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Old 10-18-2006, 07:56 AM   #1
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Hate Crimes Against The Homeless

A vile teen fad: beating the homeless

By Michael Stoops and Brian Levin
Christian Science Monitor, October 18, 2006

Across the nation, America's homeless are under attack - literally. The number of violent incidents against our country's most vulnerable members has risen dramatically this year, with 16 murders in the first 9 months so far. One homeless man was set ablaze in his wheelchair in Spokane, WA; another man was beaten with baseball bats in Fort Lauderdale, FL; a homeless woman was drowned by two young men who rolled her into Tennessee's Cumberland River while she slept.

The hate behind this brutality is not fostered in rural Klan rallies or overseas terrorist camps, but in high school locker rooms and suburban living rooms. While homeless people have often been stereotyped as worthless, depraved, and disposable, prejudice now has a potent new ally: "bum rushing" videos. This twisted fad has inspired some youths to kill for the "fun" of emulating what they see on a video screen. One group of teens inspired by these videos murdered Michael Roberts, a frail homeless man who succumbed after being relentlessly pummeled by nail-studded two-by-fours and a log in Holly Hill, FL. Teens buy and trade hundreds of thousands of these videos, making their producers rich. They also film their own assaults, broadcasting them online.

In the first nine months of 2006, 36 of 58 known homeless attackers were teens ages 14 to 19. Such violence seems to be correlated with the rise of bum videos. The number of reported incidents in 2003 nearly doubled, jumping from 36 reported attacks in 2002 to 70 in 2003. The number of nonlethal attacks reached 77 through the end of this September.

In Calgary, Alberta, youths filmed themselves beating and urinating on a homeless man, and screaming out "bum fights!" In Los Angeles, a youth admitted that he, too, was inspired to kill a homeless man with an aluminum baseball bat after viewing a video.

If any other minority group reported hate-crime homicide numbers this high there would be a national outcry for justice. A comparison by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, and the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH), found that from 1999 to 2005 there were 167 homeless homicides by domiciled attackers. The number of these killings is more than double the number of all other officially tabulated hate-crime homicides combined. The glaring disparity underscores the case for action.

Michael Stoops is acting executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless in Washington. Brian Levin is director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

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Old 10-18-2006, 08:15 AM   #2
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What is wrong with them that they would want to even watch those videos? That is extremely disturbing. And it is absolutely correct that if it were any other group being victimized there would be a national outcry- homeless people are invisible and voiceless. We make them invisible because we don't want to face that they exist, and we don't want to face that it could happen to us. It's awfully tough to face that people in the US of A are living on the streets, it destroys a certain image and superiority complex. And many people blame the homeless and I think some might even go so far as to say that meeting a horrible fate such as that is their own fault for being out on the street.

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Old 10-18-2006, 08:29 AM   #3
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There was an event for the homeless here recently and 70 showed up (there was food, games a movie shown, etc). It's great that an event had such a good turnout...but for there to be that many homeless...very sad.
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Old 10-18-2006, 09:20 AM   #4
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Old 10-18-2006, 09:43 AM   #5
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It's such a shame that some people are heartless enough to do things like this.
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:08 AM   #6
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Makes me so angry at those pathetic teenagers beating the crap out of people that can't defend themselves. If I ever saw this going on I'd absolutely pummel whoever was doing it, as I believe that only through empathy will they ever begin to reconsider what they're doing.
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Old 10-18-2006, 11:23 AM   #7
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Makes me think of "A Clockwork Orange."
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Old 10-18-2006, 02:51 PM   #8
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that is the most effed up thing i've read all day.
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Old 10-18-2006, 04:33 PM   #9
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The "producers" of these videos should be hung on meathooks...or at the very least beaten within an inch of they're lives...O.K. O.K. then how about JAILED!!!
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Old 10-18-2006, 05:50 PM   #10
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I think these kids do these horrible things because they think that these homeless people "dont matter" and that they would never be caught. Atrocious. I remember the homeless man in Dublin who said his dog, his only companion, was stabbed by people coming home from a night out in the bars.
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Old 10-20-2006, 06:38 PM   #11
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I think we should start a charity to arm the homeless...seriously, if a few of these little bastards got capped when they jumped a homeless guy they might think twice.
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Old 11-15-2006, 12:37 PM   #12
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Jesus Christ.
What the hell is wrong with people?

I really just don't understand how so many people can be so devoid of human emotion to do stuff like this.
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Old 11-16-2006, 07:09 AM   #13
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That's just horrible. Even through they're homeless, they are still human beings, just like you and me.
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Old 11-16-2006, 07:23 AM   #14
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Originally posted by nathan1977
Makes me think of "A Clockwork Orange."
Made me think of Apt Pupil.
I wonder if the videos and filming is merely fuelling what would become anyway with these kids. By that I mean these are kids with a growing propensity toward violence which culminates in this, and the filming is a tool to document it, therefore feeding the thrill for them - similar to the effects of other crime waves which rely on the media to spread the hype. A by-product is then these assaults can be documented, which is typically more difficult in a group which suffers high rates of schizophrenia.
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Old 11-16-2006, 10:25 AM   #15
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I know how much Bible quoting annoys some people here, but I really found this passage appropriate for this thread:

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

(Matthew 25:31-46)

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