Monday, June 12, 2006

Kevin Aviance

What the fuck? You can still get gay-bashed in New York City? In 2006?

This is deplorable, a sign of bad times returning. I just read that the FBI is releasing figures showing that violent crime is on the rise (in the U.S., anyway). Growing socio-economic inequality greases the skids for increased violence within the depressed classes. Couple that with a top-down condemnation of homosexuality from both church and state in America, and bingo -- instant hate-crime.

Another appalling thing about this crime is that it transpired on a well-traveled block on the Lower East Side, and the beating wasn't interrupted by anyone. Not a single person. No one lifted a finger to help... shades of Kitty Genovese. The right mix of bystander apathy, fear of the wolfpack, and (a presumed) anti-gay resentment in passersby doomed Kevin Aviance to a broken jaw and busted-up body.

Pride Day is right around the weekend, a beautiful public display of what New York has so much of that other U.S. cities lack -- tolerance and openmindedness. But with the New York Police Department not even able to abstain from laying truncheons on anti-Republican demonstrators in 2004, this does not bode well in terms of protecting our citizens from hate crime -- especially when silence from our national government practically condones it.