Hate Crimes

Now, the LGBT group Kapederasyon, a newly formed organization, has just introduced the term “hate crime.” I have not been to the US. The farthest I got to is Saranggani. I was listening to the radio yesterday and I shared the same sentiments with the Radio Anchor. He examined the word ‘hate crime.’ He said he has lived in the US for some years and was introduced to the term ‘hate crime’ there. He did not expect that he would hear the term here in the Philippines, as another imported idea / term. Hate crime is used in a very different way in the US. I was not able to follow his narration, but he warned that we have to be very careful when it comes to importing words, terms and ideas from the West. Terms like these do not originate from us. They have their own histories, violent mostly: white against black, Latinos against white, Germans against Jews / colored people and so on. Our consciousness is so US, even if most of us haven’t been there.

One Pakistani friend observed that our society is a very free society compared to theirs. He was not alone in saying that. My Burmese and Vietnamese friends shared the same observation. I then asked how about gays, are they open in your places? They said no. I conversed with them on different occasions, but they all say the same thing “Homosexuals in the Philippines are on TV, Radio and politics. They are businessmen, priests, teachers, directors, doctors, lawyers, dads and so on. They can cross dress in streets and malls. They can laugh out loud in restaurants and walk in groups.” Homosexuals in their countries cannot just do those things.

Some of my friends in high school, which was then all boys, are gays and they still are my friends till now. Although my barkada is an openly macho group and used to tease gays in high school, we grew up having them as friends and confidante. My point is, I don’t see general “hate crimes,’ against gays in the Philippines. We are a very tolerant people, if we really come to think of it. American history, for all we know, is more violent than ours.

That is why, I don’t see the logic. It was an American who, supposedly, killed Laude. Not a Filipino. Bring back the word “hate crime,” to where it originated.

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