Dr. Hapgood, your cruise director (hapgood) wrote,
Dr. Hapgood, your cruise director
hapgood

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All roads lead to hate crime!?!

Hate crime has visited me today. Not personally, as, by the time I finish tonight, I will have spent twenty hours of this day behind a locked door, working at the crisis center. It's sad, but twenty hours at time-and-a-half will make me very happy come payday. I love pseudoholidays. Well, anyway, back to my topic. Hate crime. yuck. But I have been confronted with it twice today. I saw the movie Relax, It's Just Sex early this morning, and I was really bothered by the attack scene. For those who haven't seen it, two gay men get attacked in an alley, but before they are seriously hurt, their friends hear the scuffle and come around the corner to break it up. One of the men who was attacked starts to beat on one of the attackers, and then, in a seriously twisted turn, starts to rape the once attacker. My biggest problem with this scene wasn't what happened, but in my reaction to it. When the man who was attacked starts to fight back, I am overcome with bloodlust so intense that it’s quality is rarely seen outside of a hockey game. I want the ruthless fag-hater to hurt, to feel the injuries of everyone he has ever hurt, to feel the anguish of those who have to live afraid of what he represents. When the victim turned vigilante begins to rape the man, I am disgusted, both with the scene and myself. Where is the line of acceptable drawn? I obviously wasn’t having a problem with the gay man beating the basher, no matter how strong my rational belief that two wrongs do not make a right. Why does the escalation of the scene into a rape finally appear wrong in my mind? Is it because a sexual act, something beautiful, almost sacred, is used as a tool to punish? Often times, we take the tools of the oppressor and make weapons of our salvation, calling each other fag, using the rhetoric of anti-gay groups to insight activism. Is this not similar, using our own rituals against oppression? I don’t think so. I cannot justify this, and consequently cannot condone the whole situation. Something for me to chew on for awhile. My morality has been tested, let’s see where I go from here.
My other encounter with hate crime comes from a CD. As an avid musical fan, I love to listen to discs during the time in which they take place, JC Superstar on Good Friday, She Loves Me twelve days before Christmas, and so on. Which includes Parade on Memorial Day. Listening to the tale of Leo Frank, a man pardoned by the state of Georgia sixty-nine years after being lynched for a crime he didn’t commit, never fails to anger me. I realize that this is a dramatization of events that occurred, but the power of the hate in it overwhelms me. People use the phrase, “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups” as a joke. The cold terror that is the truth of this statement strikes at my heart. Knowing that there are people out there egging each other on to do terrible things against another group of people, knowing that I am a member of one of those terrorized groups, saddens me. Is there no happiness for me and my kind? How many people have to die before this stops? Is my reaction to the earlier-mentioned attack scene completely without basis? I guess the bite for me to chew on is bigger than I thought.
OMT (one man’s thoughts)
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