Follow Up on Brett Vanasdlen
July 16th, 2009
During the attention given to the debate in Congress over the Matthew Sheppard Hate Crimes Bill, I was reminded of the story of Brett Vanasdlen, the young man in Champaign, Illinois, who was charged with a hate crime in 2008.
We reported the story, but we didn’t fully follow up. Here’s where we left it:
- Stephen Velasquez was walking with friends at 1:00 am. Another young man, Brett Vanasdlen, saw him and made a bigoted remark.
- According to Velasquez, he responded, “How ignorant was that?” and kept walking. According to Vanasdlen, Velasquez grabbed him and started screaming, “What did you say” in his face.
- In both stories, Vanasdlen threw Velasquez to the ground where he was knocked out, suffered head trauma, and was taken to the hospital.
- Vanasdlen was arrested and charged with a hate crime.
- Vanasdlen’s mother appealed to Anti-Semite Ted Pike and former KKK leader David Dukes for support and they ran her version of events on Dukes’ white supremacist website. Peter LaBarbera picked up the story from them (changing Pike to a “pro-family activist”) and sold it to conservative circles. The story spread as an example of how a conservative Christian “strapping, clean-cut, All-American looking young man” was victimized by a homosexual with brown skin through the use of hate crimes legislation.
White supremacists and anti-Semites throughout the country began including Vanasdlen as an example of the current indignities suffered by the “white race”. Anti-gay religious groups used it as an example of why gay people should not be protected by hate crimes.
Peter LaBarbera was probably most vocal about this story. And he was quite critical of the skepticism expressed by those of us who doubted Vanasdlen’s saintliness.
We\’ll see how this story plays out as Tim, ExGayWatch, BTB, Pam and the rest of the “queer” spin machine so eagerly paint a false picture of young Brett as a violent “gay basher” to further their misguided crusade.
Peter pledged to one and all that “AFTAH will be following this case closely.”
So today I turned to LaBarbera’s site to see whatever happened to Brett Vanasdlen and his campaign to clear his name. But I found nothing. No mention at all of the outcome.
So what happened? Did the courts clear him? Did witnesses come forward to declare that the “strapping, clean-cut, All-American looking young man” had actually been the victim and brown homosexual Velasquez was the “the real aggressor“?
On September 9, 2008 Brett Vanasdlen pled guilty to battery and the hate crime charge was dropped.
Defendant ordered to pay restitution in the amount to be determined at a later date.
Sentence: Fines and/or Cost/Penalties and Fees
Sentence: Court Supervision 24Mos Supervised Court Service
Sentence: Anti-Crime Assessment Fee
Sentence: Public Service 200Hrs Supervised Court Service
Sentence: Substance Abuse Treatment/Evaluation 60Days
Sentence: Partner Abuse Intervention Program 60Days
Sentence: Count(s) dismissed.
I guess it’s no wonder that LaBarbera kept silent about the resolution to this case. Martyrs are much less effective when they plead guilty.
LaBarbera Rants On Like… Well, LaBarbera
May 13th, 2008
Pete doesn’t rebuke his allies David Duke and Ted Pike for their racism and anti-Semitism. He doesn’t admit that he is fearful of the story that might come out in court if Vanasdlen is prosecuted. He doesn’t allow that “the homosexual”, the witnesses, and the police just might be telling the truth. He doesn’t acknowledge that his language contrasting Velasquez with the “strapping, clean-cut, All-American looking young man” lends itself to racism.
Ah, but if he did any of that, he wouldn’t be Peter LaBarbera.
No, instead Pete identifies me as “the Left”, accuses me of hate, and calls me an anti-Christian bigot like Barney Frank (I don’t know why he brings up Barney Frank, but I’m guessing it’s because he’s Jewish and we know what Pete’s allies think about those radical homosexual Jews).
Oh, and to prove that LaBarbera is not a racist he posts a picture of a Black ex-lesbian (yes, he capitalizes “black”). If it wasn’t so tragic it would be funny.
OK. Sure I question the theology of exclusion and condemnation. Yeah I point out when conservatives twist Scripture, logic, and truth to fit their anti-gay agenda.
But “the Left”?
Now that’s what I call irony.
So we have a challenge for LaBarbera: Hey, Pete, give us an example of how our writings here at Box Turtle Bulletin show that we hate Christians. Provide us an example of the anti-Christian bigotry that you think is so prevalent on this site.
WND Picks up on David Duke / Ted Pike / Peter LaBarbera’s Justification of Homophobic Violence
May 8th, 2008
World Net Daily has now joined the alliance of racist David Duke, anti-Semite Ted Pike, and homophobe Peter LaBarbera in defending a “strapping, clean-cut, All-American looking young man” who first verbally insulted and then reportedly physically assaulted a young gay man.
Amidst WND’s usual ranting and froth, there was an interesting paragraph in which Rona Lee VanAsdlen, the mother of the assailant, was quoted.
“This would never have even been an event if this was another heterosexual male and he had a conflict with, and that’s just unfair,” she said. “I am a conservative Christian, and my son is. All we are doing is asking for prayers and support from people that may be opposed to this sort of thing happening.
Mrs. VanAsdlen is correct; if this was another heterosexual male there never would have been an event. Because her precious son would not have initiated the situation by directing homophobic comments towards another heterosexual male. VanAsdlen, Duke, Pike, LaBarbera, and WND all portray the victim, Stephen Valasquez as “the real aggressor”, conveniently ignoring that Brett VanAsdlen started the confrontation in the first place.
I’m amazed at the blatant sense of entitlement that directs this story. There’s such indignation that VanAsdlen, a white Christian heterosexual baseball star, should be called to answer for an assault on an insignificant godless homosexual with brown skin.
And all of VanAsdlen’s supporters agree that hate crimes laws unfairly stop people like him from doing what a “typical [white Christian heterosexual] 18 or 19-year-old kid” just does naturally. You know, assault those unlike himself.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised at how anti-gays alligned so quickly with racists and anti-Semites on this common cause. Hate is hate. Scratch a homophobe, find a bigot.
Defending Homophobic Violence
May 7th, 2008
On April 12, University of Illinois student Steven Velasquez became the recipient of some hater’s violence. While there are two sides to every story, some facts are not in dispute:
Velasquez was walking with friends at 1:00 am. Another young man, Brett Vanasdlen, saw him and made a bigoted remark.
According to Velasquez, he responded, “How ignorant was that?” and kept walking. According to Vanasdlen, Velasquez grabbed him and started screaming, “What did you say” in his face.
In both stories, Vanasdlen threw Velasquez to the ground where he was knocked out, suffered head trauma, and was taken to the hospital. He was released the next day and is fine.
Vanasdlen was arrested and charged with a hate crime. He’s been released until his trial.
It is likely that this will be a very straightforward case. There were witnesses who can make their argument and a judge or jury will either convict or acquit Vanasdlen of assault.
But the story does not stop there.
David Duke, onetime Louisiana legislator and Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, has a website where like-minded individuals proclaim their beliefs. They rant about the corrupting influence of Jews, how civil rights laws lead to black men raping white women, how European countries need to keep their ethnic identity free from the dilution of immigration, and radical hispanics want to return the Southwest to Mexico. Rev. Ted Pike is a regular writer who specializes in anti-Semitic screeds (he loves Jews in the same way that LaBarbara love gays).
On Duke’s website, Rev. Ted Pike tells a version of the story provided by Vanasdlen’s mother. He claims that Vanasdlen is only being tried because “The police department of Champaign, Illinois is reported to be under pressure from higher authorities to increase its quota of hate crimes convictions.”
Pike encourages his readers to protest Vanasdlen’s arraignment before the facts are presented at trial. And it appears that one of his peers is taking up the cause.
Peter LaBarbera, an anti-gay activist better known for his extensive collection of gay porn and his video-taping of leather and other fetish events, is now meeting the challenge on Duke’s website. In case some of his readers are not also readers of Duke’s racist website, LaBarbera invites them to join the campaigners (LaBarbera downplays the racist and anti-Semitic connection, calling Pike a “pro-family advocate”).
TAKE ACTION: 1) Urge Champaign County, Illinois State’s Attorney Julia Rietz (phone: (217) 384-3733) to drop the government’s one-sided felony “hate crimes” prosecution against 18-year-old student-athlete Brett VanAsdlen — based on the inconsistent and likely exaggerated claims of Steven Velasquez, a homosexual University of Illinois (U of I) student who may have initiated physical contact with VanAsdlen. Already, Brett is being smeared as violent “gay-basher” by Velasquez and pro-homosexual activists in the media. Pray for Brett and his family.
Now it may be that the truth is different than what Velasquez has reported. In fact, a trial might find that he was the instigater and at fault. That’s what the jurisprudence system is set up to do.
But I do know that some – David Duke, Ted Pike, Peter LaBarbera, and those who share their views – have decided that Vanasdlen should not have to account for his actions that night. They believe that good Christian “strapping, clean-cut, All-American looking young man” should be able to send a gay kid with a name like Valasquez to the hospital without question.
I think that attitude is evil.