Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Response to hate in Cleveland

Here's part of an interesting piece in the Bradley News Weekly by Daniel Brantley:

Whatever it takes to walk down the road to hatred, Cleveland came face to face with the outcome recently, and it's left the community sick at their collective stomach. The spray paint on the side of those homes is a disgusting sight that could be a sign that we've shot backwards a good 100 years or so. Or it could be a sign that ignorance has hit a select few right between the eyes. Is there any other way such an act could have come to fruition?

The worst part is what an incident like this could do to a weak community. One group of people suddenly becomes afraid of the other, and both begin to look over their shoulders a bit more. Whereas trust in one's neighbors used to exist in full bloom, it has now been replaced with fear and skepticism. No one can trust anyone else, because that someone else could be out to get you. for the rest.

It's an important reminder that hate crimes are not merely acts of vandalism committed by individuals against individuals. Hate crimes target minorities and affect an entire community. They sew distrust and fear. And they can happen anywhere, from charming small towns to cosmopolitan, "progressive" cities. They provide opportunities for communities to come together across differences and say, "This is not who we are or want to be."

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