Gary Trzaska was, by all accounts, a kind, generous, loving man. Born in Buffalo, N.Y., he lived and worked there 41 years until last week when he was brutally beaten to death, unprovoked, by three men of another race.
On the evening of Oct. 3, as Gary unlocked his car, a bench, pulled from the laundromat came crashing down on the back of his skull. The force of the blow rendered Gary mercifully unconscious. During the next several minutes, his attackers wielded blow after savage blow to his small frame. Three men stomped his face in while an estimated 20 witnesses looked on.
His attackers broke every rib in his body. These barbarians, in Olympic fashion, took running leaps before landing on his chest. His spleen, his heart, his stomach, his lungs, every organ in his body was destroyed – unusable for donation. His intestines were shredded. The aorta, punctured.
The loss of blood? Total. When paramedics arrived, he was pumped with 15 pints of blood (the human body holds 12). Gary’s face? His brother and sister compared it to the Elephant Man. The killers exchanged high-fives in celebration of their achievement.
Not until the siren and lights of the paramedics van were near did the savages interrupt their sport and flee. Besides Gary’s body, they left his car, the keys, $275 in his pocket, along with his rings and watch. On the seat of the car lay a briefcase containing thousands of dollars in checks. Hate crime? No, robbery.
Silly me, in the America of the 1990s, I thought this was obviously a hate crime. The facts proved me wrong though, you see, Gary was white and the “robbers” were black.
I wonder: Did Gary’s brother and sister, as they stood by watching fruitless efforts to save his life think, “If only President Clinton’s demand for new and improved hate-crime legislation had been passed, Gary would be alive today”? No – I don’t think so. You see, this crime was committed seven days before Mr. Clinton stepped on his hate-crime bully pulpit. And that brings me to a funny little piece of information I stumbled on when researching this story.
It seems the White House had been out “shopping” for a “good” hate crime. A White House representative, called a reporter at the Buffalo Daily News asking for details on Gary’s death. They heard Gary was a homosexual. The problem? Gary wasn’t killed because of his sexual preference. White victim, black killers – non-starter.
Now move on to Oct. 7, in Laramie, Wyo. Matthew Shepard is found tied to a fence, the victim of an equally vicious beating – he died five days later. From all accounts, Matthew – like Gary – was a kind, generous, loving man. He, too, was a homosexual. What’s the difference? Why was this death a matter of national outrage when most of us never heard of Gary Trzaska’s death. Only one significant detail: He was killed by whites.
The White House discovered the murder of Gary Trzaska after President Clinton began his national hate-crime crusade. Can you imagine any scenario in which the president would not use a newly found case to bolster his call for Congress “to pass our tough hate crimes legislation”? The most ironic twist of all is that Gary’s murder is much closer to a text-book hate crime than Matthew’s.
So what do we have now? A national groundswell orchestrated by the White House to federalize more of our laws by shoving new hate-crime legislation down our throats. Open wide and say “ah,” America. As Mr. Clinton said on Oct. 12, “This crucial legislation would strengthen and expand the ability of the Justice Department to prosecute …”
Is he talking about the same department which “prosecuted” the folks in Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho? Is this the same department headed by that paragon of virtue, that fighter for truth and justice, Janet Reno? How does Mr. Clinton propose to “strengthen and expand” the Justice Department’s abilities to prosecute? By, “[R]emoving needless jurisdictional requirements …” “Whew,” I say, as I wipe the sweat off my brow … I thought he was going to tell us he wanted to increase the police power of the federal government over the individuals and the states by once again violating the 10th Amendment and other restrictions of our Constitution!
All this, and, as a bonus in the process, our attention is deflected from President Clinton’s criminal actions during the weeks before the upcoming election. If you believe Clinton is being sincere, I have a dog-wagging tail I’d like to sell you. We’ve come along way since Jan. 20, 1998 – from Iraq to Sudan to Afghanistan to Laramie. Land the plane! Let me off! I’m getting air sick!
The senseless, tragic deaths of Gary Trzaska and Matthew Shepard should bring forth prayers, not politics! But as usual, Mr. Clinton is shameless in his exploitation, “[T]his young man was apparently beaten to death and, apparently, only because he was gay.”
Apparently? The Washington Post said one of the alleged perpetrators, Russell Henderson “had several gay and Hispanic friends in a community that is 93 percent white.” Carson Annenson, Henderson’s landlord said, “The gay issue had never been an inkling of a concern.”
Should Matthew’s family take solace in the president’s selective comfort? My opinion is a respectful, “no.” While the Trzaska family may harbor resentment of the unconscionable silence of the press and the president, they have not been subjected to the indignity of being used in their time of grief.
What constitutes a hate crime? So far, Matthew’s murder is, Gary’s is not. Another example may help.
Last Saturday, in Prince George’s County, Md., two men and a girl shot three men – two fatally – in the Dunkin’ Donuts where they worked. Fact: The victims – Kanu Patel, Mukesh Patel and another who remained unidentified – were East Indian immigrants. Fact: The killers – Trone Tyrone Ashford, John Lemon Epps IV, and Alicia Holloway – were not. Fact: The victims did not struggle – they were shot execution style. They were forced to lie on the floor of the storage room before being blasted with a shotgun. Fact: The three perpetrators took the time to gather the shell casings, remove the security camera video and set fire to the building. Fact: They left without taking money found in separate places: two cash registers, on a desk and in a cash box! Folks, does this sound like a robbery?
What are the benefits to society in establishing a special class of victimization based on motive? The family grieves no less, the victim is never less victimized. I have compiled a partial list of obvious negatives. Hate crime laws:
- devalue the dignity of all victims by creating artificial hierarchies of worth;
- cheat the families of victims whose murderers are given milder sentences because the state says their motives were less egregious;
- create the false notion that mere men can judge the thoughts of other men;
- burden police and prosecutors with the expectations and demands of social engineers, advocacy groups, political activists and – worst of all – the feds;
- because of the selectivity of their enforcement, produce more resentment, anger and hate;
- federalize a vast universe of crimes: murder, rape, aggravated assault, simple assault, intimidation, robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, car theft, arson, vandalism – among “other crimes against society”;
- increase the police and prosecutorial power of the federal government over areas which the Constitution does not allow;
- have proven to be useful political tools and will therefore be used as political tools of influence;
- because of their inherent defects have been – and will continue to be – an object of abuse by people claiming falsely to be victims of hate crime;
Who would fake a hate crime and why would they do it? Ask Regan Wolf of Lancaster, S.C. In July of this year, Regan, an open lesbian, was charged with staging her own hate crimes. She claimed a stocky, red-haired man with a scruffy beard attacked her. After beating Wolf, she said the man bound her hands and feet and left her on her front porch, with a note proclaiming, “Jesus weren’t born for you, faggott,” painted in red on her porch steps. That was Dec. 26, 1997. In May, she claimed to be the victim of a nearly identical crime.
First, if guilty, Ms. Wolf intentionally invoked Jesus to implicate and besmirch the Christian community, a well-used tactic of homosexual rights advocates. Second, Wolf used her “victimization” to make repeated calls for, you guessed it, hate-crime legislation in South Carolina. Her story was used by a state senator as evidence for the need of the hate-crime bill he sponsored.
This is worse than legislation by opinion-poll. Need another example? Try 1992 – election time again. Oregon citizens were about to go to the polls to decide the fate of Ballot Measure 9, regarded by activists to be “anti-homosexual.” Azalea Cooley, a disabled, wheel-chair bound, black lesbian victim of cancer reported dozens of hate crimes in the months before the election, including vandalism, death threats and cross burnings. Her roommate worked for the police department. Whenever police staked out Cooley’s home to catch the “hater” in action, no one ever showed up.
Exasperated, some officers took it upon themselves to privately stake out the home without their department’s knowledge. Bingo. They caught the “disabled” Cooley, walking a cross out to her front yard and setting it on fire! Come to find out, Cooley had even shaved her own head as evidence of the cancer which she didn’t have. She later admitted to all the crimes. Initiative 9 was defeated. By the way, Police Chief Tom Potter’s daughter is a lesbian and works on the police force. Chief Potter was also a spokesman for the “no” on 9 faction.
Are the actions of these two women isolated incidents? Hardly. I have files of examples sitting on my desk. One of my sources has been tracking hate crime hoaxes since their reporting was mandated by Congress. His collection numbers “around 400.”
About statistics. We are told that hate crimes have been rising in number since reporting began. Would you like to know why? One of the more obvious reasons: While crime statistics have been compiled for 70 years by the FBI, statistics on hate crimes have only been gathered since 1990 with the passing of the Hate Crimes Statistics Act. The FBI
has never had never had full reporting from every crime enforcement agency in the U.S. Every year, more agencies join the list of those contributing to the database.
From 1995 to 1996 (the most recent year available), the coverage increased by 18 percent. When the final report for 1997 is issued, you will undoubtedly be subjected to a media blitz reporting the escalation of incidents of hate crimes.
One last point: Every one of the real crimes I have detailed have been committed by previously convicted criminals – many out on parole. If we had kept these men in prison to serve out their sentences, their victims would be alive today.