Below is a quick listing of some recent hate crimes to reach the national news. And it would appear from this sampling that the most likely assailants are ‘on average’ white boys and young men in their teens to early twenties operating in packs.
With yet another uptick in the number of hate crimes across the U.S., the question remains why do these violent biased assaults occur so often?
There has already been some speculation that the young Marines who just attacked Kieran in Savanna, GA (story 2 below) are going to use some form of gay panic defense to justify their assault. There is no hate crimes law in GA. so they will simply be facing criminal assault charges and will need to justify the attack. They did attack the victim after witnesses heard them accuse him of winking at one of them and they told the police the attack was the result of him flirting with them so they will need to explain their motivation. But this sort of defense which claims a fear of aggression or assault by the victim (I hurt him before he could hurt me.) makes absolutely no sense in the context of group violence against individuals.
And after watching the video taped attack in the fifth story below, I begin to wonder if there is some other sort of panic going on here on the part of these aggressors. Maybe the panic is more likely to be straight or white or gang based panic then something like “gay panic.” I mean, if there is any defensible panic or insane terror involved in these attacks, aren’t these guys more likely afraid of what their own group of peers is capable of doing to them if the resist this social violence? Just a wandering thought.
Besides I really see very little panic in the dancing revelry of those boys with the baseball bats as they beat on the fetal young man they targeted as gay. What I see looks more like the desensitized revelry of violence written about in A Clockwork Orange rather than terrorized victimization that led Francine Hughs to the “panicked” murder of her abuser.
Just some things I ponder when thinking about the education of young boys and the world of young men.
So here’s what I found in the news about recent biased assaults…
(BTW the State of Oregon has just made reporting Hate Crimes a little easier.)
1. Muslim man attacked, June 11, 2010: “The suspects were described as in their late teens or early 20s.”
At about 1 p.m. on Friday, the victim was on El Camino Real near Sycamore Terrace waiting for a friend to pick him up when two males approached him and asked if he was Jewish, Department of Public Safety Capt. David Verbrugge said.
“He said no, he was Muslim, and (one of the suspects) said something to the effect of ‘you’re a terrorist’ and punched him several times in the face,” Verbrugge said.
2. Gay man violently attacked and hospitalized, June 12, 2010: Two Marines, 22-year-old Keil Joseph Cronauer and 23-year-old Charles Stanzel were arrested a short time later.
Police say one of the Marines hit Daly in the back of the head with his fist, knocking him unconscious.
3. Gay couple attacked at their front door, June 12, 2010: By two men in their late 20s
He said the two men shouted homophobic insults and profanities, then attacked them first with their fists, then with an unknown object that tore Regier’s scalp.
4. Ecuadorian man attacked and killed, November 2008 (trail just ended): 17-year-old Jeffrey Conroy and a group of teens
Prosecutors say the teens were walking around town looking for targets, began yelling ethnic slurs and approached the two men. One of the teens punched Lucero in the face.
5. Teen presumed gay beaten in city park, May 28, 2010: Four teens beating with a fifth filming and posting the beating on YouTube
The video shows 17-year old Mason Steiner being hit by four boys with what look like Nerf baseball bats, He claims the boys called him a gay slur during the incident. A fifth boy was videotaping it, and someone posted it on YouTube.
6. Black man murdered and drug behind a car, June 2, 2010: 19-year-old accused of this crime
“We don’t want to attribute something to Collins that isn’t necessarily true,” Lloyd said. “But out of precaution, given the circumstances, we are investigating the racial angle.”