Respect and Human Kindness. . .MISSING in Waterloo, Iowa!

Since coming back to Iowa I have rarely gotten on my soap box about anything.  However, a recent event in Waterloo, Iowa has me on my tippy toes screaming from my box today.  Let me break it down for you real quick here.

On Friday night Marcellus Andrews was on the front porch at a friend’s house.  While there a group of individuals brutally beat and kicked him in to unconsciousness.  Marcellus suffered injuries so severe that he was transported by helicopter to the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa.  After being declared brain dead, his family made the heart-wrenching decision to discontinue life support.  Marcellus passed away on Sunday afternoon.

As of today this murder has not been declared a hate crime by the police or the Blackhawk County Attorney’s Office.  While there are both State and Federal Anti-hate crime laws on the books, neither has been invoked in this case.  This fact really makes me wonder what is going on up there in Blackhawk County.  I mean certainly the fact that this young man was called a nigger and a faggot over and over again during the beating that cost him his life, rises to the level of a hate crime.

Most frustrating to me is that this is being turned into a gay and black issue.  Is it such a stretch for people to realize and understand that this is a matter of respect and basic human decency – neither of which were present Friday night when this senseless murder occurred.  Is it too much to ask to be safe on our porches?

As I mourn the loss of a young life full of so much potential, I ask each of you to look deep inside yourself and ask yourself if acts like this really need to occur.  I encourage you to reach out to the elected officials that represent you locally as well as at the state level and ask them to become involved in this matter.  Only with their assistance will laws be enforced allowing all of us to be safe on our front porches.  If you need contact information for any of your elected folks, please contact me at



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