Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Case of WTF and SMH: The murder of well-renowned black gay lecturer and writer Don Belton

I've been laying low for the last few days with enjoying the holiday and getting out and about, but I did notice the LGBT blogosphere's coverage of Indiana University lecturer and writer Don Belton's murder at the hands of an ex-marine and clearly closeted white male, Michael J. Griffin, Jr. in Monroe County, Indiana.  It's a bizarre case where Griffin swears he was sexually assaulted twice by Belton and came to his residence to demand an apology, but ended up stabbing him multiple times with a butcher knife and killing him.  HUH? 

OK, most rational people would have reported this assault to the proper authorities and then not go back to the private residence of the alleged offender.  That's as about as logical as a rape victim going to the home of their rapist asking for an apology, IT JUST DOESN'T ADD UP.  That's why I've come to the conclusion of this, Belton and Griffin had a sexual encounter twice where Griffin may have been intoxinated, but it was consensual.  However, Griffin realized that he has a girlfriend (who actually ratted him out to the authorities about the murder) and an image to uphold in the community as the quintessential veteran of war and hero in his predominately conservative and white community, but his encounters with Belton would have placed this into serious jeopardy so eliminate that threat ~ aka "gay panic" defense. 

Another perspective on this is the racial dynamic.  I realize that this case took place in Indiana, one of the most racially contentious states in the Union, so the jury is going to be majority white and likely socially conservative.  This doesn't bode well although overwhelmingly the evidence of this case shows that Belton was the victim whereas Griffin as the deranged, sexually frustrated offender.  Another thing is the fact that Belton was a highly-regarded black intellectual, but he chose to deal with an empty headed and in all practically thoughts a homely looking white guy with self-worth issues.  I'm wondering why didn't Mr. Belton try to interact with guys with higher standards and more mentally-balanced?  There are way more males of all ethnicities that were out (like he was) and had more going for themselves, but he basically put his life in risk for that!  I mean WOW, it distrubs me how so many black males with so much going for them that would just put themselves in such bad situations for wack ass "trade" or whatever you want to dub them instead of just getting out and dealing with people who are more comfortable with themselves.  The interracial dynamic is negligible IMHO, but if you are going to go interracial HAVE SOME STANDARDS. 

I'm not giving a pass to so of my fellow posters on Rod 2.0 and Pam's House Blend who have basically admonished and chastised their fellow posters for having a divergent opinion than themselves about this situation (or any story).  It's called an opinion, and everybody has one so get over it!  My opinion is that Mr. Belton could have reached higher in standards because a number of things could have been prevented if he had just done that.  Honestly, this case is practically no different than the situation where somebody has met somebody from an online hook-up site like Adam4Adam, Craigslist, Men4Now and it went horrible wrong.  It's sad, but it true and I will point that out.

This is just disturbing how this went down, but I'm not going to sit on the sidelines and not say what's on my mind about his.  You gotta have standards about any guy, black men, but if you are going to deal with a person of another ethnic background, you should sustain those standards and not lower them just because "oooo, it's... and he has a tight body".  SMDH

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