By Barb Hauge
Crimes of hate are the ultimate in Voodoo, a religion which places a hex on people who are then marked for destruction. Many years ago I tried to place a hex on my sister by simply wishing with all my might that she would back off and give me space. Sis believed she had the born-first right to dominate my speech, actions and behavior just because she was older and bigger. The hex only worked to the extent that I learned to run fast into a safe zone protected by parents and thus escape her domination. Even there I would tempt fate by bombarding her with slurs as to her lack of speed and general stupidity.
Throughout history crimes of hate have been performed out of fear and ignorance. They are perpetrated against those we perceive as being different from ourselves; be it race, religion, sex, sexual preference, economic or mental ability. We try to build our own ego by destroying theirs. This is called scapegoating. Children do it by finding someone to pick on while chickens establish a pecking order.
Life's experience has taught me there are no lesser beings. Even those born with severe mental or physical handicaps can be brilliant musicians, artists, mathematicians. All appear to have some reason for Being, even if its only to unite a family in their effort to cope or show us all the meaning of pure love that expects nothing in return.
Heterosexuals find homosexuals incomprehensible. Some who are excessively macho fear a latent homosexuality in themselves. When it comes to human sexuality, there are so many variations of behavior it is really not possible to categorize where people fit. Faced with prison or a desert island, what might a person do? We all try to survive and to satisfy our needs as best we can.
Some societies have encouraged homosexuality as a form of birth control; some turn boys into eunuchs for the same reason. Sadly, there are still countries where girl babies are not wanted and are killed at birth.
The American west is an extremely macho place to live and it is tragic that parents of a homosexual child would send him away for fear of homophobia. Their fear is justified as proven by the murder of a student at the University of Wyoming where our granddaughter is enrolled.
Personally, I wish everyone would go back in the closet as far as sexual preference is concerned. Don't ask and don't tell! Unless the problem is abuse of children or rape, it's no ones business but your own; though you may have an irate mate. From bedroom to oval office, God spare me the details. If I want details, I'll read a sizzling bit of fiction.
Most of us have known maiden ladies or bachelors who shared living space and no one knew or cared about their intimate lives. Lets keep it that way. We all have a right to be different and unless we get cloned, we are different. Being different does not give anyone the right to commit crimes of racial, religious or sexual intolerance.