UPDATE: Jerry Swinford, the killer discussed in this post, is eligible for parole in 2009. That’s this year. If he’s lucky, he’ll be out on the streets again soon.
On April 29, 2009, during a debate on the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill, North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx displays her ignorance of the facts. The bill passed, however, there are still folks who refuse to accept the facts.
As quoted from Pam’s House Blend, check it out to see the video of Rep. Foxx’s statement:
Rep. Foxx: "The bill was named after a very unfortunate incident that happened, where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of robbery. It wasn’t because he was gay. The bill was named for him, the hate crimes bill was named for him, but it’s, it’s really a hoax, that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills."[House Floor Speech, 4/29/09]
The sad fact is that Gays are targeted because they are gay. This is what a hate crime is. Matthew Shepard is just one example, but there are many others. Meet Jerry Swinford.
Jerry Swinford and a friend met Chris Miller aka Miss Gay Arkansas, and Joe Fredericks at a park where gay men hang out. After joining them at their house, Swinford and friend robbed and killed Chris Miller and wounded Joe Fredericks after a gay advance was made. Sound familiar? Listen for yourself as killer Jerry Swinford discusses how he came to target 2 gay men.
Was this just a random robbery? Was there some other motive or reason for picking Chris and Joe? Have a look at, in the killer’s own words, where his motivations come from.
Many people believe that there’s no good reason for Hate Crimes legislation, that people aren’t really targeted because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, or religion. This is simply not true. Our culture and society has been stained by the influence of religious extremists and heterosupremacists. Some folks simply cannot feel good about themselves unless they can place someone else below them in the hierarchy of society. It is them who are destroying our society.
Please take a stand, contact your elected officials in support of any hate crimes legislation.