Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ecuadorean Brothers Victims of Hate Crime

NYT reported this hate crime:

The two brothers from Ecuador had attended a church party and had stopped at a bar afterward. They may have been a bit tipsy as they walked home in the dead of night, arm-in-arm, leaning close to each other, a common tableau of men in Latino cultures, but one easily misinterpreted by the biased mind.

Suddenly a car drew up. It was 3:30 a.m. Sunday, and the intersection of Bushwick Avenue and Kossuth Place in Bushwick, Brooklyn, a half-block from the brothers’ apartment, was nearly deserted — but not quite. Witnesses, the police said, heard some of what happened next.

Three men came out of the car shouting at the brothers, Jose and Romel Sucuzhanay — something ugly, anti-gay and anti-Latino. Vulgarisms against Hispanics and gay men were heard by witnesses, the police said. One man approached Jose Sucuzhanay, 31, the owner of a real estate agency who has been in New York a decade, and broke a beer bottle over the back of his head. He went down hard.

Romel Sucuzhanay, 38, who is visiting from Ecuador on a two-month visa, bounded over a parked car and ran as the man with the broken bottle came at him. A distance away, he looked back and saw a second assailant beating his prone brother with an aluminum baseball bat, striking him repeatedly on the head and body. The man with the broken bottle turned back and joined the beating and kicking.

“They used a baseball bat,” said Diego Sucuzhanay, another brother. “I guess the goal was to kill him.”

At least five calls were made to 911. As police sirens wailed in the distance, the assailants, described only as black men by the police, jumped into their maroon or red-orange Honda sport utility vehicle and sped away. Jose Sucuzhanay was listed on Monday in very critical condition at Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he was on life support systems and in a coma after an operation for skull fractures and extensive brain damage.

These guys were a conservative's dream, proving a conservative weakness: open condemnation of gays and Latinos leads to criminal behavior targeting them, even when they espouse your values. The men were good citizens, doing everything right and legal. Note that, Pat Buchanan. Their crime was physical display of affection, which in this culture is sexualized. And that means, "only between a man and a woman." YOu don't see them protesting nearly-nude displays of heterosexual "affection". The sexualization of physical affection is a total disaster for the human psyche, and you can see it in the sterility of emotions contrasted with the richness of lust in much of what passes for entertainment.

It brings up another point: victims of injustice, such as African-Americans, can sometimes become perpetrators in a sort of "revenge". Same goes for some folks in Israel who see nothing wrong with walling off a native population from sources of food, gas and survival in a show of power without compassion. Hey, didn't they learn something back in the 40's? After how bad it was? Where is the compassion?

And these two perpetrators above displayed pointless violence expressing hate. Why?
I hope they are found, prosecuted, and punished. But beyond that, how can we prevent this from becoming a pattern?

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