Where Will We Be? Another Hate Crime Murder Trial in New York

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Two men now stand trial in Brooklyn for the 2008 deadly beating of José O. Sucuzhañay, an Ecuadorean immigrant.  The victim’s brother, Romel Sucuzhañay, was attacked also, but he not seriously injured.  The prosecution’s theory in the case?  That the men were attacked “because they were Hispanic and because the assailants were under the mistaken impression that they were gay” (see here).  (The two men had been walking arm in arm.)  Earlier this week, a Long Island teenager was convicted in the fatal stabbing of Marcelo Lucero, another Ecuadorean immigrant.

When any one of us — straight or gay, male or female, immigrant or citizen — is unsafe in the streets, we are all unsafe.  When any one of us is silent when confronted with hate, we are complicit.  These lines from Pat Parker’s “Where Will You Be?” echo in my mind:

Every time we watched
a queer hassled in the
streets and said nothing --
It was an act of perversion.

A powerful recording of poet Pat Parker reading  “Where Will You Be?” at the 1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights is here, courtesy of John Frame (queerradio.org, Australia).

Where will we be when hate strikes?  Where will we be when justice comes?

-Bridget Crawford

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