Guest Ponderings by Ken Schmidt- June 10, 2024


What is Oppression? Why do we need increased police presence during Pride in the Park? Why does the Synagogue on Lake Hollingsworth need a police presence during some of their gatherings? Why does Beacon Hill Fellowship need a police presence during the Pride in Faith service? Why does the Black Lives Matter parade need a large police presence?

Why don’t other churches need a police presence and why do other gatherings at Munn Park and other parades not need an increased police presence?

One answer is fear. Oppressed groups like LBGTQ+, black people and Jewish people fear being harmed by those who hate them for being different. There are other groups that also live in fear, just not named here.


In Orlando, the Pulse nightclub, frequented by LBGTQ+ people, was attacked. 49 people were killed and 53 were injured. Since most of the patrons were LBGTQ+ themselves, people thought it was a relatively safe place for them. Until it wasn’t. The attack singled out an establishment known to have LBGTQ+ people.

In Wyoming, Mathew Shepard, a gay student, was beaten and tortured and tied to a split rail fence. Just because he was gay. He dies six days later.

In New York City after years of harassment LBGTQ+ people by the police at the Stonewall Inn, the patrons finally conducted violent demonstrations against the police. Again, the LBGTQ+ people frequented the Stonewall Inn because there were others like themselves, and therefore didn’t hate them for who they were.

Has there ever been an attack on any establishment known to harbor heterosexuals? No. Do any even exist? Do heterosexual people live in fear of being attacked by LBGTQ+ people? While I can’t read minds, I doubt it. Maybe that’s why there are no heterosexual establishments.

Why does hatred of LBGTQ+ people persist?


Lynching is defined as illegal killing of a black person by a group of three or more white people (Wikipedia.) Of course, the races could be reversed but that didn’t happen. Florida has the distinction of having the highest rate of lynchings of black people per capita 1882-1930 (79.8/100,000, Wikipedia.) Initially, lynching was used as a method of instilling fear of being lynched in slaves to keep them from trying to escape. The period noted above was the Jim Crow era after slavery purportedly ended. Thankfully, lynchings have now stopped. Or have they? According to the Washington Post Aug 8, 2021 article, since 2000 there have been eight lynchings of black men and teenagers according to court records and police reports. Hate lynchings are still happening. Have there been lynchings of white people? Yes, according to University of Missouri-Kansas City. The rate of lynchings of white people is 9% of the lynchings of black people, and these records do not show the race of the people doing the lunching. It could be whites lynching whites for horse theft. The last reported lynching of a black person was 1981. But the fear persists.

On June 7, 1998, in Texas, James Byrd Jr was tied up and dragged behind a pickup truck for three mines and died. Two of the three men, avowed white supremacists, were sentenced to death for the dragging. And in 2001, Texas passed a hate crimes bill. Later the US congress passed the Mathew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. Fear of what white supremacists will do to black people persists.

In 1932, the US Public Health Service (USPHS) along with the Tuskegee Institute began a study of “Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.” The study didn’t end until 1972. Is it any wonder why black people do not trust the government related to their health? No wonder there was a lower vaccination rate for COVID among the black population.

Redlining and born on the wrong side of the tracks. Where does this come from? A public works project is being built, where does it go? Right through black neighborhoods, cutting the neighborhood in half and displacing the people right in the path of the project.

Why does hatred of black people persist?


Since 1960, there have been 29 attacks on Jewish institutions (Wikipedia), far more than the total of all other countries combined. And there were 7 attacks in the US that were prevented by law enforcement with the perpetrators charged with conspiracy. Until I looked it up in Wikipedia, I had no idea that there were so many attacks carried out and attempted.

In addition to attacks, just in 2022, there were 3,697 anti-Semitic incidents including vandalism and assaults.

Many of these attacks are perpetrated by white supremacist groups. Although I don’t understand their rational, most Jewish people are white. Apparently they are not white supremacists, they are hate group(s) who hate anyone who are not exactly like them. “Jews will not replace us”. Or maybe “fill-in-the-blank will not replace us”. They must believe in the zero sum game where a gain in one group is a loss in the other group. But in this era of too many jobs and not enough people to fill them even with Jewish people trying to get jobs, no-one is taking anyone’s job away.

As far as I know, there are no anti-white hate groups.

Why does hatred of Jewish people persist?


All of these groups (and others not specifically noted here) need our help. They need allies to help them live their lives in peace.



Ken Schmidt