Shooting of Six on South Side is a Tragedy, Hate Crime or Not

Fri. January 5, 2007 12:00 AM

(Press release from Chairman Clarence N. Wood, Chicago Commission on Human Relations.)

During the early morning hours of December 31, 2006, six men - all of whom are gay - were shot by two hooded gunmen wielding semi-automatic weapons who burst into a house party without uttering a word. It is estimated that 100 gay men were attending the party at what is now known to the rest of us as "the Gay House." (Full Story)

Even more appalling is that some of the people interviewed by the media saw an attack on gay people as something that was bound to happen and was essentially only a matter of time. A January 1, 2007 Sun-Times article quoted one man from the neighborhood as saying, "We always be seeing them, and they always be looking at people... They give you that gay look, like you're a female or something. That ain't cute. People be ready to fight... I knew something was going to happen to that house."

While the Police have not yet determined the motive of the shooting, it is extremely disturbing that anyone could believe that the victims somehow deserved to be shot because they were gay or "acted gay."

Violence against a person for any reason - because of their race, gender, sexual orientation or other form of difference - is inexcusable and cannot be condoned. The men who were shot are human beings. They could have been our brothers, cousins, uncles, or friends. They are part of our community. They deserve our support and concern like everyone else.

Let's not take a step backward in our thinking to a time when violence against gays and lesbians was acceptable behavior. I fear what group would be the next target if this kind of thinking becomes commonplace.

Clarence N. Wood
Chicago Commission on Human Relations

(Press release from Chairman Clarence N. Wood, Chicago Commission on Human Relations.)

Related: Six Shot at Gay Party on Chicago's South Side