It should apparent to any who seek justice in Marco McMillian's death that it should at least be investigated as a hate crime. The framing of his murder as "personal" and a crime of "passion" is an affront to all who have labored for civil rights since the beginning of time.
Though I am better, I must still confront the idea that what has happened is never really gone forever, even though I wish I could scrub that memory away forever. I wish there was a way to get rid of those punches and the feel of asphalt against my bleeding knees.
I always thought hate crimes were much more serious, but I found out later that my state's hate crime laws do not apply to crimes committed against people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In Alabama? Go figure.
By now, it seems that everyone has heard of the Russian female punk collective Pussy Riot. Yet the band's prosecution is but an episode in Russia's ongoing misuse of antiextremism laws directed against dissenting voices.
It is appropriate that during this time the U.S. Senate will address ways in which all communities can flourish in America. In light of the recent and horrific hate violence, it is in solidarity that I welcome the U.S. Senate hearing on hate crimes and domestic extremism.