History Teaches Us Nothing
This week's Stranger Cover story features a report on the Micah Painter gay bashing incident last summer (since the trial is occuring at this very moment). The outrage felt last July over this easily resurfaces when you read Eli Sander's peice. It's a very telling analysis - much like the way "Sorrow and Pity" outed the secret hatred Parisians still had for Jews generations later. In this case - it's emigres from small towns and immigrants from other lands, and ironically, both victim and criminals are of the near-same faith. It makes you sick with fear that if three incredibly stupid, hateful people can be consumed by bigotry and intolerance, what's the slippery slope for more than just those three?
Ironically - I always felt safe walking home from the Rebar, 24hourFitness and Timberline (the area in the denny regrade where the incident occured). Capitol Hill seemed to take care of it's own the minute I arrived (gangs of Q-patrol people like a 2nd-rate Guardian Angels troupe walked the streets, but it seemed unneccessary - everyone had your back). Yet you read the way it went down and you realize it could be you. Bigots stupid with self-hate and alcohol infused anger arrive to sack civilization at every turn. While the war on terror rages - these are the real barbarians at our gates - and no, being from out of the country has nil to do w/this. These barbarians are cut in every corner of the world. We don't need to give them years of historical oppression, or tribal anguish fueled by machete-wielding violence of teenage juantus - you just need hate and a passage from the bible to reason your hate.
The peice was published before the verdict -which was returned with a Guilty Verdict that it was a hate crime. There is no justice in this however as they got off with lesser degrees of assault. The fact that the bottle was used as a weapon should have made this attempted murder at the very least. And what about the victim? Life pretty much ruined, and wanting to possibly leave this tolerant city. Nothing has been gained from this - we can have all the awareness we want, but no-one's reinforcing the gates (or so it seems). Maybe the Q-patrol should be brought back in force. And it becomes a community effort (everyone - gay, straight, black, white, old, young) are required to walk around and make sure everyone's safe at every possible hour. And perhaps we'll have big gates and a fortress wall?