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.”
The San Jose State University-appointed task force assigned to study discrimination in the school’s dorms has issued a list of recommendations to improve diversity and inclusion in their on-campus community, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The task force was established in the wake of a series of incidents against a black student by his three dormmates, who are now being charged with hate crime offenses. The roommates’ alleged abuse included referring to the student by a racist nickname, putting up a Confederate flag in the dorm, and barricading him in his room after they fastened a bike lock to his neck. Three of the four students involved in the alleged abuse have been expelled.
Call for compassion after Boston Marathon bombings
By Mark Potok, Southern Poverty Law Center Senior Fellow It happened again this week. A woman in Louisiana told police that she had been set afire in a horrifying hate crime Sunday — only to have police, after a full-tilt investigation,say yesterday that she had fabricated the story.Sharmeka Moffit, 20, set herself on fire in a park in Winnsboro, LA, Police Chief Lester Thomas told a news conference late yesterday. She earlier told police that she had been attacked by three men of unknown race who were wearing “T-shirt hoodies.” A racial slur and the letters “KKK” were found daubed on her car when police arrived within one minute of her call to 911. A major investigation involving the Winnsboro Police Department, the Franklin Parish Sheriff’s Office and the state police was launched.
At the University of Mississippi, a segregationist chant and Ku Klux Klan rally threaten to divide the campus community, but student leaders and their chancellor take a stand against hate and intolerance. This story is part of the Not In Our Town program, Class Actions, that premieres nationwide on PBS stations in February 2012. In the fall of 2009, we received a concerned call from Reiko Callner, a leader in the community response to a neo-Nazi rally in Olympia, Washington. She'd heard from a friend in Oxford that the Ku Klux Klan planned to protest at the University of Mississippi. Reiko wanted to know what action was being taken, and whether we planned to cover the story. Reiko is the creator of Unity in the Community. In the 2006 Not In Our Town film about Olympia’s response to the neo-Nazis, Reiko had said, ”Sometimes the worst threats bring out the best in people.” As we looked into the story in Oxford, we learned that Reiko was right and that the lessons of her northwestern capital city were just as relevant in this southern college town. A chant with a racist history
News Organizations Have Served as Powerful Allies in NIOT Campaigns Across the Country