Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Unspeakable Hate Crime in W. Va.

This story makes me livid. I can't begin to comprehend how human beings could do this to another human. Reports are coming out of West Virginia about a young woman who was held for at least a week while being tortured by her captors. And why was this woman targeted for unspeakable violence? Because she is Black.

The WaPo reports:

For at least a week, authorities say, a young black woman was held captive in a mobile home, forced to eat animal waste, stabbed, choked and repeatedly sexually abused -- all while being peppered with a racial slur.

It wasn't until deputies acting on an anonymous tip drove to a ramshackle trailer deep in West Virginia's rural hills that she was found. Limping toward the door with her arms outstretched, she uttered, "Help me," the Logan County sheriff's office said.

Six people, all white, including a mother and son and a mother and daughter, have been arrested and could face federal hate crime charges in the suspected attack on 20-year-old Megan Williams, who remained hospitalized Tuesday with injuries that included four stab wounds in the leg, and black and blue eyes. Her right arm was in a cast.

The media generally does not identify survivors of sexual assault, but Williams and her mother agreed to release her name.

"I don't understand a human being doing another human being the way they did my daughter," Carmen Williams said Tuesday from the Charleston Area Medical Center.

"I didn't know there were people like that out here."
This story broke just after Maryland residents had learned of a racial incident on the University of Maryland Campus. Someone left a noose tied to a tree outside the campus black cultural center.

The NBC owned station in Washington, DC reports that campus police have launched an investigation.

These two incidents are not connected, except that they demonstrate how much still needs to be done to address issues of racism in this country -- and hate crimes specifically.

Conservatives would have you believe that hate crimes legislation is "thought control" -- but that is an absolute lie. You can THINK whatever the hell you want to think, but when you act on those thoughts you have committed a CRIME. Hate crimes ARE different from random acts of violence, because their victims are intentionally selected, often because of their race, sexual orientation or religion. These crimes are intended to send a message to other members of the group that YOU ARE NOT WANTED HERE.

Some of the monsters who attacked Megan Williams are fairly young. If convicted of a hate crime the enhanced penalty means they could spend the rest of their miserable lives behind bars -- which is EXACTLY where they belong. I want them to spend the next 50 years thinking about what they did to this young woman.

We have hate crimes laws that deal with crimes based on a persons race or religion, but the country has yet to enact hate crimes laws dealing with crimes based on someones sexual orientation or sexual identity. Congress must pass a law adding these crimes to the list.

For now we must not forget Megan Williams, and we must do all we can to make sure the monsters who inflicted this torture on her are punished to the fullest extent possible.


Tengrain said...

Everytime I think as a people we are creeping towards enlightenment, something like this happens.

I don't even have words for what I'm thinking.

FranIAm said...

This is the most horrifying thing. What have we become as a nation? This is so tragic beyond belief.

Like Tengrain says... there are no words.

BAC said...

It's been 24 hours since I first learned of this and I am STILL livid.


fairlane said...

I have words.

Send those yokels my way. I'll put them out of their misery.

I know this is hard for some to understand, but there are many (More than we want to admit) people who simply have no conscience.

They do not care.

The Cons cater to these people.

This is a war, and we need to understand.

FranIAm said...

I just reread this and I am weeping again.

Here we are, the nation of justice (hah!), fighting terror... fighting them "there" so we won't have to fight them here.

What a disgrace. We are so hypocritical as a nation. People who do things like this don't do so on a whim. They are bred to do so.

And it makes me wonder if this was the first or only time.

I am so sickened by this - it makes me want to do something,but what?

Depravity heaped upon depravity.