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Eliminate the Hate

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Thirteen years ago on October 12, Matthew Shepard, a 21 year old at the University of Wyoming, passed away after being assaulted by two other students who were anti-gay extremists. Two years ago, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, an 11 year old boy from Springfield, MA, hanged himself after being bullied for being perceived by his peers as being gay. Less than a month ago, Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14 year old from Buffalo, NY, killed himself because of the hate mail he had received from anti-gay cyberbullies. Two of the messages sent to him include: “JAMIE IS STUPID, GAY, FAT AND UGLY. HE MUST DIE!” and, “I wouldn't care if you died. No one would. So just do it :) It would make everyone WAY more happier!”

These are only a few stories of anti-gay hate crimes, and the ones not mentioned are just as tragic and just as serious. How many more gay teens must die before people begin to understand the seriousness and the severity of anti-gay hate crimes? A human’s life is precious no matter whose life it is, yet there are people in the world who seem to think that it’s okay to treat others as if they’re less than human simply because they’re different. This has become a worldwide issue, and the sad thing is that in many countries there are people that don’t care if people die if they’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

50 years ago, there were hate crimes committed against black Americans just like there are against the gays today. 48 years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. 43 years ago, on April 4, Dr. King, Jr. was shot in Memphis, TN, and was declared dead at 7:05 pm later that day. It’s been over 40 years since that tragic day, and the only thing that’s changed is who’s targeted in the hate crimes committed. Will there ever be a day that we can finally live side by side in peace? “Free at last? Free at last? Good God Almighty, when will we be free at last?!”





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