Recent deaths cause fear in Chicago’s Gay Community

People who have been oppressed can sometimes be prone to assume more oppression. It’ just the way things are. Some people cry “Get over it!”, but it’s just not that easy.  Many times fear and pain as a reality is learned and reinforced by environment and community.  Most people agree that no one should be targeted and murdered due to sexual preference, yet it continues to happen.

CHICAGO (CBS) Activists fear gay African-Americans are being targeted for murder. Two openly gay men were killed recently on the South Side, as CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports. African-American gay and lesbian groups are talking about the murders of two openly gay Black men in the past month.

On November 17, 24-year-old Larry Bland was shot to death in his Englewood home. Bland, a security guard at Northwestern Hospital was shot more than once after struggling with a man who had entered the house through an unlocked basement door. Then on December 23, 47-year-old Donald Young, the choir director at Trinity United Church of Christ, was shot multiple times in his South Side apartment. His roommate found his body.
“We’re calling on the police department to let the community know what’s going on,” said Marc Loveless of the Coalition for Justice and Respect. “Are we under attack? Is this a serial killer?” Chicago Police Department Acting Sept. Dana Starks said, “I understand the concerns of any group, any community when it comes to homicide. As of right now, I cannot say whether there is a connection.”

The media services director of the church where Donald Young taught and led the choir, said, “Young did live an openly gay lifestyle; that was his choice.” But she went on to call the Loveless statement, “self-serving.” She also said the police are doing everything they can.

The brother of victim Larry Bland says if the murder was a hate crime, he would not be surprised. “Englewood? Come on. That’s why a lot of gay guys won’t come out, because they fear for something like this to happen,” said Bland’s brother, Lynn.

Starks says that “at this time” there is no evidence the murders were hate crimes. But he told CBS 2, the investigations are still underway.

(© MMVII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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Filed under abuse, african american, black, black man, community, crime, culture, hate, injustice, news, opinion, race, society

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