(RIP: Satendar Singh)
His name was Satendar Singh and attention much be brought to bear on the circumstances leading to his death, because no one has yet been apprehended or charged in his demise. Singh's death is receiving a modicum of mainstream press coverage in the Sacramento area, and I hope my post will generate some attention in the gay press and gay blogger community.
Click here to read mainstream stories about Singh's death and the hate crime perpetrated against him.
Dear Friends and Family,
Well, what the gay community has feared for some time has finally happened. After a couple years of fundamentalist and Slavic Christian virulent anti-gay protests at almost every Sacramento gay event in the region, and after years of relative safety in the Sacramento gay community, the homophobic hatred has turned deadly. Today the life support plug will be pulled on a young East Indian gay man killed in a gay bashing at Lake Natomas on Sunday by a group of Slavic Christians.
The Sacramento Bee reported that the man's friends told reporters he is not gay, but family members discussing the murder with Being Gay Today's Nathan Feldman, said they knew of Satendar Singh's sexual orientation, and that it had never interfered with their deep love for him. Singh was a recent immigrant to America, having won a lottery for a green card, earning him the nickname "The Lucky One" among his family and friends.
Apparently a group of Slavic Christian men picnicking with their families near Singh's friends at the lake on Sunday noticed that, unlike the rest of his group, Singh did not have a female date, and he danced with both women and men in his party. The Slavic men began hurling anti-gay and racist invectives. As things escalated, the Slavic men sent their families home and called for backup.
When a new group of Slavic men showed up, the East Indian party tried to leave, but were blocked by the Slavic men. One of the men punched Singh, who fell unconscious, hit his head, and began bleeding profusely. As the attackers went to their cars to get away, they hurled bottles at the members of Singh's party, one a pregnant young woman, to keep them from seeing their license plates.
Singh regained consciousness briefly, but lapsed into unconsciousness before being taken to Mercy San Juan hospital where tests indicated no brain activity. His family and friends numbered over 100 at the hospital. Singh's parents are in Fiji with no way to come to Sacramento, so the painful decision to unplug his life support fell on his aunt and uncle.
There will be a memorial service for Singh out at Lake Natomas on Saturday. The family is asking that people show up to express their support of the family and their opposition to anti-gay violence. As soon as I have details on the times and exact location, I will forward this information on. This is an opportunity for people of good will to show their outrage at this resurgence of Homophobia.
The Sacramento Sheriff’s department initially decided against investigating the murder as a hate crime, and expressed doubt that the murder was premeditated, despite the Slavic men having sent their families home and having called for back up.
Lesbian activist Marghe Covino, who has been warning the GLBT community for years about the fact that American fundamentalists have been stoking the fires of homophobia in the new immigrants from Russian and the Ukraine in order to use them as proxies against the gay community was at the hospital comforting Singh’s family. It was a task she had hoped to never again have to do in Sacramento.
Please feel free to forward this notice to any people of good will who might wish to support the family.
PS: As I was writing this a young Black man and an older white man came to my door to share the Good News about Jesus. Bitter irony.