Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chico - and the work of Lee Mun Wah

Lee Mun Wah is one of my all time heroes and someone whose work has served as an example and and inspiration to me. Perhaps his movie, "The Color of Fear" is one of the most pivotal viewing experiences of my life. You might like to preview a powerful and stunning moment with this clip from youtube. It is a stunning 2 minutes, trust me. Then, go to your public library and rent this movie.

My admiration for this incredible man, Lee Mun Wah, turned into a FB friend request. I just wanted to 'know' him, even if the 'knowing' was a little glimpse of his musings through social networking media. It happened that I 'friended' him with a comment about how much I was looking forward to meeting him at the WPC, where he was in attendance and presenting.

Just this week Lee Mun Wah posted this article on his FB account. It's the news story of a student leader at California State University who was stabbed and attacked. The allegations are that this is a racially motivated attack at it is being called a hate crime. Lee Mun Wah states, "...the comments [following the article] are telling of where we stand divided in this country on race relations. What are your thoughts?"

I ask you the same. I don't care where these hate crimes occur - my neighborhood or yours. Every single one of them deserves our attention and our outrage.

P.S. I met the man in the youtube video, Victor Lee, at the conference too - and I friended him as well. I'm such a FB stalker of people I admire!


Anonymous said...

Two years ago two black males kidnapped the student body president of the University of North Carolina (a white young woman. They forced her to withdraw money from her bank account and then took her to a suburban street and fired multiple times into her head and body. Fortunately they were caught and face life in prison (though the death penalty would be my choice). This crime was never called a hate crime but does one fire weapons at close range because they like them? From what I have read about hate crimes they only appear to be valid if the victim is not white or has a different sexual orientation.

M and M said...

Anonymous, I think you've certainly made the point that this NC example is an example of a violent and viscious crime, but you don't score any points with me around the notion of a hate crime (biased based crime). Certainly, violence of this type must involve hatred...I imagine I won't convince you of my point of view just as you won't convince me.

While there is certainly no such thing as a "lesser" murder, there is a need need to look at the question in the context of "lesser" crimes. A lawyer wrote, "We should ask is there a difference between Xs scratched into the hood of a car because of how it was parked, and three Ks scratched in the hood of a car because of who parked it."

Yeah, so crimes on account of hatred - crimes where one is selected because of who they represent - I'm outraged. Period.

Anonymous said...

Well the lawyers argument is an interesting one but being able to prove it may be much trickier.
Of course we have laws which "protect" certain groups of people in a different way than others. Thus if a developmentally disabled person strikes me the consequences would be different if I were to strike him/her. With spouse abuse it is the same. A sheriff I met told me that my wife would only have to call them that I threatened her and they would have to make an arrest-but this would probably not be so if I made the complaint.
Thus, in my humble opinion, I don't think that hate crime laws will cut down on crime at all. Now if they had them back in the lynching days-that might have been different.