Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The case for alleged "brutal attack" on gay teen continues to deteriorate

With friends like the Kentucky Equality Federation, gays don't need any enemies.

Take a look at their case for why three girls involved in what most people close to the case think was a practical joke gone wrong was a federal hate crime. In a case that has received national attention, Cheyenne Williams and her mother have claimed that several longtime friends assaulted her and attempted to throw her off a cliff because she was gay. The three girls involved in the incident were originally charged with kidnapping, but when police investigated the incident and the judge viewed the cellphone video that allegedly showed attempted murder (which one would think would prove Williams' claims conclusively), the charges were actually reduced.

The girls were long time friends of Williams. The video showed the alleged victim laughing through most of the so-called "murder attempt." She went on from the incident to a job interview and then home, and only reported the incident later. No one close to the case now thinks this was a hate crime--except the Kentucky Equality Federation, which has a political interest in portraying it that way.

So what are their arguments? Here's the first one:

Richard Jones, who is responsible for administration and communications at Kentucky Equality Federation, and a member of its Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bullying Committee received a voicemail telling them that gays are not welcome in Kentucky and to stop all advocacy work.

The same message was left for Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer, in addition to a possible death threat stating, “stay out of jackson county business with your fag rights group or you will die.” Palmer said he didn’t care what threats are made, that he had been ‘gay bashed’ before and nothing will cause the Federation to stand-down or prevent the Committee from being an advocate for victims.

In other words, the girls are guilty of hate crimes because the Kentucky Equality Federation has received threatening calls. Can you spell "N-O-N S-E-Q-U-I-T-O-R"?

And if you are impressed with that argument, get a load of this one:

Jones stated the Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bullying Committee ruled the incident a hate crime based on confidential information provided by Williams and Johnson.

In other words, the incident is a hate crime because the "Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bullying Committee" says so. And what is the "Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bullying Committee"? It is a committee made up of members of ... The Kentucky Equality Federation! And why did the "Discrimination, Hate Crimes, and School Bullying Committee" "rule" that it was a hate crime? On the basis of "confidential information provided by Williams and Johnson."

So here's a group with a political interest in the outcome of the case, quoting its own organization as proof of its own position--and relying exclusively on the testimony from one side in the case. And gays are the ones not getting justice here?

This is the kind of justice we can expect when the Tolerance Police as they increasing take on the roles of judge, jury, and executioner. Better get used to it.

Surely they have better arguments than this. Well, no. They don't. In fact, they only get worse. In response to my recent blog post pointing out that the Kentucky Equality Federation has completely isolated itself as more and more people around the case have abandoned the idea that this was anything other than a few teenagers doing stupid teenager things, the organization tries to argue that political corruption by some public officials in the general vicinity of the court in which the charges were brought is evidence that the girls were performing a hate crime:

On March 10, 2010, the Lexington Herald Leader reported that Gary Gregory, the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the 41st Judicial Circuit was involved in the vote buying scandal sweeping Southern Kentucky.

Well, that certainly seals the deal: there is political corruption in eastern Kentucky, therefore Cheyenne Williams was the victim of a hate crime. See the connection?

The organization also prints a statement from their attorney citing several "irregularities" in the way the case was handled, none of which bears on any fact at issue in the case.

Is their case really this bad? Yes, it's really this bad. But, again, they don't need sound arguments to bolster their case. The important thing is the cultural narrative they have on their side that says--despite all the evidence--that there is widespread, hate-inspired violence against gays. They do not need actual facts; they need only invoke the narrative and supply a name. The rest consists of an automatic and non-logical inference to the conclusion:

"It's a hate crime."

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