CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – #EndHateinMyStateSC was the the Charleston Police Department’s message Wednesday night at a hate crime forum at the Charleston Museum.
In a room filled with so many diverse backgrounds, many came together in support of one thing; putting an end to hate crimes.
“Charleston is no place for hate,” said Charleston’s Mayor, John Tecklenburg.
HAPPENING NOW- @CharlestonPD hosts a Hate Crime Forum at the Charleston Museum. #chsnews They are pushing for #EndHateInMyStateSC @WCBD pic.twitter.com/3k57KwYRkI— Deanne Roberts (@DeanneWCBD) February 20, 2019
Hate is something that pierced the city of Charleston in 2015 after the Emanuel AME church shooting. That bruised the nation in the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, and that agitated local communities when a transgender woman was knocked unconcious outside of a downtown club.
“Hate is an intentional undermining of one’s exisistence,” Vanity Reid-Detriville, LGBTQI advocate and Political Science student at the College of Charleston, said.
Following the incident of the transgender woman being assaulted, Charleston Police held a town hall with members of the LGBTQ community. They also worked with city leaders to establish the state’s first hate crime city ordinance which will now punish someone for bias-motivated crimes in Charleston.
Joe Engel, a Holocaust Survivor and Jennifer Benjamin Pinckney, the wife of the late Senator Clemente Pinckney, she’s a survivor of the Mother Emanuel massacre. They shared their stories of how hate attemtped to disrupt their lives.
“Who knows as much about hate crimes as I do?” said Engel. “I was beaten everyday because of what I am.”
“I’ve become very cautious of people and my surroundings,” said Benjamin Pinckney.
The conversations continued as a panel six people wanting to put an end to hate crimes shared their stories also.
“My first time being called the “N” word to my face,” said Race and Social Justice Initiative Coordinator at the Avery Research Center.
” Iwas in college and I was drugged and raped on the roof of a fraternity house,” said Janie Lauve, Executive Director for People against Rape.
Moving forward, local organizations and Charleston police plan to continue organizing hate crime forums and give people a safe place to share their stories and look for solutions .