Tag Archives: hate

We Give A Damn…Do You?

Posted by: Audiegrl

WeGiveADamn.org~The Give a Damn Campaign is for everybody who cares about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.

But, it’s especially for all you straight people out there! Whether you’re already an active supporter, want to show your support for the first time, or hadn’t given equality a lot of thought before and now want to learn more, we are here to help you get informed about the issues and get involved, at a pace that works for you.

You’ll find a lot of useful information throughout the site—information that’ll engage you, surprise you and move you. You will also find a bunch of ways to get involved and show your support and encourage your straight peers to show theirs as well.

For all you gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender folks—we need and want you here, too! Because the site is also for you. Not only will you learn new things that might surprise and interest you, you’ll also find a lot of useful tools and resources that will help you encourage the straight people in your life to give a damn.

Like we said, the Give a Damn Campaign is for everyone. Because the only way we can truly achieve equality for all is if we all get informed and get involved. So join us today and let us know you give a damn!


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Filed under DADT, DOMA, Gay (LGBT) Rights, Hate Crimes, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube, Violence

Whose Country Is It? by Charles M. Blow

Posted by: Betsm

Op-ed by Charles M. Blow

Columnist Charles M. Blow (Photo: Earl Wilson/The New York Times)

Columnist Charles M. Blow (Photo: Earl Wilson/The New York Times)

The far-right extremists have gone into conniptions.

The bullying, threats, and acts of violence following the passage of health care reform have been shocking, but they’re only the most recent manifestations of an increasing sense of desperation.

It’s an extension of a now-familiar theme: some version of “take our country back.” The problem is that the country romanticized by the far right hasn’t existed for some time, and its ability to deny that fact grows more dim every day. President Obama and what he represents has jolted extremists into the present and forced them to confront the future. And it scares them.

Even the optics must be irritating. A woman (Nancy Pelosi) pushed the health care bill through the House. The bill’s most visible and vocal proponents included a gay man (Barney Frank) and a Jew (Anthony Weiner). And the black man in the White House signed the bill into law. It’s enough to make a good old boy go crazy.

Hence their anger and frustration, which is playing out in ways large and small. There is the current spattering of threats and violence, but there also is the run on guns and the explosive growth of nefarious antigovernment and anti-immigrant groups. In fact, according to a report entitledRage on the Right: The Year in Hate and Extremism” recently released by the Southern Poverty Law Center, “nativist extremist” groups that confront and harass suspected immigrants have increased nearly 80 percent since President Obama took office, and antigovernment “patriot” groups more than tripled over that period.

Politically, this frustration is epitomized by the Tea Party movement. It may have some legitimate concerns (taxation, the role of government, etc.), but its message is lost in the madness. And now the anemic Republican establishment, covetous of the Tea Party’s passion, is moving to absorb it, not admonish it. Instead of jettisoning the radical language, rabid bigotry and rising violence, the Republicans justify it. (They don’t want to refute it as much as funnel it.)

There may be a short-term benefit in this strategy, but it’s a long-term loser.

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Filed under Birthers, Creepy right-wing antics, Deathers, Republicans, RNC, Tea Party Protestors, Tenthers, Uncategorized

CNN Joins the Tea Party?

Posted by: Audiegrl

Cross-Posted from Oilwellian @ DKos

I just completed and published a new video, CNN Joins the Tea Party? While America was focused on the push to pass health care reform, CNN pulled a fast one. They hired Erick Erickson, the owner of Redstate.com, a blog that supports and encourages the Tea Party activists and their revolution. He wasn’t just hired to give an opinion as we see with most political advisors on cable news. Erickson will be appearing on John King’s USA show on a daily basis. Fortunately, because of the Tea Party unrest we’ve been witnessing over the past couple of weeks, CNN has been easing Erickson into the show, at least until the tensions die down. We’d like to put a stop to CNN’s efforts to legitimize the Tea Party and giving it a national microphone on a major cable news network.

If you Twitter on a regular basis, then you know my good friend Shoq who is a leader of the progressive dialogue there. He helped me produce this video to bring attention to what CNN has done, and educate people about Erick Erickson’s agenda.

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Shoq’s blog offers many links to stories published about Erick Erickson and his owners. There’s also a link to the efforts on Facebook to “Dump CNN” or, you can write CNN and ask what they were thinking when they decided to hire this schmuck: John King, USA Feedback

Thanks for participating in this pushback!

UPDATE: Erickson’s Weak Sauce Defense of his words

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Filed under CNN, Creepy right-wing antics, Republicans, Tea Party Protestors, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

An Open Letter To Conservatives

Posted by: LibbyShaw

Cross-posted from Street Prophets
Written by Russell King

Street Prophets

Dear Conservative Americans,

The years have not been kind to you. I grew up in a profoundly Republican home, so I can remember when you wore a very different face than the one we see now.  You’ve lost me and you’ve lost most of America.  Because I believe having responsible choices is important to democracy, I’d like to give you some advice and an invitation.

First, the invitation:  Come back to us.

Now the advice.  You’re going to have to come up with a platform that isn’t built on a foundation of cowardice: fear of people with colors, religions, cultures and sex lives that differ from your own; fear of reform in banking, health care, energy; fantasy fears of America being transformed into an Islamic nation, into social/commun/fasc-ism, into a disarmed populace put in internment camps; and more.  But you have work to do even before you take on that task.

Your party — the GOP — and the conservative end of the American political spectrum has become irrepsonsible and irrational.  Worse, it’s tolerating, promoting and celebrating prejudice and hatred.  Let me provide some expamples — by no means an exhaustive list — of where the Right as gotten itself stuck in a swamp of hypocrisy, hyperbole, historical inaccuracy and hatred.

If you’re going to regain your stature as a party of rational, responsible people, you’ll have to start by draining this swamp:

Hypocrisy

You can’t flip out — and threaten impeachment – when Dems use a prlimentary procedure (deem and pass) that you used repeatedly (more than 35 times in just one session and more than 100 times in all!), that’s centuries old and which the courts have supported. Especially when your leaders admit it all.

You can’t vote and scream against the stimulus package and then take credit for the good it’s done in your own district (happily handing out enormous checks representing money that you voted against, is especially ugly) —  114 of you (at last count) did just that — and it’s even worse when you secretly beg for more.

You can’t fight against your own ideas just because the Dem president endorses your proposal.

You can’t call for a pay-as-you-go policy, and then vote against your own ideas.

Are they “unlawful enemy combatants” or are they “prisoners of war” at Gitmo? You can’t have it both ways.

You can’t carry on about the evils of government spending when your family has accepted more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts.

You can’t refuse to go to a scheduled meeting, to which you were invited, and then blame the Dems because they didn’t meet with you.

You can’t rail against using teleprompters while using teleprompters. Repeatedly.

You can’t rail against the bank bailouts when you supported them as they were happening. (It was Bush who came up with that one.)

You can’t be for immigration reform, then against it.

You can’t enjoy socialized medicine while condemning it.

You can’t flip out when the black president puts his feet on the presidential desk when you were silent about white presidents doing the same.  Bush.  Ford.

You can’t complain that the president hasn’t closed Gitmo yet when you’ve campaigned to keep Gitmo open.

You can’t flip out when the black president bows to foreign dignitaries, as appropriate for their culture, when you were silent when the white presidents did the same. Bush.  Nixon. Ike. You didn’t even make a peep when Bush held hands and kissed (on the mouth) leaders of countries that are not on “kissing terms” with the US.

You can’t complain that the undies bomber was read his Miranda rights under Obama when the shoe bomber was read his Miranda rights under Bush and you remained silent.  (And, no, Newt — the shoe bomber was not a US citizen either, so there is no difference.)

You can’t attack the Dem president for not personally* publicly condemning a terrorist event for 72 hours when you said nothing about the Rep president waiting 6 days in an eerily similar incident (and, even then, he didn’t issue any condemnation).  *Obama administration did the day of the event.

You can’t throw a hissy fit, sound alarms and cry that Obama freed Gitmo prisoners who later helped plan the Christmas Day undie bombing, when — in fact — only one former Gitmo detainee, released by Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, helped to plan the failed attack.

You can’t condemn blaming the Republican president for an attempted terror attack on his watch, then blame the Dem president for an attemted terror attack on his.

You can’t mount a boycott against singers who say they’re ashamed of the president for starting a war, but remain silent when another singer says he’s ashamed of the president and falsely calls him a Moaist who makes him want to throw up and says he ought to be in jail.

You can’t cry that the health care bill is too long, then cry that it’s too short.

You can’t support the individual mandate for health insurance, then call it unconstitutional when Dems propose it and campaign against your own ideas.

You can’t demand television coverage, then whine about it when you get it. Repeatedly.

You can’t praise criminal trials in US courts for terror suspects under a Rep president, then call it “treasonous” under a Dem president.

You can’t propose ideas to create jobs, and then work against them when the Dems put your ideas in a bill.

You can’t be both pro-choice and anti-choice.

You can’t damn someone for failing to pay $900 in taxes when you’ve paid nearly $20,000 in IRS fines.

You can’t condemn critizising the president when US troops are in harms way, then attack the president when US troops are in harms way, the only difference being the president’s party affiliation (and, by the way, armed conflict does NOT remove our right and our duty as Americans to speak up).

You can’t be both for cap-and-trade policy and against it.

You can’t vote to block debate on a bill, then bemoan the lack of  ‘open debate’.

If you push anti-gay legislation and make anti-gay speeches, you should probably take a pass on having gay sex, regardless of whether it’s 2004 or 2010.  This is true, too, if you’re taking GOP money and giving anti-gay rants on CNN.  Taking right-wing money and GOP favors to write anti-gay stories for news sites while working as a gay prostitute, doubles down on both the hypocrisy and the prostitution.  This is especially true if you claim your anti-gay stand is God’s stand, too.

When you chair the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, you can’t send sexy emails to 16-year-old boys (illegal anyway, but you made it hypocritical as well).

You can’t criticize Dems for not doing something you didn’t do while you held power over the past 16 years, especially when the Dems have done more in one year than you did in 16.

You can’t decry “name calling” when you’ve been the most consistent and outrageous at it. And the most vile.

You can’t spend more than 40 years hating, cutting and trying to kill Medicare, and then pretend to be the defenders of Medicare.

You can’t praise the Congressional Budget Office when it’s analysis produces numbers that fit your political agenda, then claim it’s unreliable when it comes up with numbers that don’t.

You can’t vote for X under a Republican president, then vote against X under a Democratic president. Either you support X or you don’t. And it makes it worse when you change your position merely for the sake obstructionism.

You can’t call a reconcilliation out of bounds when you used it repeatedly.

You can’t spend tax-payer money on ads against spending tax-payer money.

You can’t condemn individual health insurance mandates in a Dem bill, when the madates were your idea.

You can’t demand everyone listen to the generals when they say what fits your agenda, and then ignore them when they don’t.

You can’t whine that it’s unfair when people accuse you of exploiting racism for political gain, when your party’s former leader admits you’ve been doing it for decades.

You can’t portray yourself as fighting terrorists when you openly and passionately support terrorists.

You can’t complain about a lack of bipartisanship when you’ve routinely obstructed for the sake of political gain — threatening to filibuster at least 100 pieces of legislation in one session, far more than any other since the procedural tactic was invented — and admitted it.  Some admissions are unintentional, others are made proudly. This is especially true when the bill is the result of decades of compromise between the two parties and is filled with your own ideas.

You can’t question the loyalty of Department of Justice lawyers when you didn’t object when your own Republican president appointed them.

You can’t preach and try to legislate “Family Values” when you: take nude hot tub dips with teenagers (and pay them hush money); cheat on your wife with a secret lover and lie about it to the world; cheat with a staffer’s wife (and pay them off with a new job); pay hookers for sex while wearing a diaper and cheating on your wife; or just enjoying an old fashioned non-kinky cheating on your wife; try to have gay sex in a toilet; authorize the rape of children in Iraqi prisons to coherce their parents into providing information; seek, look at or have sex with children; replace a guy who cheats on his wife with a guy who cheats on his pregnant wife with his wife’s mother.

Hyperbole

You really need to dissassociate with those among you who:

* assert that people making a quarter-million dollars a year can barely make ends meet or that $1 million “isn’t a lot of money”;
* say that “Comrade” Obama is a “Bolshevik” who is “taking cues from Lenin”;
* ignore the many times your buddies use a term that offends you and complain only when a Dem says it;
* liken political opponents to murderers, rapists, and “this Muslim guy” that “offed his wife’s head” or call them “un-American”;
* say Obama “wants his plan to fail…so that he can make the case for bank nationalization and vindicate his dream of a socialist economy”;
* equate putting the good of the people ahead of your personal fortunes with terrorism;
* smear an entire major religion with the actions of a few fanatics;
* say that the president wants to “annihilate us“;
* compare health care reform with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a Bolshevik plot the attack on 9/11, or reviving the ghosts of communist dictators;
* equate our disease-fighting stem cell research with “what the Nazis did”;
* call a bill passed by the majority of both houses of Congress, by members of Congress each elected by a majority in their districts, an unconscionable abuse of power, a violation of the presidential oath or “the end of representative government”;
* shout “baby killer” at a member of Congress on the floor of the House, especially one who so fought against abortion rights that he nearly killed health care reform (in fact, a little decorum, a little respect for our national institutions and the people and the values they represent, would be refreshing — cut out the shouting, the swearing and the obscenities);
* prove your machismo by claiming your going to “crash a party” to which you’re officially invited;
* claim that Obama is pushing America’s “submission to Shariah”;
* question the patriotism of people upholding cherished American values and the rule of law;
* claim the president is making us less safe without a hint of evidence;
* call a majority vote the “tyranny of the minority,” even if you meant to call it tyranny of the majority — it’s democracy, not tyranny;
* call the president’s support of a criminal trial for a terror suspect “treasonous” (especially when you supported the same thing when the president shared your party);
* call the Pope the anti-Christ;
* assert that the constitutionally mandated census is an attempt to enslave us;
* accuse opponents of being backed by Arab slave-drivers, drunk and suicidal;
equate family planing with eugenics or Nazism;
* accuse the president of changing the missile defense program’s logo to match his campaign logo and reflect what you say is his secret Muslim identity;
* accuse political opponents of being totalitarians, socialists, communists, fascists, Marxists;  terrorist sympathizers, McCarthy-like, Nazis or drug pushers; and
* advocate a traitors act like seccession, violent revolution, military coup or civil war (just so we’re clear: sedition is a bad thing).

History

If you’re going to use words like socialism, communism and fascism, you must have at least a basic understanding of what those words mean (hint: they’re NOT synonymous!)

You can’t cut a leading Founding Father out the history books because you’ve decided you don’t like his ideas.

You cant repeatedly assert that the president refuses to say the word “terrorism” or say we’re at war with terror when we have an awful lot of videotape showing him repeatedly assailing terrorism and using those exact words.

If you’re going to invoke the names of historical figures, it does not serve you well to whitewash them. Especially this one.

You can’t just pretend historical events didn’t happen in an effort to make a political opponent look dishonest or to make your side look better. Especially these events. (And, no, repeating it doesn’t make it better.)

You can’t say things that are simply and demonstrably false: health care reform will not push people out of their private insurance and into a government-run program ; health care reform (which contains a good many of your ideas and very few from the Left) is a long way from “socialist utopia”; health care reform is not “reparations”; nor does health care reform create “death panels”.

Hatred

You have to condemn those among you who:

* call members of Congress n*gger and f*ggot;
* elected leaders who say “I’m a proud racist”;
* state that America has been built by white people;
* say that poor people are poor because they’re rotten people, call them “parasitic garbage” or say they shouldn’t be allowed to vote;
* call women bitches and prostitutes just because you don’t like their politics ( repea ted ly );
* assert that the women who are serving our nation in uniform are hookers;
* mock and celebrate the death of a grandmother because you disagree with her son’s politics;
* declare that those who disagree with you are shown by that disagreement to be not just “Marxist radicals” but also monsters and a deadly disease killing the nation (this would fit in the hyperbole and history categories, too);
* joke about blindness;
* advocate euthanizing the wife of your political opponent;
* taunt people with incurable, life-threatening diseases — especially if you do it on a syndicated broadcast;
* equate gay love with bestiality — involving  horses or dogs or turtles or ducks — or polygamy, child molestation, pedophilia;
* casually assume that only white males look “like a real American”;
* assert presidential power to authorize torture,  torture a child by having his testacles crushed in front of his parents to get them to talk, order the massacre of a civilian village  and launch a nuclear attack without the consent of Congress;
* attack children whose mothers have died;
* call people racists without producing a shred of evidence that they’ve said or done something that would even smell like racism — same for invoking racially charged “dog whistle” words (repeatedly);
* condemn the one thing that every major religion agrees on;
* complain that we no longer employ the tactics we once used to disenfranchise millions of Americans because of their race;
* blame the victims of natural disasters and terrorist attacks for their suffering and losses;
* celebrate violence , joke about violence, prepare for violence or use violent imagery, “fun” political violence, hints of violence, threats of violence (this one is rather explicit), suggestions of violence or actual violence (and, really, suggesting anal rape wth a hot piece of metal is beyond the pale); and
* incite insurrection telling people to get their guns ready for a “bloody battle” with the president of the United States.

Oh, and I’m not alone:  One of your most respected and decorated leaders agrees with me.

So, dear conservatives, get to work.  Drain the swamp of the conspiracy nuts, the bold-faced liars undeterred by demonstrable facts, the overt hypocrisy and the hatred.  Then offer us a calm, responsible, grownup agenda based on your values and your vision for America.  We may or may not agree with your values and vision, but we’ll certainly welcome you back to the American mainstream with open arms.  We need you.

(Anticipating your initial response:  No there is nothing that even comes close to this level of wingnuttery on the American Left.)

Tags: GOP, Republican, conservative, hyperbole, hatred, hate, hypocrisy, lying, lies (all tags)

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Filed under Birthers, Conservative, Creepy right-wing antics, Deathers, Politics, Republicans, RNC, Tea Party Protestors, Tenthers, Uncategorized

***Breaking News***BastaDobbs.com Announces Victory: Lou Dobbs to Leave CNN

UPDATE: John King to take over Dobbs’s slot at CNN

CNN announced Thursday that John King, the Sunday morning host best known for his magic wall, is taking over the 7 p.m. slot left vacant by the abrupt resignation of Lou Dobbs.

more here:

BREAKING: U.S. Deports Lou Dobbs
CNN Host Had Been Living Illegally In Country Since 1961 see below

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LOU-DOBBS-SPLASH-large

BYE BYE LOU!!

Responding to the news Wednesday that Lou Dobbs will leave his post as a longtime anchor on CNN, the leaders of BastaDobbs.com – a national Latino-led coalition that had been advocating for his ouster – released the following statement:

“Our contention all along was that Lou Dobbs – who has a long record of spreading lies and conspiracy theories about immigrants and Latinos – does not belong on the ‘Most Trusted Name in News,'” said Roberto Lovato, co-founder of Presente.org, a national online advocacy organization coordinating the BastaDobbs.com campaign in conjunction with more than 40 local and regional Latino organizations from across the country. “We are thrilled that Dobbs no longer has this legitimate platform from which to incite fear and hate.”

The BastaDobbs.com campaign launched in mid-September, and included online petitions, a viral YouTube video, text-message campaign, radio PSAs and a series of events in 18 cities – organized in conjunction with the CNN special Latino in America. The message to CNN was that courting Latino viewers while keeping Dobbs on the network would not with them favor with the fastest-growing demographic in the country. Since then, more than 100,000 people have joined the effort. The events and the campaign garnered significant press coverage in both Spanish-language and mainstream media.

Lovato said the BastaDobbs.com victory marks a key turning point for the Latino community, as it moved from marching in the streets in 2006 to mounting a successful, high-tech campaign against one of the biggest and strongest media voices against common-sense immigration reform.

BREAKING: U.S. Deports Lou Dobbs
CNN Host Had Been Living Illegally In Country Since 1961

Luis Miguel Salvador Aguila Dominguez, alias "Lou Dobbs," is escorted by DHS agents to the airport to be sent back to Mexico.

WANTAGE, NJ—Acting on anonymous tips from within the Hispanic-American community, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials on Wednesday deported Luis Miguel Salvador Aguila Dominguez, who for the last 48 years had been living illegally in the United States under the name Lou Dobbs.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, federal agents stormed the undocumented immigrant’s home in an evening raid just hours after the 64-year-old newscaster suddenly announced that he was resigning from CNN, and immediately placed him on an Aeromexico flight departing from Newark Liberty Airport.

Read the whole enchilada here:

loudobbsforgovernorSo it begins…the folks at American’s Voice already has a Dobbs parody site up. It will be interesting to see what Dobbs’ next “contribution” to public life might be.

Previous Lou Dobbs Coverage

Lou Dobbs Returns to His Planet; ‘My Work Here is Done

CNN Can’t Have It Both Ways — Lou Dobbs vs. Latino In America

The Ad CNN Refuses to Air: Drop Dobbs

Drop Dobbs Campaign: CNN Pressured to Fire Lou Dobbs

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Filed under Barack Obama, BastaDobbs.com, Birthers, CNN, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Lou Dobbs, Media and Entertainment, News, Politics, Pundits (television), Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

Tampa Police: Marine Reservist Attacked Greek Priest He Mistook for a Terrorist

Posted by Audiegrl

Marine reservist Jasen Bruce charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Marine reservist Jasen Bruce charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

St. Petersburg Times/Jamal Thalji—A Marine reservist armed with a tire iron beat and chased a man he thought was an Arab terrorist and even called 911 to say he was detaining the man, police said.

But the man he assaulted was actually a Greek Orthodox priest visiting from overseas who spoke limited English, police said.

That’s why police arrested reservist Jasen D. Bruce on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Police said they’re also investigating whether Bruce, 28, committed a hate crime.

The incident took place around 6:35 p.m. Monday, police said. The priest, Alexios Marakis, 29, is from Crete, Greece. He is visiting St. Nicholas Greek Cathedral at 17 E Tarpon Ave. but police said he was in the Westshore area to bless another retired Greek priest.

Lance Cpl. Jasen D. Bruce, seen with his wife Nichole, is accused of attacking the Rev. Alexios Marakis, 29, of Crete, Greece.

Lance Cpl. Jasen D. Bruce, seen with his wife Nichole, is accused of attacking the Rev. Alexios Marakis, 29, of Crete, Greece.

But Marakis apparently got lost and exited northbound Interstate 275 into downtown Tampa, police said.

The priest followed several cars into the Seaport Channelside Apartments on Twiggs Street. He got out of his car and asked Bruce for help.

Instead of offering help, Bruce struck the priest on the head with a tire iron, police said.

He then chased the priest for three blocks to the Madison Avenue and Meridian Avenue, police said, and even called 911 to say that an Arabic man tried to rob him.

Bruce said he was going to take the Arab into custody. When police arrived, Bruce told them the victim was a terrorist.

The priest was taken to Tampa General Hospital. There, a translator helped Marakis speak to police.

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The Rev. Alexios Marakis, 29, of Crete, Greece, is carried to an ambulance after being beaten.

The Rev. Alexios Marakis, 29, of Crete, Greece, is carried to an ambulance after being beaten

SunCoastNews/Josh Poltilove—In a 911 call, Bruce made a derogatory comment about a man he said was a terrorist and was trying to rob him and had grabbed him in a sexual manner, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.

When officers arrived, police say, Bruce told them he heard the man say “Allahu Akbar” – Arabic for “God is great.”

That’s what they say before they blow you up,” Bruce said, according to police.

But at a news conference today, Bruce’s attorney said his client didn’t understand what Marakis said.

Lance Cpl. Bruce defended himself with the full legality of the law for being sexually attacked and potentially robbed,” lawyer Jeffrey Brown said.

Bruce, 28, faces a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He was released on $7,500 bail.

McElroy said Bruce “teared up when we told him that (Marakis) was a Greek Orthodox priest and not a terrorist.”

Rev. Alexios Marakis at St. Gregory the Theologian Parish in Mansfield, MA 2007

Rev. Alexios Marakis at St. Gregory the Theologian Parish in Mansfield, MA 2007

Marakis, 29, was treated at Tampa General Hospital and released. He told investigators he’s visiting St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Tarpon Springs.

Marakis declined to comment today, saying he does not speak much English. The Rev. Michael Eaccarino of St. Nicholas said Marakis is doing well.

Before deciding whether the incident qualifies as a hate crime, police will determine whether Bruce’s motive was based on a belief that Marakis was Arabic.

The Marines Reserve will wait for the investigation to conclude before taking any action, an official said.

In 2007, Bruce was accused of pushing a tow truck driver in the back and chest when his Jaguar was about to be towed, records show. Bruce told police the truck driver had grabbed him to stop him getting in his car.

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Alexios Marakis Assaulted: Greek Orthodox Priest Attacked By Marine Reservist In Fit Of Anti-Muslim Hysteria

Marine reservist chases, assaults Greek Orthodox priest who he mistook for an Arab terrorist

Greek priest seeking help is assaulted as ‘Arab terrorist

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Filed under Christianity, Florida, Greece, Hate Crimes, Islam/Muslim, Military, Police, Religion, Reserve, Tampa, FL, Uncategorized, Violence

Hate Crimes Bill Approved by Congress, Extends Protection to Gay Americans

Posted by Audiegrl

(Artwork courtesy of Unfinished Lives)

(Artwork courtesy of Unfinished Lives)

Associated Press/Jim Abrams—Physical attacks on people based on their sexual orientation will join the list of federal hate crimes in a major expansion of the civil rights-era law Congress approved Thursday and sent to President Barack Obama.

A priority of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., that had been on the congressional agenda for a decade, the measure expands current law to include crimes based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. The measure is named for Matthew Shepard, the gay Wyoming college student murdered 11 years ago.

To assure its passage after years of frustrated efforts, Democratic supporters attached the measure to a must-pass $680 billion defense policy bill the Senate approved 68-29. The House passed the defense bill earlier this month.

Many Republicans, normally staunch supporters of defense bills, voted against the bill because of the hate crimes provision. All the no votes were Republicans except for Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., who supported the hate crimes provision but opposes what he says is the open-ended military commitment in Afghanistan.

The inclusion of the controversial language of the hate crimes legislation, which is unrelated to our national defense, is deeply troubling,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard, with President Obama

Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard, with President Obama

Hate crimes law enacted after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968 centered on crimes based on race, color, religion or national origin.

The expansion has long been sought by civil rights and gay rights groups. Conservatives have opposed it, arguing that it creates a special class of victims. They also have been concerned that it could silence clergymen or others opposed to homosexuality on religious or philosophical grounds.

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights group, hailed the bill as “our nation’s first major piece of civil rights legislation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Too many in our community have been devastated by hate violence.”

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The End of the Beginning: How the Passage of the Matthew Shepard Act Transforms Us

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