Thursday, February 9, 2012

"I Shouldn't Have to...Look Over My Shoulder..."

Twenty year old Brandon White of Atlanta ventured to the corner store in his community in Atlanta, GA, Saturday afternoon.  What happened as he left "the pink store" is something he'll never forget.

Deep inside of me, there's still that bruise and battered 12-year-old.   He saw the video of what happened to Brandon on Saturday and was once again reminded of his own gay bashing.  He cringed.  And, speaking for that broken 12-year-old, I can tell Brandon that he will always remember February 4th, 2012.  He will never look at life the same.

On Saturday, February 4th, Brandon was brutally attacked by a group of street thugs who call themselves 1029 Jack City Gang.  As they attacked him, they hurled gay slurs at him, "no faggots in Jack City", just to make sure the injuries were internal as well as external but, trust me, they weren't necessary.  The internal injuries were inflicted without them.  The external injuries will heal in no time.
The world is a vastly different place than it was when I was attacked as a 12-year-old.  Today, there's the in-an-instance-access-to-the-world Internet.  Brandon's attackers wisely used the Internet to Brandon's advantage:  they opted to post the video online.  In my day, there was no get-it-right-now news outlet.  Therefore, no one ever saw my attack or attackers other than the Southerners who lived where I was attacked but elected to not get involved.  Today, however, thanks to the spontaneity of the Internet, Brandon's attack, and attackers!, have been seen around the world already.  That's a good thing!! 

Because, at least in part, the video that was posted online, the FBI is also involved in trying to crack this case.  They're investigating it as a hate crime.  Bravo!  Now, let's just hope that the video is revealing enough for someone to identify those responsible for this horrific hate crime.  And, that includes the camera person.  Eleven thousand dollars in reward money has been offered for any information that will lead to the arrest of those responsible.  And, there's a Crime Stoppers number, 404-577-TIPS(8577) for anyone who may have any information.

Hatred against the LGBT community is going to come to a screeching halt.  Our numbers are ever-increasing.  Our voices are getting stronger and clearer.  Our message of zero tolerance is building momentum.  Here's to hoping these cowards are quickly brought to justice before another Jack City video has the opportunity to be made.

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