Yesterday I mentioned that translations were sometimes problematic. Well the one I read yesterday gave the wrong name of the murderer of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado. The correct name is Juan A. Martinez Matos. He will be charged with 1st degree murder in addition to four other counts. It has not been determined whether or not this will be prosecuted as a hate crime.
As if the tragedy of Jorge was not enough, I just found out that another gay teen was brutally murdered in the past week. His name is Jason Mattison Jr. He was killed in Baltimore last week by a family friend named Dante Parrish. This story is as horrific as the story of Lopez Mercado. As of now this case doesn't appear to be a hate crime, rather a brutal murder resulting from a forced sexual relationship. It's truly depressing and proof that we have a long way to go in the efforts to stop violence in the US. I do not know all of the details of the case yet but one dissapointing fact is that the murderer, Dante Parish was once represented by the Innocence Project. Through the efforts of the Innocence Project, Mr. Parish only served 10 years of a 30 year murder sentence because of a flawed conviction. This is truly unfortunate because the Innocence Project does great work. There couldn't have been a worse outcome for their efforts.
Finally you can chalk up a victory for the KKK today. Today Sen. Robert Byrd (D) of West Virginia became the longest serving member in US Congressional History. What is the connection you ask? Well nothing really except the fact that Senator Byrd was once a member of the Ku Klux Klan. That's right. But wait, he's a Democrat. I thought Republicans were the ones that were supported by bigots in the south. Well Senator Byrd comes from a time when Democrats were the party of choice for Dixie Bigots. Byrd has admitted that his membership in the KKK was a grave error and has gone on to achieve notoriety as a true statesmen, serving as Senate Majority Leader on two separate occasions. But than again he voted against the Civil Rights Act, some twenty years after leaving behind his hooded homies. Maybe I'm just a commie, lefty wacko but I just don't think a former KKK member should be a hero, at least not one that voted against the Civil Rights Act. But at least we got to hear his eloquent speeches on NPR when he challenged George Bush's Iraq Policy. You would almost think he was on our side. I wished afterward they also mentioned that he was the man who wrote this:
I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side... Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.