An open letter to North Carolina Representative Virginia Foxx, whom recently spoke of federal crime legislation calling Matthew Shepard's death a HOAX. Please share your comments................

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    Apr 30, 2009 9:58 AM GMT
    Representative Virginia Foxx,

    Following this letter, below, is an article on the Matthew Shepard case. The article makes the case for the hate crime against Shepard. In short, the assailants both made statements about his sexuality. They both said he had embarrassed them by approaching them. They both told others they had portrayed themselves as gay to fool Matthew. They picked him for their robbery, torture, and murder because he was gay. They both engaged in a hate crime. This does not sound like a hoax to me.

    In fact, I have been a victim of numerous hate crimes as recently as last year and as far back as the 1970's. I am physical, been a member of a boxing club for years, am a certified trainer in professional assault response, and, yet, I have been beaten, threatened with a weapon, verbally threatened, and objects thrown at me (such as cans and bottles and eggs) while walking down the street next to my home. Each incident included homophobic threats. I've done nothing to provoke anyone. I could introduce you to many others whom have faced such horrific incidents, as well.

    In terms of statistics. Let's be clear ... of all hate crimes, sexual orientation is third behind race and religion, respectfully. And, only twelve states require reporting on sexual orientation based hate crimes as of 2003.

    In closing, what you said about the hate crimes, specifically about Matthew Shepard's death being a "hoax", were at least misleading, mindless, and cruel. Your words, Representative Foxx, put us all at risk, those whom are gay and those seen as gay by homophobic hate filled people. Hate can hurt and it can kill.

    Please take the time to research before you speak in the future on topics of which you apparently know nothing or very little. You made yourself and your state look uninformed, bigoted, and backward. I am thoroughly insulted by your words and your misrepresentation of the facts to promote your own agenda. And I am repulsed that you said such things while Matthew Shepard's own Mother was in the audience! How absolutely heartless. How selfish. Shame on you!

    Most Dis-Respectfully,

    B. Varley, MS
    Salem, Oregon


    ARTICLE:

    Mon Oct 12, 1998 - 10:11AM EDT - MATTHEW HAS DIED
    Monday October 12 9:39 AM EDT

    Gay Wyoming College Student Dies After Beating
    FORT COLLINS, Colo. (Reuters) - A University of Wyoming student savagely beaten in an apparent hate crime because he was gay died early Monday, a Colorado hospital said.

    Rulon Stacey, chief executive officer of the Poudre Valley Health System, told reporters Matthew Shepard, 21, died at 12:53 a.m. MDT (2:53 a.m. EDT) Monday. His family was at his bedside.

    Shepard had been breathing with the aid of a ventilator since being found last Wednesday night beaten and tied for some 18 hours to a wooden fence where he was left to die just outside Laramie, Wyoming, a small college town.

    He suffered a severe skull fracture and was burned in the attack. Police said the college student begged for his life.

    Shepard was found by a passing motorist who at first thought that the figure on a fence post was a scarecrow.

    He died of his injuries rather than being removed from life support by his parents, Stacey said.

    ``They did not have to come to a point in the process where they were forced to make a decision. Life support remained with Matthew throughout the process,'' Stacey said.

    ``In fact they said (as) the caring son that he was, he was able to remove from them the guilt or stress of having to make that decision,'' said the hospital administrator, nearly breaking into tears.

    His parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard, flew to Colorado from Saudi Arabia where the father works in the oil industry. Stacey said the parents were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for their son.

    Two men are in custody for the attack and their girlfriends, who allegedly provided them an alibi and helped hide bloody clothes, have been charged as accessories after the fact.

    Police following the attack lodged attempted first-degree murder charges against the two men and said the charges could be upgraded.

    The attack on Shepard, who reportedly lived an openly gay life, was condemned by President Clinton and the governor of Wyoming as well as ordinary citizens who appeared at vigils in honor of the student.

    Police believe robbery as well as gay bashing was a motivation in the crime.

    Bill McKinney, the father of suspect Aaron McKinney, and Kristen Price, Aaron's girlfriend who was also charged in the case, have said the two men accused of the attack targeted Shepard because he had flirted with Aaron McKinney at a bar and embarrassed him, a published report said Sunday.

    The attack in Laramie, Wyoming, a small western town with a popular of 26,000, stunned residents and prompted calls for more anti-hate crime legislation.

    The hospital had been flooded with flowers and Rulon said messages from people came from around the world and were in the thousa
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    Apr 30, 2009 10:21 AM GMT
    icon_eek.gif

  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Apr 30, 2009 11:09 AM GMT
    Does this surprise you?

    Good God ... she's from the south and has an "R" in front of her name
    I wouldn't be shocked if a congress person walked into the Rotunda in a white Hood
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    Apr 30, 2009 2:51 PM GMT
    Bryan,

    Thanks for your excellent letter to the *lady* and also for sharing the original article about Matthew's death - which for some, may be the first time they've been able to learn more background and details. Everyone should by now realize this was no *robbery gone bad* but a total hate crime. You'll notice that Matthew was beaten so severely that he wasn't taken to some small Wyoming hospital, but flown the extra distance to Colorado - to a larger, more qualified hospital for dealing with extremely horrific injuries. Not a hate crime, Ms. Fox? Not a hate crime? Think again. Read the history and then come forward and admit that you *mis-spoke* because that would be the best thing you could do to salvage your uninformed, shoddy reputation.
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    Apr 30, 2009 3:10 PM GMT


    Hey Bryan,

    We're both really sorry that governments down there don't take more time to gag their less than room temperature IQ reps.

    On the other hand, exposure of how nasty they are can be a good thing. With the sea change occurring across America she may be able, single-handed-ly, to extinguish the R government's possibility of re-election.


    Nice letter! (one typo in here: 'And I am discusted that you said such things while Matthew Shepard's own Mother was in the audience! How absolutely heartless. How selfish. Shame on you!

    Most Dis-Respectfully,..")



    always a pleasure! -Doug n Bill
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    Apr 30, 2009 3:46 PM GMT
    What's there to say she's an idiot! icon_question.gif?icon_question.gif?icon_question.gif?
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    Apr 30, 2009 3:59 PM GMT
    Personally, I wouldn't send the letter... she's not worth the cents to buy a stamp.

    Also, she will not change her mind--she's too far to the right. Find moderate republicans to send this to if need be.

    Not to mention she will not care what you think since you are not one of her constituents.


    Put you time, anger, energy, and spirit in another place where it will actually help our cause. icon_biggrin.gif


    Do what you want (obviously) and good luck either way.
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    Apr 30, 2009 4:11 PM GMT
    cjcscuba1984 saidPut you time, anger, energy, and spirit in another place where it will actually help our cause. icon_biggrin.gif.

    Like confront the pro-Republican RJ'ers here who, by association, support her words? Or who even entered another thread here to likewise argue that this was not a gay hate crime?

    I increasingly despise Republicans with a passion I have never before known in my life. The party of Hate, the party of Oppression, the party of No, the party of Anti-gay. Can there be any gay man here who can still defend their official anti-gay party platform, or their actions?

    I wonder what delusions they harbor, what personal selfishness they think they serve, by defending a political party that wants us gays dead & gone. Perhaps they can tell us what motivates their insanity...
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    Apr 30, 2009 4:14 PM GMT

    Our Red Vespa said,
    "Perhaps they can tell us what motivates their insanity..."

    just guessing, but how about fear and bigotry?
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    Apr 30, 2009 4:27 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa said
    cjcscuba1984 saidPut you time, anger, energy, and spirit in another place where it will actually help our cause. icon_biggrin.gif.

    Like confront the pro-Republican RJ'ers here who, by association, support her words? Or who even entered another thread here to likewise argue that this was not a gay hate crime?

    I increasingly despise Republicans with a passion I have never before known in my life. The party of Hate, the party of Oppression, the party of No, the party of Anti-gay. Can there be any gay man here who can still defend their official anti-gay party platform, or their actions?

    I wonder what delusions they harbor, what personal selfishness they think they serve, by defending a political party that wants us gays dead & gone. Perhaps they can tell us what motivates their insanity...


    Well look at the price they are paying. Republican leaders havd been complaining that this country needs a strong two party system--one ruling party can become opressive. They need to ask themselves WHY so many republicans are leaving... they need to look at their own party.

    Cause' it isn't JUST the media's fault.
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    Apr 30, 2009 4:35 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    Our Red Vespa said,
    "Perhaps they can tell us what motivates their insanity..."

    just guessing, but how about fear and bigotry?

    Perhaps, but I would propose selfish interest, since many believe the myth that Republicans bring prosperity. An actual historical analysis would demonstrate the opposite.

    The sole exceptions were Coolidge during the 1920s, but those excesses led to the Great Depression, and the Eisenhower years of the 1950s, more a result of the US emerging from WWII unscathed, versus the ruin the rest of the world had suffered, leaving the US on top.

    Republicans are all about smoke & mirrors, lies & half-truths, since logic & reason will not support them, nor history defend them. We begin to see a pattern, that many Republican followers are the weak-minded & easily led, the undereducated & gullible.

    The rest are the shrewd manipulators, who know how to seize the advantage at the expense of others. Nowhere in Republican Party philosophy is there a sense of selfless service & obligation, but rather of selfish opportunism & greed.

    We have seen the disastrous results of that approach, in our economy, our world standing, and in our body politic. I hope this aberration in our proud US tradition is repudiated, and serves as a lesson we will never forget, so that this can never happen again.
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    Apr 30, 2009 4:48 PM GMT
    I would say that her continuing in battle against this issue would be the best thing to ever happen for our side. This battle of the least of wits among the Republican social conservatives is becoming not only the Democrats dream come true, but ours as well. The more ridiculous the statement, the more they lie to win, the more D seats are won and the more representation we'll win for equality. Republicans aren't losing because of their politics, they're losing because they are being represented by idiots. This is something many fail to comprehend.
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    Apr 30, 2009 5:02 PM GMT
    Looknrnd saidI would say that her continuing in battle against this issue would be the best thing to ever happen for our side. This battle of the least of wits among the Republican social conservatives is becoming not only the Democrats dream come true, but ours as well. The more ridiculous the statement, the more they lie to win, the more D seats are won and the more representation we'll win for equality. Republicans aren't losing because of their politics, they're losing because they are being represented by idiots. This is something many fail to comprehend.


    Unfortunately, they are playing to the large population of idiots in America (believe me, we have quite a surplus of them); how do you think Prop 8 got passed? If more Americans truly used their brains to vote rather than their Bibles and their emotions; if more of them seriously questioned their party's line, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

    No, idiots end up in office when idiots in the general population vote for them. And I doubt there will be any shortage of idiots in America, Germany, or Russia any time soon. Just look at how the above-mentioned countries still allow the existence of racial hate-groups, like the KKK, or the Neo-Nazis.

    Stupid is as stupid votes.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Apr 30, 2009 5:13 PM GMT
    I remember the events as if they were yesterday. I had really just come "out" so to speak and accept who I was as a gay man. I had been seeing my bf for a couple of weeks. For the first time the attack wasn't on
    "them", I viewed it as an attack on "us".

    This woman would rather stick her head in the sand and not acknowledge facts. She would rather dismiss reality than acknowledge and stand up for something that should be addressed.

    I would certainly send the letter and while it may not do any good (she probably won't even see it), you have taken the time to say whats important.
    Kudos to you Bryan for making the effort!
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    Apr 30, 2009 5:39 PM GMT
    Is the Republican party completely out of it's mind! The statements being made on the House floor is utterly IDIOTIC! By the time they get their wits back - Congress will become a party of 1 - how scary for the country to have such ill informed and ill mannered representatives.
    GOOGLE IT!
    YOU REPUBLICAN MORONS!
    BEFORE YOU SPEAK ON THE FLOOR!

    UGHHHH - it's completely embarrassing to discuss our "leadership" with any family members overseas - might as well have my 4 year old niece speak on the floor of Congress!
    Really humiliating when I might have to agree with some family that QHADDAFI is more forward thinking then the Republican party!

    ...lastly GOOD FOR YOU on sending the letter!

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    Apr 30, 2009 7:44 PM GMT
    Foxx Backtracks on Shepard "Hoax" Comment icon_rolleyes.gif


    http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid81445.asp
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Apr 30, 2009 7:59 PM GMT
    I saw the video of that stupid twat calling the Matthew Shepard murder a hoax, saying that it was a robbery, not a hate crime, even though the perpetrators admitted that they pretended to be gay in order to lure Matthew into their truck so that they could rob him and then beat him to death for being gay. I hope that horrid ignorant woman steps in front of a bus.
  • metta

    Posts: 39104

    Apr 30, 2009 8:28 PM GMT
    To the OP, the letter is excellent and I applaud your efforts. Well said! We must not be silent! I truly mean this when I say Thank You!
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    Apr 30, 2009 8:32 PM GMT
    A big greyhound bus with no brakes.
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    May 01, 2009 6:07 AM GMT
    Luckydog76 saidA big greyhound bus with no brakes.


    I don't know... the Greyhound busses are clad in stainless steel, but even THAT may not repel the grime from hitting that woman.

    Stupidity can't just be hosed-off.
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    May 01, 2009 6:59 AM GMT
    I guess that Foxx doesn't belive in the "glass ceiling" for women, or that blacks were enslaved or the MLK murder or that Jew were killed, or the genocide in Darfur or Hiroshima/Nagasaki, or Chernobyl ot Three Mile Island, or Challenger exploding or any other media magnified "hoaxes". What a sad and embarrassing moment for the people of North Carolina...certainly there are some better informed and intelligent souls in that state that can hold Madame Foxx's feet to the fire and wake this stupid bitch up! I realize that Fox News Network wasn't around yet, but GOD! How can she even pretend to be that ill-informed and present it in a public forum, without feeling even slightly embarrassed? Great thing is that at her age, she'll forget it tomorrow AM...hard to believe she has a PHD and was a professor before she won her office...shocking and sad.....
    biography on her.....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Foxx
    Love the letter of the OP....but chances are, If you aren't in her district I doubt that it will get anything more than opened and tossed in the trash, though.....icon_cool.gif
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    May 01, 2009 8:05 AM GMT
    She would say differently if it were her son or grandson!!!! She's totally shot. I'm sure she thinks there was no hitler and that we never had slavery in the USA and the Easter bunny is real.icon_idea.gif

    So much for age and wisdom for her!!
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    May 01, 2009 9:18 AM GMT
    jprichva said...So you get Virginia Foxx, daughter of the Confederacy, pushing lies because that's what the tribe now requires of her.

    Is she really a Daughter of the Confederacy? That would be funny. She's originally from the Bronx, NY, but maybe she has some slave-holding ancestor in the South of whom she's proud. Some of her past legislative actions:

    "In September 2005, Foxx was one of 11 members of Congress to vote against the $51 billion aid package to victims of Hurricane Katrina. She was also one of only 33 Republicans to vote against the extension of the Voting Rights Act in July 2006. In the lame duck session of 2006, she introduced H.J.RES.96, a joint resolution praising the Christmas tree industry. The bill passed the House of Representatives but died in the Senate." Ho-ho-ho, y'all.
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    May 01, 2009 9:44 AM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidI remember the events as if they were yesterday. I had really just come "out" so to speak and accept who I was as a gay man. I had been seeing my bf for a couple of weeks. For the first time the attack wasn't on
    "them", I viewed it as an attack on "us".

    This woman would rather stick her head in the sand and not acknowledge facts. She would rather dismiss reality than acknowledge and stand up for something that should be addressed.

    I would certainly send the letter and while it may not do any good (she probably won't even see it), you have taken the time to say whats important.
    Kudos to you Bryan for making the effort!



    Thanks.... for your comments..... and the comments of the others in this stream. It is very cool to see the passion and intelligence of the community!

    And, as an fyi, I sent the open letter to a couple dozen sites and to Rep. Foxx's email. I put it on my facebook and myspace, as well..... And, I think many others are doing the same..... How fantastic is that!!!

    Peace, B
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    May 01, 2009 10:01 AM GMT
    Bryan1960 saidAnd, as an fyi, I sent the open letter to a couple dozen sites and to Rep. Foxx's email. I put it on my facebook and myspace, as well..... And, I think many others are doing the same..... How fantastic is that!!!

    Peace, B

    I've read some other blogs that say Rep. Foxx's official Congressional email will not accept items from outside her district. Other blogs claim the email goes in, but is deleted by her staff if from outside her district. Did your email to her office bounce?

    Here's a text story, with video, of Judy Shepard's rejection of Foxx's apology on the Rachel Maddow show that cjcscuba linked above:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30505428/