’m here to tell you that you are. Each time that you are party to a conversation that degrades someone for being gay or pokes fun at a lifestyle your compadres don’t understand, you’re cosigning the violence. If you had your druthers what would you say to that person who, back in the 1960s, sat-in on a conversation that included, “Niggers are just dirty and need to know their place.” Would you say, “Hey, as long as you’re not using the “N” word then you’re cool in my book”? Would you accept their excuses that they love black folks and understand that it was just the way things are, so there is nothing they could do? I suspect you wouldn’t. I believe you look back on footage of the disasters of the civil rights movement and can break a comforting smile at those white individuals that stood shoulder to shoulder with the black marchers. It’s your turn. Will you join the fight against injustice, violence and intolerance or will you be a silent witness believing that your apathy renders you innocent of the crimes against your fellow man?

Recharge, Rethink, Renew
The last couple of months have been trying ones. With the end of the summer and the cool weather making a quick sweep through the Apple, my mood has changed into a somber one and my ability to overlook the little annoying daily idiosyncrasies of life are fast becoming unbearable. I visualize myself kicking the old woman standing on the left-hand side of the escalator (intended for folks who want to actually keep moving) in the center of her back – it’s like that. Thankfully, I’ve scheduled a long vacation with the folks and am set to take-off in just two weeks. Eleven days in Puerto Rico should serve to recharge my batteries, rethink my future and renew my down-trodden spirits. I’ve even managed to schedule a date on the island even before I arrive; how’s that for resourceful – or as my buddy VD in DC would quip… “Hookah!” Now, the battle is in counting down the days until my departure. I’m breathing deep and trying my best to see the sun through the clouds.

Thug Passion; Relax and Enjoy
In 1996 Tupac Shakur came up with a song titled Thug Passion. At about the same time he also discovered a drink by the same name that combines Alize and Champagne. The drink is dry and fruity and feels light on the stomach – important when you’re out and trying to have those abs look flat as a board. Note: More than 4 of these babies in less than two hours will have your head spinning and your toes tingling; you may also need a pain killer the next morning.

On Blast
Some people are disturbed to have the black civil rights movement of the 1960s in any way compared with the current gay rights movement of today. Both minority groups suffer(ed) violence, discrimination and the perception of their oppressors that they should just accept their less-than-equal rights in society. Do you believe the two movements share the same inequalities and issues OR do you believe the gay movement disrespects the black civil rights movement by making the comparison?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

21 comments:

R&B lover said...

Coco Rican..I can only stand and give you a standing ovation. Your post is so on point and It took everything for me to hold back my emotions. Incidents like these become part of our everday existence and especially amongst our own (Afro Amercians) people. Especially the brothers wanting to beat up a brother just because they feel he or she is different. But they don't get it. Where does that hate come from. I wish they could step outside of themselves and see themselves. But I wonder would that make a difference. To answer your question I think Discrimation is Discrimation weather it be race, sexuality, disability.etc. A brutha calling someone a faggot is no different than a white man calling a black a nigger. People we need to wake up. For those of you that have that hate and that anger towards a gay man or woman. I ask you to ask yourself why do i feel that way and be honest and evaluate your answer. Rican keep doing what you doing.

If members of the blog get a chance you should try and watch the movies Anatomy of a Hate Crime: The Matthew Sheppard Story or Soldier Girl and Boys Don't Cry. These are just a few.

Just a thought

Tammy said...

r&b you took the words right out of my mouth. i dont believe anyone on this blog has that type of discrimination in them. i truly believe that those on these blog except people for who they are, black, white, latino, male, female, straight or gay. that is why i love the people on this blog even though i have not met everyone. we are kindred spirits in that we are excepting of one another no matter what our choices are. i have always been puzzled by black people who discriminate against gays. we know discrimination first hand, and how we can treat others the way our ancestors were treated is mind boggling. it is ignorance, and fear that makes people discriminate. and those who act on that discrimination through violence is scary! i truly believe that the fear they have is what is inside them, i think they fear their own feelings toward the same sex. i think when they beat these gay brothers they are trying to beat out their own feelings of attraction to men.

Just Me said...

Ditto to the third degree. Descrimination can only be spelled on way. Any race, sex, ethnic group that experiences this should know the pain and be able to relate, but we're human and think that No one feels the way that I felt when it happened to me.
People want to throw the moral issue at every situation that makes them feel uncomfortable. Be confident in knowing that we ALL do things that others find uncomfortable out of nature or nurture. Many people hate themselves and have to project that self hatred on others to make themselves feel more normal. WE are a very sick society know that.

Cocoa Rican said...

Hate is wrong. It was wrong when it was done to the Jews, it was wrong when it was perpetrated on blacks and it’s wrong today when gays are, again, targets for the ignorant masses. It boils down to accepting that whether folks look different or lead different lives than ourselves and don’t necessarily have the same values, we are not in a position to judge, impose our beliefs (religious or otherwise) or withhold equal rights from any particular group. In the case of gays, there is the added presumption that the general population has a place in our bedrooms! How the f*ck is that?! The straight population would be aghast if America suddenly wanted to weigh-in on what went on behind their closed doors. The key to tolerance and acceptance is recognizing that relationships between consenting adults is not within the scope of our opinions; we do not need to understand someone else’s life and life choices to respect them; we NEVER have the right to rise to violence against a group simply because they do not share our morals and values.
Concisely said: Ignorance=Intolerance=Violence
Either you’re part of the solution or you’re part of the problem….you decide.

donya said...

WOW Hector it is crazy that you even brought this up. Just recently I was in a cab with a girlfriend of mine and I don't know how the subject came up but the cab driver started to truly bash gay MEN. Now I capitalize men because he has no problem with gay men. My girl was speaking to him and that is how we found that out. But it was so shocking to me to hear the things that he was saying that I (who is probably never speechless) could not respond.

So when things happen like that just out of the blue how do you respond? What do you say? I am good conversation wise but when it comes from nowhere it threw me off. I am not a quick person like you or my sister. I think about things and have truly thought about that since that incident. I don't want that to happen again so I guess I am looking for advice for the next (hoping that it won't be)time.

Cocoa Rican said...

Donya,
I’d like you think of it this way… each time someone makes a derogatory comment about a gay person, I want you to hear it as a negative comment about blacks. For example, when the cabbie said, “Fags are nasty…” You should hear, “Black folks are dirty and lazy.” Now I want you to let that sink in. What feelings come to mind? How insulted do you feel? How ignorant does he sound to you?

Now, with those feelings intact, simply say, “Wow those are some pretty strong feelings you have about gay men. Have gay men done something to you?”
He’s going to respond with more epithets similar to those in paragraph 1 of this comment.
You’ll simply retort, “As a woman, I’m more suspect of a man that hates gay men so much when they have nothing to do with him? You have to excuse me, but I’d rather not hear any ignorant comments like that around me.”

See, this is the BIG ta-da moment… your cabbie and people like him have had folks co-sign and laugh off their negative and derogatory comments for so long that they feel completely at ease saying them to any and everyone they come across. It’s time to “pump their brakes!” These types of comments are the hill on which the snowball begins to gain size and momentum. Level that hill off!

Just as we wouldn’t tolerate a cabbie saying some crazy racist crap in our presence (and I’m sure they did back in the 50s and 60s) we cannot tolerate negative gay remarks today.

Live and let live but…
In the eternal words of Susan Powter, “STOP THE INSANITY!!”

caspar608 said...

First and foremost, I don't believe anyone on this blog would co-sign on anyone being tied to a fence and beaten to death, chopped into pieces and distributed through the subway system or chased onto the belt parkway and killed when you thought you were just going to have a sexy rendevous with a complete stranger. Nor do I think anyone on this blog would attend a KKK rally, let alone sit silently while people are seriously bashed for being who they are. DO you use the n word jokingly, do you use the f word jokingly? Then you too are perpetrators of a crime against humanity according to Cocoa's posting. I absolutely POSITIVELY will not dispute that any of the incidents mentioned were crimes against humanity. I wondered why more people aren't demanding answers for what happened to the young man who was chopped up. I wondered why people weren't demanding answers for the young man who was brutally attacked last week - and who died from his injuries by the way, sorry you didn't hear about that. These incidents happen to ALL kinds of people by HATEFUL psychopaths who dwell among all of us. Using their sexual preference is just an easy excuse to commit atrocities. So, does this mean, according to some, that if I will not take a stand for gay marriage I might as well have been the guy wielding the ax, or the guy tying the boy to a fence or chasing some poor soul out into traffice. In my opinion, survey says "EEEEEEEEHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!". Wrong. What makes the civil rights movement different from the gay rights movement is the obvious. In the 1960's a black man in the south would have to sit in the back of the restaurant, use a different toilet and drink from a different water fountain becasue of what ladies and gentlemen? THE COLOR OF HIS SKIN. HIS PHYSICAL APPEARANCE. THAT WHICH IS OBVIOUS TO THE HUMAN EYE. Flash forward to TODAY. A man of any color walks into a restaurant. To the naked eye he is just another man. Is he asked to sit somewhere else in the restaurant? Is he told his kind is not wanted there, because of his skin tone? The difference is, back in the day german shephards were ripping black children APART in Alabama. Black children were burned to death in churches. Not because of what went on in their bedroom....it had everything to do with the color of their skin. I believe that the people who banged and fought and marched and boycotted and suffered the indignination of being spit upon, had human feces thrown at them, had their children RIPPED from them to be mutilated and tortured and hung from trees would agree....they fought to be treated EQUALLY based upon their outward appearance, what you can see with the naked eye. Now, Cocoa, you should know better than to say I would sit by idly while any injustice is done to any human being. Funny or not, I have permanent back problems to this day due to that little lovers spat you had on Fordham Road in 1988 with one man that truly loved you (J'Moo baby, I would like to give you a shout out)and another man who dangled you out your mothers window the year before while you had only a red kerchief on your head and red speedos on your body. I was BODY SLAMMED to keep you and J'Moo from being stabbed by your first love. Yet, you have the audacity to insist that I am just as guilty as someone who would both bash gays and people of other ethnicities because I let things happen without saying anything?
I commend each and every person who stands up for each and every human being to be treated with respect. I personally am in the trenches for the children in our country who have the misfortune of attending public schools. But I feel that GAY RIGHTS should not be grandfathered on the same rights that folks fought for in the 1960's. Gay Rights have neough strength of their own. 10% of the population that is Gay should stand up for EACH OTHER, stop committing crimes against EACH OTHER and get laws signed into effect that give them EQUAL RIGHTS that their married counterparts have so as to ensure that every partner is covered by the same laws and protections of man and woman. YOu cannot tell that a person is GAY by looking at them. I personally do not recall ever seeing a sign in any documentary that stated "No GAYS allowed". Do you feel me on that.
You want to take this outside, we can do it. I got a good sixty pounds on you and I will use every ounce. But please do not EVER make the mistake of lumping me in with GAY BASHERS or HATE MONGERS. You know what I stand for and I do not need a soapbox to handle my business.
Gay Straight, Black White, FAt SKinny, Short Tall, GOOD BAD AND INDIFFERENT. The Lord God Loves Us All. Would you like to dispute that also?

caspar608 said...

And just because I am angry at the way you presented this subject does not mean that I do not love you pumpkin. It means that I am entitled to m y own opinion, would take a stand for every person to be treated with respect and dignity and will not tolerate anyone saying I am guilty of apathy.
What goes on in your bedroom is NO BODY's BUSINESS except God. Why bring your business to the streets? Just say I want my partner to be protected. PERIOD. A lot of straight folks out here do not believe in marriage, do not want to get married, and they are not protected by jack ish when their loved one kicks the bucket.
Think about that when you get your balls twisted. And while your at it, I want you to give me the names of the two men you mentioned in your posting.

caspar608 said...

I am not going to stand with you JUST because you are gay. I am going to stand with you and up for you because you are a HUMAN BEING. Got it? Saying "I WANT RIGHTS BECAUSE I AM GAY!!!!!!!!" makes no sense. If you just said I WANT RIGHTS BECAUSE I AM A HUMAN BEING..... more people would say "he's got a point, she's got a point who are we not to treat them like everyone else?"
If that makes me ignorant, like my man Redman said "I'll be dat, I'll be dat".
But also keep in mind, that I talk freely about God and Jesus Christ because I am not ashamed of what I believe and what I have read in the Book. Condemn me for it if that makes you feel better also.

The Captain said...

What is the gay right's movement? There is nothing the gay community is fighting for that is not already available. You get to travel, eat, sleep, live and work anywhere you decided. There is nothing holding back gay men...that is crazy and foolish thinking.

R&B lover said...

Capara here is a paragraph from the article and it gives you the guys name. Oct 13th is the date this happened. Does knowing the person name make it more real. We hate to be the bearers of bad news, particularly so early in the morning, but it simply must be done: Michael Sandy, the 29-year old (his birthday was, in fact, yesterday) interior designer attacked by four men Sunday, has been taken of his life-sustaining respirators at approximately 9pm last night.

Cocoa Rican said...

I’m glad Cas spoke the way she did. It highlights my point. Cas mentions that the man who ran out in traffic died while seeking a “sexy rendezvous,” which also explains why judgments like hers (and those like her) have acted to prevent outrage at the lack of a thorough investigation and harsh prosecution of Michael Sandy’s attackers.

No, most of you wouldn’t sit-in on a KKK rally, but Cas fails to mention that today’s equivalent of a KKK rally is a night out with your friends when the banter turns to negative, ignorant and hateful remarks against the gay population.

We didn’t mention marriage, but now that Cas has – marriage is NOT a religious institution. Ceremonies revolving around a religious theme are secondary to the secular institution of marriage. Sorry to bust everyone’s Christian bubble, but marriage does not belong to any one religion. Demanding the SAME rights, privileges and title as legally married heterosexual couples is the legal right of every warm-blooded American homosexual person.

To say that blacks were more identifiable than gays are because of the color of their skin and therefore gays don’t suffer the same persecution is one of the most ignorant statements of all. First, many gay men are visibly gay. Second, we are assuming that to have any semblance of safety gay men and women should remain closeted and act as “normal” as possible for fear of being gay bashed; The equivalent of asking blacks in earlier days to try to pass as white to survive. Yes, many gays do it, but it is a sad day when the advice we give for combating discrimination and bigotry is to try to fit in. Lest we forget that this is the birthplace of the “down-low.”

We in the gay community would love to keep our bedrooms private. It is the right-wing establishment and their fascination with the gay bedroom that has it in the spotlight. Who’s doing who? What are they doing? How? Is it banned by sodomy laws? Let’s agree… we’ll talk about our sex lives EQUAL and in the same proportion as the straight population.

Cas you missed the point – painfully – by miles. You and the rest of the heterosexual blog readers are within the group perpetrating these atrocities. That’s what I said and that’s what I meant. You are more likely to see the ignorance as it unfolds, as it gains momentum and before it reaches my group – the ones being beaten and killed. I’m asking that you NOT be silent and laugh-off the ignorance… that you demand it stops… that you end the violence when it is still an asinine comment.

I realize you think this is just another issue that we can be combative about… it isn’t. While I and those I hold dear – my gay family – are in imminent danger, I will not debate whether you agree or disagree with ending the ignorance and judgments that has empowered predators to prey on innocent human beings.

UNDERSTAND FOLKS: Ignorance breeds contempt. If you hear it, stop it. If it is mentioned as a joke, stop the prankster in his/her tracks. Stop the hate. Don’t be a silent participant. The buck stops with you.

caspar608 said...

See you twisted my words to drum up compassion for your cause. That young man ASSUMED he was going out to meet someone he met on a chat room for a sexy rendezvous Cocoa. Don't twist my words to make your point please. Straight people open themselves up to the same crap when they engage in chat room banter and decide to meet people in public THAT THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW for sex.
Cut it out already. You are taking it to a level that it doesn't ned to be taken to. I am definitely not the ignoramus you are painting me to be and although I am hurt and offended that you would use me as an exaple, I still believe everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.

caspar608 said...

If you actually think that I for one moment would allow ANYONE - including my own sons - to bash homosexuals there is no point at all for us to continue our friendship. Wasn't there an incident when I asked you to speak to my sons because THEY were being called faggots at school?
Did a waterbug crawl up your ass last night. I take all of thuis very seriously. And beiong GAY doesn't always transalte into drag queens, flamboyant behavior or anything of that nature. Last time I checked, being gay was being attracted to your own sex, not acting out like three snaps up in a circle. That would be shamefully stereotyping a group of people and that is WRONG. Nobody is saying anyone should closet themselves either. Say it loud, I'm GAY AND I'M PROUD. Go for yours. But when was the lasttime you saw a sign that said "Gays not allowed" or police used attack dogs on gay people? Hello? Caller are YOU on the line.
The line between "does civil rights in the 60's resemble gay rights in the new millenium" and folks who have their own beliefs seems to be dissolving right before my very eyes. You posed many questions and made many statements in your blog. I answered them, and again, I am really surprised that you would single me out as an ignoramus. So if you feel what you feel, and you feel that I am part of the problem rather than someone who trying to respect other people and come up with a better solution than I would like to say that I will ALWAYS love you and I hope someday you can accept the fact that I am neither gay basher nor biggot. I don't believe in violence, but I do what I must, I am a TRUE believer and in GOD I trust.

Good night and God Bless to all.

caspar608 said...

R&B Lover, I read the story, I saw it on the news when it first happened and I knew his name before you did your research and found the article. I live in NY. And the story was he thought he was meeting someone in a chat room and was beaten to death instead, no?
Were you at the Stonewall Riots in the Village? Do you know about the Stonewall Riots in the Village.
Research hat while you are at it. My uncle was beaten into a coma at the age of 16 for being a homosexual in the West Village during the 60's so please save it for someone who doesn't know better. John Hanley died of AIDS in 1994. He was nicer to me than my own father, although he was my fathers brother. And let someone call Uncle Jackie a faggot! His six brothers would deliver a beatdown to the perpetrator who delivered the disrespect so you see fighting the good fight is in my blood. You have a lovely evening dear. And keep reading, its good for the mind.

caspar608 said...

Also Cocoa, you should definitely trust and believe that more CHILDREN are being beaten and killed than homosexuals. They are tuly the innocent and when was the last time you rallied in their defense? When was the last time you went up to a school and asked what were your tax dollars being used for? When was the last time you went to a hosptal and volunteered to hold babies who were sick or had AIDS? If YOU aren't part of that solution then you are part of that problem too, no?
Did I ever, in the entire time we have known each other called you a faggot or a homo or anything derogatory? And when we were children and everyone on the block except me KNEW you were gay who was the big white girl cracking people in the mouth telling them not to talk about my friend? I didn't even know what gay was, in my insulated little world. And you never explained it to me. Instead you left it to me to find out from the hood what gay meant. And I still didn't believe it? And I have always defended you. Even when your your brother thinks it funny to call you a faggot, I tell him NOT to call you that. I am really sick to my stomach over this whole debacle. For some strange unknown reason you see me as the enemy and thats sad, but hey life will go on. I rolls with the punches. I hope you extended gay family does a better job at being your friend than I did. Clearly I failed.

Cocoa Rican said...

Now take that passion, shock, anger, frustration and horror and multiply it by 10...you're now close to where gays in America are today. No one is singling you out... your viewpoint however must be singled out...stop bringing this back to US and OUR friendship...that will never change...this is about a very serious issue that doesn't have gray...only black or white. Either you are against hate, intolerance and inequality or you're for it. Why do you have a hard time excepting that concept? It isn't about anything else.

On a different note...I never take your comments personally, nor do they affect US or our bond as family...don't ever feel the need to factor in OUR relationship or exposing our past (especially when it is a private moment) to make a point on issues we discuss online. You'll find there is plenty to be said without putting all my business in the streets.

R&B lover said...

Caspar thank you and you keep reading as well it is good for the mind deary. I just have to say what surprises me is how you call yourself a friend of the Rican and yet you air his laundry to prove your point. Maybe you should think about that.. Pumpkin...shhhh

R&B lover said...

Caspar thank you and you keep reading as well it is good for the mind deary. I just have to say what surprises me is how you call yourself a friend of the Rican and yet you air his laundry to prove your point. Maybe you should think about that.. Pumpkin...shhhh

caspar608 said...

R & B Lover
Did you know Cocoa when you were a child......I .... DON'T .... THINK.....SO. And just like a point was attempted to be proven by using my words as an example, I used a factual incident to demonstrate my point. Aside from the fact that Cocoa already aired that incident to the public SEVERAL moons ago he has NOTHING to be ashamed about especially when we freely discuss incidents from our past and our childhood to define WHO WE ARE. Events that have happened in our lives make us WHO WE ARE. The truth will set you free. If Cocoa can tell all of us the very specifics of his intimate life, how to do this, that and the third, yet when I bring up an incident where I reminded him that I put my life on the line to save his life - thats wrong? HYPOCRISY is the worst enemy of ANY cause. And I am not going to apologize for defending my opinions, my beliefs and my truth by using REAL, tangible incidents to describe how I would always stand up for my friends simply because I LOVE them and secondly because they are human beings. So before you start telling a complete stranger HOW to handle HER business, you need to SHHHHHHHH! STOP TALKING. www.shutup.com.org.net.edu.
Kay? Pumkin?

R&B lover said...

Capara, I don't care how long you have know Rican and your right I haven't know him as long as you. But we all have our opinions, you have yours and I have mines. But you don't know me well enough to tell me to shut up. I have been brought up to be more professional than that, at least I would hope. We are here to exchange view points and ideas, we are not here to be disrespectful.

What ever you may do for you friends in the future, that's what you suppose to do. The fact that you did it should be gradtification enough. But when you have to talk about what you did and let everyone know, that's when your acts are in question.

Just a thought

Just a thought.