New Year's Eve for many people this year was filled with family, fireworks, and well wishes for the next twelve months.
However, this was not the case at a New Year's house party filled with Black gay men on Chicago's southside. According toRod2.0 and other major news sources, masked gunmen entered the house around 5:30 A.M. through a backdoor and proceeded to shoot, eventually injuring six men. They were all later rushed to the hospital and are in stable condition, their injuries are believed to be non-life threatening.
But what was even more disturbing than the actual incident was the reaction of the neighbors. One young man said,""This ain't that type of neighborhood for them to be in. You know, they got to understand that they need to go back to the suburbs or wherever cause this is just like a regular, normal neighborhood for straight people."
We need to go back to the suburbs and we're not normal, according to this young Black man. I'm still too angry to even respond to the hateful act that was commited on early Monday morning. This act of violence has not been officially labeled a hate crime becuase the gunmen reportedly did not yell any anti-gay slurs. Keith Boykin and his readers sum it all up and ask really important questions that deserve to be answered. Where are our Black leaders when our lives are in jeopardy? Does our lives not matter because of who we love?
One comment really hit home with me and I wanted to include it here for you guys to read.
How unforunate that in 2007, black folks still believe - - through religion and tradition - - that homosexuality doesn't or can't exist in the black community. These blinders are the reason why AIDS has gotten out of control in our community. This is the reason why being "down low" has gotten glorification. What should the response be? I don't believe that we need a national response, because, folks don't connect with a story until they see themselves or someone they love. Perhaps, if we were to begin to allow our family deeper in our lives (yes including discussing who we date and love), outrage over this type of story would have occurred already. My point is that we (as individuals) have more power than we think/believe we do; and the power begins with having a discussion with our friends and family on how this story has hurt us. Let's deal with the white elephant in the room!!!! -James
It seems like I've heard this before. Happy New Year folks, it looks like our straight brothas still think it's okay to ignore our Blackness and play God by ending a life that they didn't give. How long are we going to allow our own people to act out due to their own ignorance and not suffer any consequences? We are the ones we've been waiting for, Jesse, Oprah, and Al are not coming to our rescue.
I'm willing to march the streets of Chicago in protest. Who will march with me? Our lives depend on it.