Rev. Irene Monroe:With Florida’s Stand Your Ground permitting Zimmerman to walk without charges, the Shepard-Byrd statute not only reminds us of how bias-motivated crimes links gays and blacks together but that it’s also the best hope for Trayvon Martin and his family seeking justice.
Andrea Nill: At this point, it’s difficult to verify what role, if any, SB-1070 played in Varela’s death. However, chances are the law has made an already toxic atmosphere worse. A growing number of Latinos are already the targets of discrimination and hate crimes in the U.S. SB-1070 has only exploited the public’s frustration with federal government inaction and played to their worst instincts.
Carl Matthes: As you may remember, 21 year-old Matthew was pistol-whipped, bludgeoned and lashed to a fence post, just off an isolated rural road, during one of Wyoming’s cold, lonely October nights. He was left for dead by his killers. Eighteen hours later Matthew was discovered still alive, but in a coma. “I mistook him for a scarecrow,” said 18 year-old Aaron Kreifels. Five days later he died. In 1998 America, Matthew was just one of 33 anti-gay murders.