Jarvis Deberry at the New Orleans Times-Picayune asks readers, "Does the Black Community Care Less When Its Gay Members are Killed?" The article picks up my reporting at EBONY on the Marco McMillian, Robert Champion and James C. Anderson murders.
An Ebony story about McMillian's death accuses its predominantly Black readership of not caring enough about the deaths of Black gay people. To make its point, the publication cites the case of James C. Anderson, a Black man in Jackson, Miss., who was killed in June 2011 by white teenager Deryl Dedmon. The 19-year-old, who eventually pleaded guilty to capital murder, had reportedly told his friends, "Let's go f--- with some n-----s." He ran Anderson over in his Ford F-250, then reportedly bragged, "I ran that n----- over." The Ebony website said, "After the New York Times reported Anderson's sexuality, reporting and interest nosedived across Black media."
Rod McCollum, who writes about McMillian for Ebony, suggests in another story on the site that anti-gay bias has kept black people from getting properly outraged at the November 2011 hazing death of Robert Champion, a drum major at Florida A&M University. He writes, "Champion's case had become a cause célèbre among the Black e-telligentsia, Black gossip blogs and news portals. After Champion's parents announced that their late son was gay? Not so much."
This has become one of the most commented articles at the Times-Picayune. Unfortunately many of the comments are very homophobic. #BabySteps
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced that it is "monitoring" the McMillian case—but "has not indicated that it has opened its own investigation."