Monday, February 25, 2008

Somebody’s baby, somebody’s friend…

Lawrence King was 15 years old.

He was somebody’s baby and somebody’s friend.

He was loved and cared for but he was also taunted and bullied for being gay.

On Feb 12 Lawrence King was shot in the head while working in his school’s computer lab.

He was declared brain dead the next day.

A 14 year old fellow student is being charged with the murder of Lawrence King. It is alleged that Lawrence King was targeted because he was gay and prosecutors have filed murder charges against the suspect with the additional allegation of a hate crime.

Hate, fear and bigotry have turned a junior high school into a crime scene and a young man into murder victim and I can’t help but think that Lawrence King was somebody’s baby before he was a headline. He was somebody’s friend before he was the victim of a hate crime.

Now, those who knew him and loved him mourn the loss of him because Lawrence King will forever be 15 years old.

Somebody’s baby…full of the promise that is a life yet to be lived.

Somebody’s friend…with so much of the happiness and joy of it all yet to be experienced.

In St. Louis there will be a vigil and candlelight walk in remembrance of Lawrence King Wednesday, February 27th at 6:45pm at Mokabe’s. The vigil will be held indoors unless the weather allows otherwise. The candlelight walk will take place afterwards.

May God have mercy…

23 comments:

Saskia said...

This chills me to the bone. For those of us who'd like to believe that homophobia is over or nearly so, or that hate crimes are isolated incidents, this is a wake-up call. Systemic change has yet to be made!

david said...

This is heartbreaking. Sometimes I wonder if we'll ever really learn anything about coming to terms with things or ideas that frighten us, so as to avoid these sort of nightmares from happening again. It also makes me think that perhaps we as a species don't really deserve to last, and the planet would be better off without us.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Truly a horror, but not uncommon.
How do we promote love instead of hate in a world of indifference?

M.Kam said...

so young...not only is it heartbreaking but its scary as well...

Anonymous said...

Why does it always seem that even though stuff like this rarely makes the national headlines, it always seems to garner more attention than the shit that is done to folks of color every day?
~ Bitter White Gay Man

Shark-fu said...

BWGM... I reject the premise of that. This child, who appears to be a child of color, was killed in his school as the result of a hate crime.

Lets not play the Oppression Game over such a horible tragedy.

God willing, we will all learn to live together without violence.

QQ said...

Thank you so much for blogging about this.. it is just horrible how not many of us hear about these things when they happen...

Yankee, Transferred said...

May the gods help us all. I have been praying for peace for almost 56 years. I fear my prayers fall on deaf ears.

roslynholcomb said...

I look a my own son who is only three and so full of love and I wonder how another young man only 12 years older than he would be so filled with hate that he'd take someone's life that way. I just don't understand it, and pray that I never do.

libhom said...

I think that a lot of hatred and bigotry is used to distract people from how they are being screwed over by corporate interests.

MacDaddy said...

Thanks for keeping me informed, giving me the news that I don't get from the corporate news media (I'm a news junkie and I still have to go to bloggers like you to get the news and the perspective that I need...

Violence is getting so bad in this country that people are becoming immune to it, even when kids die. A bunch of white people have to die on a college campus before people notice.

What will it take before we see a 14 year old kids as one of our own?

Dusty said...

This is so fucked up. The age of the killed and the killer shocks my senses.

Seems the bigots and haters are reaching our children at younger and younger ages.

The Lazy Iguana said...

This stuff is scary. Something is seriously wrong with kids who do this kind of stuff. The shooter had to know he would not get away with it. And then what? Go to jail for life? Go to jail for 20 years? Piss your life away because you have an issue with someone else?

When I was in junior high, there would just be a few fists thrown and someone would get suspended. I never even thought that anyone in the school may be packing heat.

But I have an issue with "hate crimes". Would it be any less of a crime if the murdered kid was not gay? Is it less of a crime if the murder victim and the killer are the same race? I say no, it is not any different. Murder is murder - and that is that. Bringing a gun to school, walking up on someone, and shooting them in the head is first degree murder. The shooter thought about it and planned it out. Why does the victim being gay have anything at all to do with it? It was murder no matter which way you slice it.

I do not get why it is more of a crime to murder someone because they are gay or black or asian or whatever than if they are not.

marc said...

Sometimes the world really rubbz it in on how lucky I am to be a middle class European gay, living in a rich, more or less tolerant country, as atthe same time...

A young boy is shot for being gay. Another boy is taught that shooting gays is OK, at 14. A government official (Israel) blames earthquakes on gays. African leaders claiming that homosexuality is a European desease... it doesn't excist in Afrika. being gay in Iran, or many other Arab countries, means you'll die by hanging.

We don't need a war on terror.We need education to blast out the ignorance.

Rileysdtr said...

Jesus Tapdancing Christ.

"Hate Crime" is misnamed. Yes, Iguana, murder is murder. But murdering someone just because they are (fill in your minority here) is Message Crime. Baby Brother may be dead, but the message lives on. Do I hurt over senseless tragedy? Yes. Do I mourn over every child killed? Of course. But a child killed because he or she was homosexual sends a little extra shiver of horror up my spine, because it's a message sent Bullet Express meant directly for me and mine. My family, my friends, my culture, my community; my sorrow, my heartbreak, my anger, my fear. The message is this: you are not safe. Whether it's a bullet to the back of the head, a cross burning on the lawn, swastikas painted on a synagogue, nooses hung from a schoolyard, or a boy hung from a barbed wire fence, the message is visceral, and brutally concise. The only way back is to send a stronger message, that hate will NOT be tolerated.

Drunkbunny said...

It terrifies me that people are raising their kids with so much hate and intolerance. I think the parents of the 14 year old should be in jail right beside him.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

"We don't need a war on terror.We need education to blast out the ignorance."

Marc,
Good plan, but the royalists who wield the power depend upon ignorant, desperate masses.
It will take a real revolution to educate and remove the veil of ignorance from the desperate proles.
SH

Michael said...

Riley hit the nail on the head. Also, this child was living in a home for abused kids before being shot in the head. Another trans teen was shot to death in ft. Lauderdale although the reason is as yet unknown

cimmerians said...

Forgive my warmth on this occasion, but: this happened right down the road from me, and I'm queer, so I'm taking this one kind of personally.

His family failing to comment on why they sent him to foster care--this is what kills me. And the initial response from them was *shameful*--utterly shameful. And while it helps that people (like you) have spoken up about it and called attention to it, all that happened here in the first few days was this prevailing local conversation from parents concerned that their precious straight children are being exposed to overt faggotry in schools, and how to protect the little darlings from such heinousness?

Oh, and: lots and lots and LOTS of 'of course he got shot--he wore makeup to school! If he didn't want to get shot he should have stayed in the closet.'

And of course before any photos or names were released, the prevailing belief was that this particular killing was *obviously* 'gang-related', because nobody here in California really cares about making (white) kids safe, etc...

Forgive me. My original point was supposed to be: thank you for posting about this. But the ripples in my personal and immediate surroundings have made this one particularly hard to cope with.

l jackson said...

What ppl fear they either end up ignoring or hate to the point of ugly. This is just to sad especially when it is two more of our kids lost! KCK is going through Black History month so they decided to 'seperate' by color. When kids entered the school they were compared to a brown paperbag, anyone 'lighter' went to the white section of school, 'darker' to another. The 'mixed' child was an 'oreo, zebra, or whitey' & chastised again. This was adults in the school system that set it up..interesting..& we want our kids not to learn to hate???

midwesterntransport said...

lawrence king, cameron mcwilliams, adolphus simmons, sanesha stewart.

so many queer and gender-nonconforming people dead within the past month.

too many.

Lacey said...

Bump what Riley said. I got the message, loud and clear. Been gettin it for the last 59 years. Oh, but wait...it's a choice, right. Yeah. How could anyone NOT choose to be a fuckin fag?

Marc said...

What needs to be recognized is that homophobia is at its heart an expression of misogyny. It focuses primarily on men who dare to express and even celebrate what are considered female traits. As a gay man, or course homophobia concerns me personally, but I bleieve if we want to erase it,we have to join with women. Feminism needs to re-emerge from the closet, and we need to join hands with the 51 % in saying NO to the values of the celebrate force and dominance and male entitlement.