Anti-Gay violence with a Texas twist. [Updated]


UPDATE According to the Dallas Voice three suspects in this case have been charged with hate crimes for their role in this brutal assault. Speaking to the Dallas Voice:

Chuck Smith, deputy director of Equality Texas, said he was pleased to learn of the indictments.

“I certainly think this was a bias-motivated crime,” Smith said. “This is what our hate crimes act is for. It’s good from the standpoint that it could result in enhanced penalties. It’s equally if not more important that it sends a message that Lamar County is not going to tolerate bias crimes.”

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on hate speech and made the argument that we cannot treat such incidents as isolated events. Instead, we need to recognize that violent homophobic rhetoric has material consequences. The consequences of hate mixed with the desire to do violence exists just below the surface of the fabric of culture. With each incident we see an antagonism that complicates our desire to see violent outbursts as aberrant and to read alternative sexualities as exceptions on the margins of society. When those two antagonisms meet and violence is done, we are left with the brutality of hate and a desire to remind ourselves that we are not part of the discursive chains that caused the violence. Such a reading of these events is a mistake because it silences critical discourse about why we hate, how we hate, how we learn to hate, and the ways we teach others to hate.

Another such antagonism can be found here

Burke Burnett said he was at a private party at about 1 a.m. when four men suddenly attacked him, stabbing him at least twice with a broken beer bottle before throwing him onto a fire. His attackers yelled things like “pussy-ass faggot,” “gay bitch” and “cock-sucking punk,” Burnett said.

Burnett said it took 30 stitches to close stab wounds to his back and forearm, as well as a cut above his left eye. He also sustained second-degree burns and severe bruises.

These events are connected in that they make clear the brutal material force of discourse, especially when violent heteronormativity remains invisible to the bodies that perpetuate it.




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Filed under news and Culture, Rhetoric

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