Community Unites to Remember Bryan Higgins
More than 75 people came together at Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo, MI to remember the life of Bryan ‘Feather Lynn’ Higgins on Wednesday, Aug. 13.
Higgins, a member of the LGBTQ community, was severely beaten in San Francisco, CA on Aug. 10. According to the Examiner, police said they are investigating the case as attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. His death has yet to be declared as a hate crime.
His family took him off of life support at San Francisco General Hospital at 3:33 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday, while friends and gatherers in Kalamazoo released balloons into the sky at the same time, 6:33 p.m. Eastern time.
To show support for each other and for the Higgins family, the community sang songs and wrote their fondest memories of Higgins in chalk on the ground.
“I’m very angry, but I’m letting love take over the emotion right now because anger is not the answer,” said Higgins’ uncle, Steve Horton. “Anger leads to hatred, hatred leads to crime.”
Interfaith Community Leaders Promote Religious Tolerance
Religious leaders in Brooklyn, NY came together Aug. 19 to promote solidarity between religious groups, according to The Yeshiva World News.
A drastic increase in religious hate crimes, including a fire set at a church in East Flatbush and an attack on worshipers outside a mosque in Bay Ridge, led Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to organize the interfaith gathering.
Speakers at the event included assembly members, public advocates, city council members, and religious leaders from Brooklyn’s Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities.
“I stand in partnership with my colleagues in government and a vast array of faith leaders to denounce hatred and bigotry on any and all levels,” said Adams.
At the end of the rally, Adams led the crowd on a march down Albany Avenue to 738 Empire Boulevard, where Rabbi Yosef Raksin lived with his family before he was shot in front of a Jewish temple in Miami, FL. According to The Yeshiva World News, the community paid their respects by leaving flowers at his home and further encouraging support for religious communities.
Counterprotesters Speak Out Against KKK
More than 400 people gathered in Troy, NC to counter-protest the North Carolina chapter of the Ku Klux Klan’s anti-immigration march on Aug. 9.
According to The Huffington Post, opponents wanted to emphasize that the KKK’s “extremist rhetoric” was not welcome. The protest was held in front of Troy’s Montgomery County Courthouse to address immigration issues, according to the Time Warner Cable News.
“Hatred not welcome,” and “Good night, White Pride,” were written on signs held by counterprotesters.
KKK member numbers have dwindled from 60,000 during the Civil Rights Movement to 6,000 today, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
“Young people today will not stand for this,” said local resident Donald Loften. “It’s a shame and disgrace for society that this hatred can go on, but I guess there will always be that 10 percent who want to hate somebody.”