Report Card: F for bigotry and dishonesty
Media coverage of Lawrence King hate crime: F
On Feb. 12, openly gay eighth-grader Lawrence King was shot in the head as he worked on his English project in his junior high school’s computer lab.
The shooter was another student, 14-year-old Brandon McInerney, a classmate who King had asked days before to be his valentine.
King was rushed to the hospital but was declared brain dead the next day. He was kept alive to preserve his organs for donation, but on Feb. 14, a day when most were out celebrating love with the people who matter most in their lives, King was taken off life support. McInerney was charged as an adult with murder and a hate crime, the Ventura County Star reported.
The shooting evoked little to no media attention from major news outlets. A news search for King’s name mostly yields articles from gay specialty media outlets. A shooter walking into a school and killing for no reason is breaking news, but this shooter, with a clear motive, barely created a ripple.
What happened to King was tragic enough because he was so young, but what made it even more heartbreaking was that his death was a product of hate-something we have tried so hard to exterminate, but still persists today no matter how much we like to think it doesn’t.
Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres used her Feb. 29 show as a platform to get King’s story out to the masses.
"Somewhere along the line, a killer, Brandon, got the message that it’s so threatening and so awful and so horrific that Larry would want to be his valentine, that killing Larry seemed to be the right thing to do," DeGeneres said, holding back tears. "When the message out there is so horrible that to be gay you could get killed for it – we need to change the message."
Liar, liar: F
Margaret B. Jones, a pseudonym for Margaret Seltzer, author of "Love and Consequences," admitted that her memoir was fabricated, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
Jones, who wrote about her life as a biracial girl in Los Angeles growing up among gang members, admitted to lying about the book after her older sister Cyndi Hoffman told the publisher that the story was fake.
In the wake of past controversy over credible authorship in memoirs such as the notorious incident of James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, it comes as a surprise that Jones hasn’t learned that lying doesn’t pay.
Sooner or later, people would have found out she fudged the facts.