Alarshim Chambers of Newark, NJ is about to be tried for the shooting of Victor Carmen White, a professional lingerie model and dancer whom he'd met only hours earlier. Two women who were in the apartment, though in a different room from, where White was shot on the evening of 12 September 2010. They said they heard something said about White's gender identity as a transgender woman, which Chambers supposedly discovered only after becoming intimate with her.
This shooting occurred just days after Tyler Clementi committed suicide. The prosecution tried to argue, in essence, Dharun Ravi (Clementi's roommate) committed a hate crime when he used his Webcam to record Clementi kissing another man and videostreamed the images.
So why was Clementi's death a worldwide headline, while White's was ignored until recently? Well, call me a cynic, but I think the fact that Clementi was a white Rutgers student from an upper-middle class family and community had something to do with the questions i've been asking. Plus, Clementi was a talented violinist who was working to parlay his talents into a career. That elicits more sympathy than the knowledge that someone is a stripper and underwear model.
Also, the fact that Ms. White was, and Mr. Chambers is, black would all but ensure that their case would be ignored. And the final coup de grace for their case is the knowledge that White is transgendered.
So, while Clementi's suicide deserved all of the attention it got, it oversadowed a crime committed by and against members of scorned minority groups. It could be argued that blacks have it worst of all the races, and that transgender people have it the worst of all. If some would say "You brought it on yourself" if I were to incur bias or harassment, I can only imagine what some would say about Ms. White.