My Sister Was The Victim Of A Homophobic Hate Crime And It's Time For The Government To Do Something

My Sister Was The Victim Of A Homophobic Hate Crime And It's Time For The Government To Do Something

Stop using your religious agenda as a justification for your hatred.

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As a straight individual, I basically am blind to the struggles that LGBTQ individuals face on a day-to-day basis in their lives. It is personally so difficult to believe and furthermore accept the fact that despite living in the 21st century, where same-sex marriage has been legal for more than 10 years now, the LGBTQ community still are not treated the same as straight people. And I, unfortunately, became a first-hand witness to this when someone I knew was assaulted two weeks ago.

On November 30, a 20-year-old woman and her friend got aboard an E train headed towards Manhattan. Bored and exhausted from a day full of classes and then work, she pulled out her phone and began to take selfies on Snapchat, posing with her friend. No crime there — we as millennials pretty much do this all of the time.

Her friend innocently leaned it to give her a kiss on the cheek, something any two best friends would do, but they were unaware of the individual watching them from a few seats away, his mind full of evil thoughts. He began to approach the women, the two completely unaware of his intentions.

"Do those gay things in front of me again, and watch what happens."

The woman and her friend, infuriated not by his misinterpretation of their sexual orientation but rather his blatant homophobia, didn't stay silent. They argued back, and after being fed up of his stubborn homophobia, got up to leave the cart and get on another one, away from his overwhelming presence.

The man, however, followed them to the door to carry out an act so inexplicably barbaric and heart-wrenching that my eyes are brimming with tears as I'm typing this.

He punched one of the girls in the back of her head, and then with one push sent her crashing down to the train platform. As the two women dealt with the shock of the incident, he ran off the train and got aboard another one. He had disappeared, but the effects of his hate would linger on for weeks for the victim. The assault caused a concussion and a fracture to her spine, in addition to the debilitating PTSD she would have from the incident as a whole. She swears to never take the train again.

The fact that she wasn't in actuality lesbian and was just taking pictures with her best friend was irrelevant. This man was so fueled by his unjustified homophobia that he found it necessary to attack two girls that hadn't done absolutely anything to him. They were having fun in their world, and obviously, some aspect of this was enough to tip him over.

The news attracted a lot of attention from the media and eventually found its way to the largest news channels such as NBC and Huffington Post where those who shared the articles all had one unanimous goal — to find and punish this man severely. This crime was not just an act of hatred committed against those two girls, but rather against the entire LGBTQ community, signifying how their struggles in this world are everlasting.

The victim in this story was my sister.

Usually fueled by news of problematic events like these, I initially was very numb. I was afraid for my sister, afraid of the world, afraid of how much hate exists out there. And then when I realized that we needed to find this man and punish for him the heinous crimes he had committed, something inside me sparked. I shared every article I could find on all of my social media and asked my friends to help share the story — to help mobilize the cause.

Three days ago, the NYPD received an anonymous tip of the man, after the city had spent about two weeks trying to find him. He was arrested, pled guilty, and is now waiting on his sentence. This entire incident struck as a very difficult time for my sister and our family, as she is still recovering both physically and mentally. My family and I, in addition to her friends, are trying our best to provide comfort and moreover support her as she heals.

One thing I have taken away from this entire incident as a whole is that we often overlook the privilege of being straight and how even though gay marriage is legal within the United States, hate crimes against the LGBTQ community continue to occur. To say it is extremely disgusting is an understatement, but what trumps it is the fact that our government does little to nothing to address the issue. The LGBTQ community deserves, just as much as straight individuals, to be able to go out and not be fearful.

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I'm An 18-Year-Old Female And I Will Never Be A Feminist

Honestly, I'd rather be caught dead than caught calling myself a modern-day feminist.

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"A man told me to have a good day...I'm triggered." How ludicrous does that sound? Tune in, because that is the extent of modern-day feminism.

Sure, I think boys are stupid and that I'm probably better than 90% of the male population, but that doesn't make me a modern-day feminist. Now I believe that woman should stand up for themselves, and Golding's quote,"I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been," is by far one of my favorite quotes... but modern-day feminism is not something I want to be associated with.

I'm all for "anything you can do I can do better," and "we can do it!" but realistically speaking, in some situations, that isn't feasible. As an 18-year-old woman who works out regularly and is stronger than the average female, I couldn't carry a 190-pound man back to a safe zone after he was shot on the front line of war even if I tried. It is not anatomically possible for a grown woman to be as strong as a fully-developed male.

Reality check: Men and women are not equal.

They are not physically equal, they are not mentally equal. Modern-day feminism is equality between the two genders, but corrupt and on steroids. I support what feminism used to be. I support women who work hard and have goals and ambition... not girls who hate men and stomp around with no shirts on to piss off the public. Feminism has developed into a polluted teaching that young men and women are plunging into.

We are built dissimilarly.

The human brain is literally an organ that is sex-oriented. There is a cognitive difference, that singlehandedly destroys gender equality.

I will not spend my time running a revolution against anyone who likes Donald Trump. I am not going to binge watch Trump's Twitter in an effort to start some leftist gob of drama. I refuse to be part of this head hunt to attack all Republicans on the newest Instagram post made about how feminism is stupid. I do not hate men, and society would crash and burn without the successful men and women who work together to create what we call the United States of America.

Why, you ask? Why are the 15-25-year-olds of our society clinging to feminism? They are hopping on the rapidly growing bandwagon where all the hipsters, feminists and Trump-haters reside. It's "cool" to hate Donald Trump. Twitter is a world of liberalism, hatred, and fake love towards all. Social media is where this generation is living — and modern-day feminism brews there.

We need to keep separation in the household within roles.

We must raise our children to do what they are best at rather than trying to do something they are incapable of just to prove an irrelevant point.

Women must stand up for what they believe in and be strong in their shoes, while not getting so caught up in what your modern-day feminist says she thinks is right.

We cannot let this briskly changing society sway us away from what is going to keep the world working precisely.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Joe Mullins

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Ilhan Omar Is at Best Foolhardy and at Worst, Yes, Anti-Semitic

Her latest statements seem to lack substance, motivation, or direction.

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I find the case of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to be a curious one.

Specifically, I am referring to the recent controversy over select comments of hers that have generated accusations of anti-Semitism. In all honesty, prior to doing research for this article, I was prepared to come to her defense.

When her comments consisted primarily of "Israeli hypnosis" and monied interest, I thought her wording poor, though not too egregiously deviated from that of most politicians in the current climate of bad behavior. After all, Israeli PACs surely do have a monied interest in the orientation of United States policy in the Middle East. Besides, if President Trump can hypothesize about killing someone in broad daylight and receive no official sanction, I don't see the need for the House of Representatives to hand down reprimand to Rep. Omar for simply saying that Israel may have dealt wrongly, regardless of the veracity of that position.

And yet, seemingly discontent that she had not drawn enough ire, Omar continued firing. She questioned the purported dual loyalty of those Americans who support the state of Israel, while also making claim that the beloved former President Obama is actually not all that different from the reviled current President Trump.

In short, the initial (mostly) innocuous statements about the United States' relation with Israel have been supplanted by increasingly bizarre (and unnecessary) postulations.

Those latest two controversies I find most egregious. Questioning the loyalty of an American citizen for espousing support for a heavily persecuted world religion and in defense of a refuge for practitioners of that self-same religion that has existed as an independent state since 1948, seems, in really no uncertain terms, anti-Semitic.

After all, is it not her own party that so adamantly supports persecuted Palestinians in the very same region? Is it not she and fellow Muslim Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) (who is not without her own streak of anti-Semitic controversy) that have rejected challenges to their own loyalty in being ethnically Somali and Palestinian respectively? Is her claim not akin to the "racist" demands that Obama produce proof of his birth in the United States, and the more concrete racism that asserted he truly was not? And (if you care to reach back so far) can her statement not be equated to suggestions that President John F. Kennedy would be beholden to the Vatican as the first (and to date only) Catholic to hold the presidency?

From what I can discern amongst her commentary, in Omar's mind, the rules that apply to her framework on race, ethnicity, religion, and culture as sacred idols above reproach do not extend to her Jewish contemporaries.

Oh, and may I remind you that over 70% of Jewish Americans voted for Hilary Clinton in 2016.

And yet, beyond even this hypocrisy, is the strange disdain Omar suddenly seems to hold for Barack Obama. Even as a non-Democrat, while I can find reason for this, it is still largely perplexing.

To begin with, I recognize that Ilhan Omar is not your prototypical Democrat. She would scoff at being termed a moderate, and likely would do the same to being labeled a traditional liberal. While she doesn't identify as an outright democratic socialist, one would have to be totally clueless to avoid putting her in the company of those who do, such as Tlaib or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

As such, she's bound to have some critical evaluations of President Obama, despite the lionizing that the Democratic establishment has and continues to engage in. Two points still stick out to me as obvious incongruities in her statement, however.

First, Obama and Trump are nothing alike. Again, this coming from someone who does not regularly support either, I can at least attempt to claim objectivity. While Obama might not have been faithful to all the demands of the far-left during his presidency, his position on the political spectrum was far from the extreme bent that Trump has ventured into.

Secondly, there is the style of the two men to consider. While Obama had his share of goofs and gaffes (I still think it somewhat juvenile that he often refused to say "radical Islamic terrorism" when referring to Islamist extremists) he pales in comparison to Trump. Every week Trump has his foot caught in a new bear trap. Obama is enormously tame in comparison.

And in addition to all of that, one must beg the question of Omar's timing. With Republicans emboldened by her controversies and House Democratic leadership attempting to soothe the masses, why would Omar strike out at what's largely a popular figure for those that support her most? There seemed no motivation for the commentary and no salient reasoning to back it up, save that Omar wanted to speak her mind.

Such tactlessness is something that'll get you politically killed.

I do not believe Barack Obama was a great president, but that's not entirely important. I don't live in Ilhan Omar's district; her constituents believe Obama was a great president, and that should at least factor into her considerations. Or maybe she did weigh the negative value of such backlash and decided it wouldn't matter? 2019 isn't an election year, after all. Yet, even if that's the case, what's to gain by pissing off your superiors when they're already pissed off at you?

You need to pick your battles wisely in order to win the war, and I'm highly doubtful Omar will win any wars by pitching scorched-earth tactics over such minute concerns.

Her attitude reminds me not only of that of some of her colleagues engaging obtusely and unwisely over subjects that could best be shrugged off (see the AOC media controversies), but also some of my own acquaintances. They believe not only in the myth of their own infallibility, but the opposition bogeyman conjured by their status in a minority or marginalized group. As the logic goes, "I'm a member of x group, and being so gives me the right to decimate anyone who has any inclination to stand against me in any capacity, tit for tat." So much for civility.

I initially came here to defend Rep. Ilhan Omar, and I still do hold to that in certain cases. The opposition to some of her positions is unwarranted. She is allotted the freedom of speech, as are all Americans.

And yet, in certain other cases she has conducted herself brashly, and, one could argue, anti-Semitically.

All I can say is that I am content living adjacent to Minneapolis, not in it. You'd be hard-pressed to find me advocating for leadership that makes manifest in such impolitic fashion.

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