Judy Shepard Responds to Rep. Virginia Foxx’s Charge That Matthew’s Lynching was a Hoax

I would have said, “These animals murdered my baby, and that woman had a lotta damn gall,” but it’s been more than 10 years now, though I know the pain of the boy’s loss is still present for this mom. And she’s probably read and heard far worse, but not like this. One still has to be reasonable-looking and -sounding for the cameras, even if it is Rachel Maddow, who would understand. Lord.

I can only imagine how black people felt who testified to lynchings, rapings and race riots in Congress, without hardly anyone to stand up for them even in the galleries. And then, they had to hear bullshit being troweled out by the so-called “honored gentlemen,” some of them Klansmen, on the floors in the Senate and the House year after year against civil rights acts and legislation against lynching and other hate crimes. That’s the equivalent. That’s exactly what Judy Shepard had to witness in the gallery of the House when arguments were being made for and against the merits of hate crimes legislation for LGBT people, and this latest descendant in spirit of all those previous congresspersons stood up and spewed her contribution to hate.

Matthew Shepard (1976-1998; Courtesy: elmada)

Matthew Shepard (1976-1998; Courtesy: elmada)

We know that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn’t because he was gay,” Foxx said during debate. “The bill was named for him, the hate-crimes bill was named for him, but it’s really a hoax that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills.”

I have an idea where this silly, insensitive broad hooked onto this theory. According to Wikipedia, it may have been a 2004 ABC 20/20 investigation by Elizabeth Vargas, in which the girlfriend of murderer Aaron James McKinney, McKinney himself and co-murderer Russell Arthur Henderson claimed that the murder was drug-related, that it was based on simple robbery, and that the beating and torture had gone too far, possibly because they were “on” something. The girlfriend, Kristen Price, of course, was contradicting her previous interview with 20/20, taken when the slaying first came to national attention, in which she said, “They just wanted to beat him bad enough to teach him a lesson, not to come on to straight people, and don’t be aggressive about it anymore.” A McKinney close friend, Tom O’Connor, and Price also claimed that McKinney was bisexual, as he had engaged in a relationship with O’Connor, but McKinney went against script and said that he wasn’t bisexual or gay.

The retired police chief of Laramie, Dave O’Malley, also interviewed by Vargas, countered those claims, saying that the robbery motive does not diminish the larger and stronger one of choosing to deliberately prey upon a gay man in a bar known to be frequented by gay or bisexual men, even using drugs as a lure.

The hate crime bill, H.R. 1913, named for Matthew Shepard, passed in the House by a 75% margin April 29; it now goes to the Senate.

Let’s get real. The only hoax is what the perps tried to lay on Matthew and later, on the jury and the nation. They visited a gay bar, lied that they were gay to Matthew, beat and tortured him savagely, stole his property, even his clothes and his shoes, and left him in the freezing dark to die. The defense even used the homosexual fear angle: that the young men were threatened and overwhelmed by Matthew’s sexuality when he made a pass at one or the other to the point of losing their lives and/or and sexual identity. Right. Now, they are getting life.

And if you want to make sure nothing as despicable as this comes out of North Carolina again in 2010, contact:

North Carolina 5th Congressional District
Democratic Party Chairman David R. Crawford

Link to petition to hold Foxx accountable for her remarks.

~ by blksista on May 1, 2009.

2 Responses to “Judy Shepard Responds to Rep. Virginia Foxx’s Charge That Matthew’s Lynching was a Hoax”

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