This article is actually from “the Stranger” so like far left, LGBT friendly, Seattle.
Click to read it.
She writes about the cultural narrative, the propaganda, the hype that portrayed Matthew Shepherd as the most famous victim of a hate crime, an innocent guy murdered simply for being gay. But was it even true??
Another woman, Julie Bendal, wrote an article in the Guardian about that very thing, about the work of an investigative reporter Stephan Jimenez, a man who is gay himself and spent 13 years investigating the Matthew Shepherd murder. His conclusion? No, he wasn’t targeted simply because he was gay, he was murdered over crystal meth.
That fits in with what we know about this tragedy very well, and it’s something that used to make me quite angry. Matthew Shepherd was a casualty of addiction, as so, so many young people since have been. He wasn’t murdered by an organized mob of homophobic hicks, he was likely the victim of a robbery, of a drug fueled, meth induced psychosis.
It used to make me angry because I watched the damage drugs and denial did in our community and when you try to point out, that’s meth, what you would hear is how someone just had mental health issues. They were victims of hatred. Victims of racism, even. Crystal meth is not the problem, homophobia is. This kind of denial continues today, we have this protected class, the homeless, and complete denial that a huge part of the problem is actually predatory addicts now living on the street.
I don’t condone hatred of any sort and certainly not violence, but I really feel as if a grave injustice has been done, as if our compulsion to exploit a tragedy and create a manipulative narrative is really predatory, a lie promoted, but at what price?? Like the LGBT eagerness to address homophobia was built on a lie, a deception, one that may have cost hundreds, thousands of lives since.
I mean, what if we had just told the truth instead??
I know I’m dreaming, but what if way back when we had spoken the truth about addiction, been honest about Matthew’s meth problems, about the violence that often goes along with it? What if we had spoken cultural narratives that were actually true, that addressed the root of the problem? What if we had done that rather than chasing a phantom, an imaginary foe, this alleged organized gang of hate filled, homophobic hicks ready to murder gays just because they are gay?
I mean like it or not, a lot of gay guys who have the love of their families and some level of cultural acceptance, STILL experience high rates of depression, addiction, and suicide. Matthew was actually a rape victim too, by his own admission, but nobody ever really talks about that.
I tell this tragic tale because cultural narratives are so often just lies, hyperbole, urban legends, sensationalism having little to do with the truth. They are politics designed to manipulate a cultural response and win approval for a cause. They sure don’t care about anyone’s well being or about solving problems.
I mention it because we haven’t stopped it yet, we still do the same thing today, or allow it to be done to us. All over social media, twitter, the news, you will find people right now blabbing away about how recent violent events are the result of white supremacy, of racism, of Trumpian rhetoric. They are not, these are the acts of lone wolves, of societal rejects, outcasts, likely people suffering both mental health problems and addiction issues. Also, just plain evil. They aren’t victims but they sure aren’t members of some organized white supremacy conspiracy either.
I know, I’m just wailing into the wind today, trying to grasp oil in my right hand, but for goodness sakes people, the truth really matters, and cultural narratives are so often lies, just tall tales we swallow because they please our own agendas.
So just stop it. The truth will set you free.