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Did Austin Police Really Shrug Their Shoulders After a Brutal Christmas Gay Bashing?

Bobby Beltran, 28, and friend Christopher Ortega say five men attacked them early Sunday morning — the night of Christmas — in Austin because they are gay. After leaving the gay bar Rain around 1:30am, the pair say a car drove by full of men screaming things like “Fucking faggots, stop that queer shit!” before the men got out of the car and spent several minutes kicking and punching them — in front of 20 witnesses, who did nothing. “Stay alive,” Beltran says he was thinking the entire time. “Keep your face protected, stay alive, survive.” And when the police finally did arrive? Beltran and Ortega say the attitude of the responding officers was “too bad guys.” Adds Beltran, a gay activist: “I’ve never in my life been in any kind of violent situation, especially a hate crime, so it’s been pretty traumatic. Austin is supposed to be a gay haven, especially on 4th Street. What scares me even more is that nobody even helped.”

By:           JD
On:           Dec 28, 2010
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 90 Comments
    • StrangeTexas
      StrangeTexas

      The description of the attackers is typical “ghetto thugs” (with one white trash cohort). Bystanders were probably afraid of getting shot.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 10:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eli Clyne
      Eli Clyne

      Is there a Texas law that says concealed handgun licenses are just for straights?

      Dec 28, 2010 at 10:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      lawsuit against the police?

      Dec 28, 2010 at 10:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      This is their side of it…let’s hear both sides before judgement…

      Dec 28, 2010 at 10:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @Jaroslaw:

      Based on what?

      There were supposedly 20 witnesses when this story broke. By all accounts, when one of the vics yelled at someone to write down the license plate of the car, no one did. When 20 witnesses saw these two guys getting beaten up, no one stepped in to help. We don’t even know who called the police. We don’t have any information as to where the club bouncers/security were and why they didn’t get involved.

      It’s really easy to blame to police, but the folks who stood there and faded into the woodwork are the ones ultimately responsible for the fact that there won’t be much of an investigation since none of them lifted a finger to help these two gentlemen. What are the police supposed to do, coerce witnesses into appearing from thin air?

      The cowards who stood and watched (at least film the thig or take some pictures, how many of them had cameras which could do that?) are to blame, not the police.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 10:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mikey
      mikey

      God, people are such cowards!!!!

      Please remember, often it only takes one person showing some guts to rally others to come to the rescue …

      Half-asleep on the F-train (NYC subway) to work one day, I became aware of group of 4-5 older teens who had, essentially, surrounded a woman, saying crude and threatening things to the woman.

      Even as I was becoming aware of things, an older woman yelled out, “hey everyone, get out of your phones and start taking pictures of these guys!” The group of guys were completely caught off guard when suddenly two dozen people started taking their pictures. They immediately stopped and moved on to the next car.

      A small group of us, including the woman being harassed, followed them until the next stop, and we made sure the police got involved.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 10:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @DR:

      Urgh. That should have read “how many of them had cell phone cameras…”

      Dec 28, 2010 at 10:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tallskin
      Tallskin

      Am I too assume the “20 witnesses, who did nothing” were gay?

      It isn’t clear

      If so it’s really unacceptable

      Dec 28, 2010 at 10:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @Tallskin:

      The victim thinks so. In the article he specifically states that “It was the most unsafe I’ve ever felt in my entire life, knowing that not even my community stood up,” Beltran said. “I’m so afraid to go back down there.”

      It would seem that the witnesses were gay or at least gay-friendly.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 11:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • obiwan
      obiwan

      Five “manly” men beating up two men. This seems cowardly, and
      and un-Christian — if this is the basis of their violent bigotry. Too bad they weren’t caught on camera.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 11:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er
      scott ny'er

      i don’t have a phone camera most of the people i know have one nowadays. I’m surprised no one took video or pics. Not surprised that this happened in Texas. Then again, i’m not surprised if this would happen in SF or NYC.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 11:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      Its nice that they got beaten so badly and yet are talking just fine and don’t have a single bruise. Seriously, what exactly are the police supposed to do when the injuries were on par with simple assault which is a misdemeanor in most cases and a fine not jail time.

      If I lived in Texas, I’m not sure I’d want to go to a gay bar. If I did, I’m not sure I would want to further antagonize a bunch of anti-gay rednecks that were insulting me already.

      I know, I know, that makes me a self hating and I really should go out and about all proud just waiting to get beaten up so that the cops would do nothing.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 12:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • StrangerInParadize
      StrangerInParadize

      Daez : This attack was primarily by African-Americans, not “rednecks”. The same things happen in Atlanta and NYC.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 12:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      The police shrug. 20 people watch and do nothing. A self-described “activist” is involved after a night of drinking. This doesn’t pass the smell test.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 12:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Silver
      Silver

      This is not a case of “simple assault”. This is a case of assault and battery. In the United States, assault is defined as the perception of the party being attacked that unwanted contact is going to occur. Battery is when that contact occurs.

      So, for example: if the people in the car had stopped at hurling slurs at the two men, that could still be considered assault, if the men who were being harassed truly thought that physical attack would follow. We have both elements here: the people in the car both assaulted the men, and battered them physically. Thus, assault and battery, which depending on the facts can be either a misdemeanor or felony charge. According to the story link, the other victim may have suffered a broken jaw; if that’s the case, then this case would be considered aggravated assault and battery, a felony, which carries an accompanying prison sentence.

      I promise that I’m not intentionally feeding the troll. I don’t think correcting factual errors counts.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 12:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      Start by firing the police then go on from there.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 12:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      Video cameras tend to be abundant in a downtown area.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 12:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @Silver:

      Except your factual correction is in error depending on the jurisdiction. In Pennsylvania, what you describe is “simple assault” or “aggravated assault” (a misdemeanor versus a felony). PA’s crime code doesn’t have any crime called “battery”.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 12:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Obama DID say DADT would happen on his watch... (John From England)
      Obama DID say DADT would happen on his watch... (John From England)

      Lol, most of the commenters on here don’t believe you either Chris and they are…..gay!

      Where’re does he get that there is such a thing as community with gays? Reality check dude, human beings are inherently unpleasant and nasty.

      Don’t waste your time being an activist for people who won’t be grateful, say, gay comments on blogs because you won’t be thanked!

      Dec 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon
      Jon

      While I would like to say I would have helped, I don’t think I would get involved with a bunch of black thugs. They likely had guns and I’m not going to get shot trying to be a hero. Those of you who claim you would have helped need to take a dose of reality.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 1:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      They protected their faces so they don’t appear bruised. And the attackers were scared off before they could do worse damage. The crowd reaction is typical and the police response is typical.

      Crime statistics have shown that gay neighborhoods attract brazen homophobic attacks. A phenomena that is increasing. You’ve seen it at the Stonewall bar and many other gay bars. The account is credible and Bobbie and Chris are crime statistics.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 1:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • StandUpAndFight
      StandUpAndFight

      Please give to GetEqual today if you want if you want to stop gay-bashings like this. Professional activists (unlike Beltran) know how to fight this.

      Get Generous to Get Equal. Give today.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 2:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • frankisright
      frankisright

      1. The attackers were black, white and Latino — but the truth is, their race means nothing here. Each of the attackers could have been white, and there’s still the chance that they could have been carrying guns or knives. I don’t buy that the white gay men at the bar were scared of the “thugs.”

      2. If the attackers were racist skinheads, and they had attacked two people of color outside a club frequented by African-Americans, the attackers would never made it out alive. There is a greater sense of community and call to action, among African Americans (and a host of other groups), especially when an individual in that group is being victimized in way that many members of the group have previously experienced. Lesbians will fight to the death to protect their own. So will drag queens. But not gay men.

      3. Gay men are not genuinely altruistic. We’ll only throw benefits if there’s a party. We gossip about people when they’re down. We forget about you when you’re old. And our attackers know this. That’s why they would DARE to do this, outside a gay bar in the presence of hundreds of witnesses who did not help, or bother to catch the plates on the vehicle. Again, this happened outside a gay bar.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 2:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RomanHans
      RomanHans

      Frankisright, when you generalize, you look specifically stupid.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RS
      RS

      Bobby, who is a friend of mine, posted this morning that a witness has come forward and a police detective has been in contact with him. Hopefully more witnesses (with video or photos) will come forward.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • StrangerInParadize
      StrangerInParadize

      FrankisRight, I think gay men are afraid of white attackers too, but they’re even more afraid of black attackers who are perceived as more likely to be armed.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 2:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Obama DID say DADT would happen on his watch... (John From England)
      Obama DID say DADT would happen on his watch... (John From England)

      @frankisright:

      I agree with your last point.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh boy
      Oh boy

      @mikey: I think In New York (I live in Brooklyn) people are more likely to band together because everyone rides the train and walks the sidewalk so they know it could just as easily be them too.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oh boy
      Oh boy

      @Daez: They were not white rednecks. They were black hoodrat thugs.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RS
      RS

      @Daez: Bobby posted a photo that night showing his face was bruised and swolen. Fortunately, he protected his face to prevent any damage more serious than that.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 4:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      In No. 5, DR wrote: “We don’t even know who called the police.” If a cell phone was used (most likely since phone booths are for the most part a thing of the past), the police have a pretty good idea as to who called. You can’t turn off caller-ID for 911 calls.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 4:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J.
      J.

      When will the black activists address the severe homophobia problem in their community? They will pout and protest every time someone else offends them, but turn a blind eye to the overwhelming amount of anti-gay attacks by members of their community. It has gone beyond just a few bad apples, to something it seems that is bred in the minds of their youth from a young age. That white people, especially the gays, are evil and are out to get you. Yes, I know every group has their crazies but this is just pathetic.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Str8Edge
      Str8Edge

      The racist remarks on this board sicken me. The race of the attackers doesn’t matter! Black people are not the only ones that gay bash. Who killed Matthew Shepard? It wasn’t a black person. There is violence in every race. I don’t believe these two guys anyway. 5 men were kicking and punching you Sunday morning for 5 – 10 minutes and you have not one scratch on your face. Wait, I know! Because you’re gay they did not want to mess up your pretty little faces. So they only gave you body shots. GTFOH! Those guys are lying. You don’t look like that after being attacked by 5 men for 5 – 10 minutes. You all are silly to believe these attention whores.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Heather Houston
      Heather Houston

      Just a reminder to support GetEqual and their professional activists. We need them in Austin. Please donate today.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RS
      RS

      @Str8Edge: Are you aware that one of the victims also is not white? Bobby has posted photos of his bruised and swolen face. Hardly “not a scratch.” Yes, some people here have a tendancy to make things a referendum on race, but for you to turn it around and bitch at the victims, who were *not* doing that, makes you no better.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ealan75
      Ealan75

      Wow, I’ll be interested to see how the story plays out, but after reading this string of comments and all I can say is … wow. Between the would-be detectives, law scholars, race baiters, trolls, and outright bitchy girls, I am so embarassed for us.

      Just Wow.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Does it REALLY matter who is beating on you? I mean REALLY? I’m guessing getting beaten on for anyone is not a daily occurence when walking down the street. Yes, if white, It might hurt more to be called a h***y, or if Black to be called the N word but the bottom line is getting assaulted is a crime. Every incident does NOT need to be nor is it productive to turn it into a referendum on race. Thanks #35

      Dec 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • frankisright
      frankisright

      @ J – while this case and another in Houston involved black attackers, the vast majority that I can think of do not. When you read through the pages of this very blog, you’ll find that -most- of these cases involve white, sometimes fundamentalist, usually uneducated, often “country” attackers. Yes, I generalized.

      Type in “gay bash” in the search engine here, and see for yourself.

      That said, I still think the race of the attackers matters so much less than the NEGLIGENCE of the crowd that watched… the crowd of OUR OWN people who should have acted differently.

      When we fight back, and an attacker fears he might get his ass beat, this stops.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 5:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon
      Jon

      If you read the main article it says that the altercation only lasted 3 minutes. Perhaps the crowd didn’t know how it started, for all they knew the gay guys started it. 3 minutes isn’t a lot of time to re-evaluate your life and decide if you want to risk yourself over people you don’t know.

      Also, the article states that after the thugs yelled at the gay guys, the gay guys were yelling back at them. Perhaps if a gang of thugs in a low rider verbally assaults you it would be a good idea to let them roll on by without pissing them off further.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PatrickB
      PatrickB

      @frankisright: It’s not fair to blame gays specifically for not doing anything. People, in general, have stood by and done nothing while _much_ worse has happened.

      Maybe this will raise the gays’ awareness that we are our brother’s keeper.

      @Heather Houston: Please explain the “professional activist” approach, and why it would be better.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 6:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • UWSguy
      UWSguy

      Where is GLADD, HRC and the others who want our money. This is a case they should be involved in ASAP

      Dec 28, 2010 at 6:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 37 · Jaroslaw wrote, “Does it REALLY matter who is beating on you? I mean REALLY?”

      If you are a witness thinking about trying to help stop it, what matters is the chance that the assailants have a gun or a knife, the use of which could make a bad situation worse.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 6:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      Hey, maybe they were beaten up by other gays. Because gays verbally beat up gays all the time. And gays beat themselves up. So we must assume that the likely suspects were also gay, even if they don’t know they are. Five guys? Their food is nasty.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 7:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @Kev C straights murder other straights all the time. And straights shoot themselves up. So we must assume all murder suspects are also straight, even if they don’t know they are.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 8:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @ewe: 5 guys cruising a gayborhood looking for man on man action. It’s a thin line.

      What everyone should ask themselves is .. do you have a plan if you see this happening, or if it happens to you? How much of your life are you willing to entrust to police or bystanders?

      Dec 28, 2010 at 8:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @B: That doesn’t absolve the twenty cowards who sat there and watched two guys get the tar beaten out of them. Yeah, cowards, sissies, pansies, take your pick. I got no respect for anyone who just stands there watching two men getting beaten up by five guys.

      @Jon: That doesn’t give five guys the right to stop their car and beat up two men. Five guys drive by throwing slurs at a couple hugging each other goodbye in a gay neighborhood and you actually suggest that they not stand up for themselves? This is why guys think they can get away with that in the first place.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 8:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jay
      Jay

      I used to live in Austin. My ex and I used to hold hands and walk all over downtown, no one ever said anything. I think its just shitty luck really. Austin is far from being homophobic. Also, it is odd that the gay area still doesn’t have many cameras. However, I don’t really remember ever seeing cameras downtown, but supposedly they’re there.

      Furthermore, the title of that “article” also sets up certain bias notions. I don’t think the Austin police said “oh well, its cause you’re gay.” However, I do agree they could’ve done more.

      Hate crimes happen everywhere its a sad reality. And the argument that gay men are mean to each other which is why their susceptible to violence is the dumbest thing I have heard. Doesn’t it sound like something Sarah Palin would say? I personally have more of a fear of being bashed because of my ethnicity (especially cause of 9/11) than being a homo.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 9:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • StrangerInParadize
      StrangerInParadize

      FrankisRight is being dishonest. If you read over the pages of “this very blog” you’ll see most of the gay bashings are done by thug types of color. he’s trying to hang onto the p.c. fantasy of gay-bashers being primarily white rednecks and hicks. We know better, FrankIsRight.

      Dec 28, 2010 at 9:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mikebuc
      mikebuc

      5 dudes cruising the gay part of town on Christmas night? Sounds queer to me.

      One word of advice though. If there are 5 of them and 2 of you, yelling back is probably not a good idea. Sticks and stones…

      Dec 28, 2010 at 11:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon
      Jon

      @DR: Yes, If a group of FIVE street thugs drive up to two gays and flig slurs I expect the supposedly smarter gays to shut up and walk away. It’s the difference between life and death. 2 gays against 5 ghetto street thugs…hmmm…who is going to come out on top in that fight?

      Dec 29, 2010 at 12:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J.
      J.

      While I agree, that the 2 victims should have just kept their mouths shut to avoid conflict in this case, they still did not deserve to be attacked by a bunch of thugs. Once again, yes I do know that EVERY group has their bad apples. But we can’t ignore that the black community by and large has a legacy of homophobia in their community. I don’t mean or even want to be race baiting, but you can’t ignore this simple fact just because you want to be PC. It’s a problem in the black community that needs to be addressed soon.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 1:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 46 · DR wrote, “@B: That doesn’t absolve the twenty cowards who sat there and watched two guys get the tar beaten out of them.”

      The comment I was replying to was, “Does it REALLY matter who is beating on you.” What I pointed out was the risk that they had a weapon which, if pulled, could do a lot of damage, including to their victims. So, who it is does matter – it has an impact on the optimal way to react.

      You are making the classic mistake of replying to something that was never said.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 3:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Polyboy
      Polyboy

      You’re full of shit StrangerInParadize. Queerty has always had a strong racial bias. It’s time to move beyond the gay news ghetto.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 3:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • StrangerInParadize
      StrangerInParadize

      Well, Polyboy, if you’re saying that Queerty only reports gay-bashings by blacks and ignores the gaybashings by whites, then FrankIsRight is still being dishonest. He said to look back over this blog and we’ll see most gaybashings are done by white rednecks. So….huh? Where’s he get that?

      Dec 29, 2010 at 4:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • damendo
      damendo

      I am in San Antonio, and have been to the gays bars in Austin quite a few times. Never once, have I felt unsafe walking the streets in either gay area. The streets around the gay area in Austin are however, usually very crowded with patrons walking the streets in their drunken queeny slurs! Not to pass judgment on either one of these two gentlemen, but I am just curious if or when this happened, and lets say these “gaybashers” did start harrasing these guys, what were the alleged victims responses? I know some queeny little bitches that can antagonize with the best of em! Not passing judgment, just wondering? I know that doesnt make it right, however……just asking.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 7:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @Silver: He suffered a broken jaw, yet he can talk freely on a video about three days later? How do you explain this? Those were the two men that got attacked and neither one of them looks like they were attacked. If your jaw is broken, they wire it shut until it heals. You don’t talk to the press three days later. It would be misdemeanor battery, I misspoke.

      Since, as others have said, there were 20 witnesses, but these gay activists were the only ones that told the police anything (which is highly unlikely) and the “thugs” were the typical “fictional” variety, the whole thing just smells.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 8:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @frankisright: Its because lesbians, drag queens and the black (or other minority) community are filled with people that are feminine. Females or people with feminine energy tend to be much more protective of their own than those “so called” masculine types. Femininity is a healing and protecting energy while masculinity is a competing energy.

      Just watch “What Would You Do” or any other show that puts this kind of stuff on film (although its staged) and count the number of single guys that walk by while anyone with a female present or the female themselves is much more likely to get involved.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 9:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @StrangerInParadize: Except in Texas, I think pretty much everyone is armed, especially the red neck white boys.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 9:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @J.: When will the white community address its problem with “radical activists” that commit acts of social terror against the gay population. Why do they get a pass? Why is that someone like Glenn Beck, Maggot Galagher, Fred Phelps, Pat Roberston, Spriggs or anyone else can spew hatred and lies but not be held accountable by the white community.

      As any victim of abuse will tell you, its no the kicks and punches that hurt, its the emotional impact, and the white community has done much more harm to gays and lesbians everywhere through continued emotional abuse than blacks have.

      Also, there is absolutely no inherit fear or hatred for the white man in the black community much like there is no inherit fear or hatred of the black man in the white community. That is the very definition of racism, and its a choice you make on a personal level no matter what your upbringing or indoctrination.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 9:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Samwise
      Samwise

      Have any of you ever heard of the bystander effect? The fact that there were twenty people watching was the REASON no one helped or called the cops. It’s basic crowd psychology: when you know there’s a ton of other people there who can do something, you all assume someone else will help – or is helping. So no one ends up doing anything. If there had been only one witness, he would almost certainly have looked around, decided, “If I don’t do something to stop this, no one will,” and called the cops.

      People don’t expect these kinds of things to happen, so when they do happen, everyone freezes and looks to the other people around them for direction on what to do. And most people are afraid that if they try to stop the abusive behavior they see, they’ll just make themselves targets. In Mitch’s story up-thread, one guy on the subway was able to unfreeze his brain and tell everyone to take pictures with their cellphones. And they all followed his order – partly because they were scared and looking for someone to tell them what to do, and partly because they knew that everyone heard the order and those subway toughs couldn’t hurt them all.

      It takes an exceptional person to keep their head together when they see something awful going down. Unfortunately, these people can’t be everywhere at once.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if all or most of the 20 witnesses were gay, and didn’t do anything not just because of the bystander effect, but because
      1) the crime shocked and scared them more for being a gay-bashing, making it more difficult for them to think on their feet, and
      2) they were even MORE afraid of being victimized themselves than your average bystander would be.

      I also wouldn’t be surprised if being gay and witnessing a gay-bashing makes you feel more helpless. Maybe subconsciously, you put yourself in the place of the victim and so it occurs to you even more slowly than it otherwise would that you actually DO have the power to stop it.

      In any case, I’m not excusing what these people did (or didn’t do) but merely pointing out that they’re not cowards or monsters or homophobes themselves: they’re humans, and they did what humans do, and if you were in that situation, you’d almost certainly do exactly the same thing.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 9:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @damendo: In my fictional little world, which isn’t to say its how it happened, but two (from the video they appear white as all hell) gay guys were walking down the street when five black guys pulled up and called them “the f word” to which they responded something like, “shut up you ‘n word’” and it was on from there.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 9:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er
      scott ny'er

      @Samwise: Thanks Samwise. What you said is interesting and makes sense.

      As well as what another poster said about it being 3 mins. That is a short amt of time for people to react.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 9:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @Jon: @B:

      Wow, talk about excuses. How pathetic.

      Fine, you wonder if there’s a weapon. Most cell phones have cameras, why didn’t anyone take video or pictures? Why didn’t someone write down the license plate number? There are plenty of things one can do without getting involved in the physical fight, but they were too scared to even do that.

      This is why we keep getting bashed, because everyone advocated running scared.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 10:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom
      Tom

      @mikey:
      Good for you citizen! We need more of that.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @mikey:

      Or how about the video of the woman on the subway who called out the guy trying to expose himself to her? She made a huge rukus on the train, and that got everyone to break out the cameras, take pics and video, and they guy ended up arrested for forcible touching, open lewdness and sex abuse.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 11:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom
      Tom

      @J.:

      The Baptist Church and other fundamentalist Christian groups to which many African-Americans belong, probably have had a part to play in that situation. Undoubtedly the Islamic movements haven’t exactly been generally helpful in that regard either.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 12:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • damendo
      damendo

      @Samwise: @Daez: Samwise makes a good point about the bystander effect, and it is real! Daez, I can tell you being in TX the “N” word still gets thrown around quite a bit. Not to say that either one of these boys used it, however, I pretty much can bet it all that they did not stay quiet, which in this case would have probably been the best thing to do. Again, I was’nt there, so I cannot say yea’ or nay. However, by the sound of the story, Mr. Beltran (a gay activist), PROBABLY didnt keep his mouth in check!

      Dec 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @Kev C: I am not sure if you are joking or not. Straight people routinely cruise gay neighborhoods especially on the weekend for those not living there.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 12:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      Once someone physically attacks someone else, a crime has been committed. If no one touched the other, there would have been no issue except emotion.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 12:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J.
      J.

      @ Daez: That’s because those in the list you provided (Robertson,Phelps) are more so part of the Religious community.Then do not stand up for ‘white’ values, they preach religious. And as we all know, we are quick to cal them out for their bigotry. Why should we give the black community a pass? Because we are afraid to be seen as un-PC? In DC, and in many areas where gays and blacks live alongside, blacks are the most vocal in their bigotry. And this goes beyond simple kids being kids, but adults also are part of the problem. They simply want all gays out of their neighborhoods.They don’t even beat around the bush. You don’t see swarms of gays walking around the streets looking for a black guy to beat up do you? Are gays holding community meetings complaining about the invasion of blacks?

      Dec 29, 2010 at 1:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon
      Jon

      @DR: See Samwise’s response above.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 2:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @ewe: Not entirely kidding, but how many are openly hostile and homophobic?

      Behaviorial theory: homophobic attacks are a kind of group bonding, release of social tension, dispelling of appearances. A bunch of young straight guys hanging together >> Sexual tensions arise naturally because of hormones and proximity >> Oh but we’re not gay, we’re just 5 gays hanging >> Ok, maybe we look sorta gayish >> What are we going to do about it? >> Beat up some gays to release tension >> See? we’re not gay, we beat up gays.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 3:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @Kev C: 5 guys .. not “5 gays”, lol slip.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 3:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SBC19
      SBC19

      Did the Klan meet get out early? Statistics prove that the vast majority of hate crimes against the LGBT community in America are perpetrated by…white men.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PatrickB
      PatrickB

      @J.: How is it fair to excuse White people from the misdeeds of Maggie and company on the grounds that Mags represents the “religious” community? No other race gets this pass.

      Glen Beck and Maggie are not religious leaders, either. Definitely right-wingnuts, but you have to ask yourself why whites don’t get identified primarily as white and get to choose to be “religious” or “right-wing” while blacks don’t.

      I don’t know if you’re white, but if you are, can you imagine telling Maggie, “As a fellow white person, I think you should not be homophobic because it shames our race.”? If not, then you’re applying a double standard.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 3:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • StrangerInParadize
      StrangerInParadize

      SBC19 : I’d like to see a link to those statistics. And if you’re correct then Queerty is the most dishonest site on earth since 4 out of 5 gaybashing reports here involve anyone BUT white men.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 3:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • StrangerInParadize
      StrangerInParadize

      And why are you all blaming religion for black homophobia when there’s non-religious homophobic gangsta rap?

      Dec 29, 2010 at 4:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J.
      J.

      @ Patrick B: Both Maggie and Beck certainly do get their inspirtiation from religious leaders and the Bible. They may not be religious leaders themslelves, but much of their audience is God fearing people. And just like Beck is an idol of the Teabaggers, we now rightly associate both him and the Tea Party as homophobic. Why not the same for blacks? Much of the black church is homophobic (and I might add borderline racist) and they have a hugh influence on black culture. How many times have you heard of a gansta rapper thanking God while receiving an award? How many times have youheard of the black church being the cornerstone of the black community? Yes, many whites are closely associated with the church (Republicans) also and we have no problem calling them out as homophobic. Are all Republicans homophobic? No. But are many homophobic, and the rest indifferent to gay rights? Probably so. Yes, I know not ALL blacks are homophobic. But like the Christians,Republicans, and now blacks, a few certain members of their communities have hijacked their platforms and are sending out a message that they are all homophobic, militant, and racist.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 6:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PatrickB
      PatrickB

      @J.: Why do white people get to be part of a homophobic or a homophile community? Why isn’t there a “white community” that all white people are responsible for? In comment 78, you can substitute “white” for “black”…

      Why not the same for whites? Much of the white church is homophobic (and I might add borderline racist) and they have a huge influence on white culture. How many times have you heard of a country star thanking God while receiving an award?

      Dec 29, 2010 at 6:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hephaestion
      hephaestion

      Someone in Austin needs to start a campaign to fight back… Arm people with mace & loud whistles. Start a Pink Panthers group to police areas that are risky for gays. Install security cameras outside all gay clubs, especially parking areas. Hold meetings with Austin police to discuss how gays should prepare & respond & protect themselves. And tell the police about places that need more policing.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 7:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      o. 63 · DR wrote, “@Jon: @B: Wow, talk about excuses. How pathetic. Fine, you wonder if there’s a weapon. Most cell phones have cameras, why didn’t anyone take video or pictures? ”

      Quite frankly, you’d look a bit more intelligent if you would refrain from grossly distorting what others said: I pointed out that who the assailant is makes a difference in how you react, specifically noting the chance that the guy might have a weapon on him. Are you really going to claim you should react in exactly the same way if an assailant is dressed like a drug dealer or “gang banger” versus some obviously drunk homeless guy?

      Dec 29, 2010 at 8:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      @Kev C: that’s depressing.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 8:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @ewe: That’s just one aspect. Social reinforcement aspect: if you see a queer, it’s ok to beat it up because everyone hates queers.

      I was over at MediaTakeout earlier (the most visited urban website in the world) and noticed a new post about a black “tranney”. Here’s a few of the comments:

      DC-Slim
      Eeeuuuww this n!gga need to be punched in the face about 50 to 100 times

      BornSweet @ DC-Slim
      Word son fo sho!!!

      hateyoself01
      Tell your g.ay ass bro to put a gun to his head and pull the trigger bitch!

      MDLFNGRBTCH
      FUK THE POLITICAL CORECTNESS.
      WHAT THE FUK ARE TRANNIES REALLY GOOD FOR? FAG/GOT ASS FREAKS. THEY SERVE NO GOD DAMN PURPOSE WHATSOEVER.

      Just a normal day at MTO.

      Dec 29, 2010 at 10:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      Has the bar installed video surveillance cameras yet, to record video of the path between their door and the nearby parking?

      Many businesses now have video recording systems, and many insurance companies require them. Video recordings reduce liability claims, especially for slip-and-fall incidents. The systems are so cheap now that the reduction in liability insurance premium can pay for it in less than a year.

      Dec 30, 2010 at 7:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @B:

      First off, enough with the profiling. It’s tiresome. You’d be surprised how many of these folks DON’T carry weapons.

      Anyway, that’s a side argument you’re using to ignore the real issue.

      To take a picture with your cell phone camera you don’t need to actually be up in anyone’s face. You can be twenty or thirty feet away and get good pictures and video, at least good enough to help the cops. The victim shouted the freaking license plate number. Write it down.

      The cowards watching couldn’t even do that much. Stop defending these cowards. You apologists disgust me to no end.

      Dec 30, 2010 at 9:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @Jon:

      I did and it’s just another excuse. Out of twenty men not one had the balls to even write down a license plate number? Bunch of cowards. See my response above, and if they weren’t brave or smart enough to do that, they don’t get a pass.

      Dec 30, 2010 at 9:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon
      Jon

      @DR: Well…the more power to you if you’re in that situation and you react differently than these bystanders did. Our “community” needs a hero, so feel free to let it be you. Keep us all updated so that we can send flowers to your hospital room.

      Dec 30, 2010 at 1:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @Jon:

      And with that mentality, you’re proving why these guys can do what they do and get away with it. If we can’t even get men to write down a license plate number or take a photo, I’m not impressed. Until we get our acts together as a group of people, we’ll always be trod upon like this.

      I’ve been listed as an eyewitness in several DV cases. I’m not afraid to do what I can, even if it’s just calling the cops. Sometimes that’s enough. I know I’d do at least that much. Which is more than can be said about twenty grown men on this particular night.

      Dec 30, 2010 at 9:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MistressTalia
      MistressTalia

      I’ve been the first responder at a number of car accidents. Often, I’m first because OTHER PEOPLE DIDN’T STOP.

      And often, other witnesses bugger off ASAP because they don’t want to “have” to give a statement, and potentially be called as a witness to a court hearing.

      IME, most *people* can’t be bothered to assist a victim because it might inconvenience them.

      It’s not about gay bashing, per se. Nor about the race of the attackers, which is irrelevant to taking a picture or getting the license as they’re leaving no matter how you claim fear of another race. Nor is it about the bystanders being gay, straight or freaking polka-dotted.

      Most people are just jerks.

      Jan 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Very true about most people just being jerks MistressTalia. The statistics are frightening – how many people leave their spouses when the other spouse gets gravely ill, child abuse numbers – a doctor friend of mine (a real physician with a medical license) and I discuss these things occasionally and he likes to say for all the window dressing, we’re only a couple steps up from the cavemen! As an example – here in Michigan several of the county medical societies were discussing how outlawing same sex marriage in the Constitution (which of course passed)several years ago would keep more children from getting health insurance. These well educated doctors sounded like a Klan rally. They didn’t want to legalize perversion, same sex is unnatural etc.! The focus should have been on doing everything we as a society can to make sure the most people possible have health insurance, but the Gay thing realy pushes the buttons…my point is if educated people can behave this way, nothing else should be a surprise.

      Jan 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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