About Uncovered: Killed by Hate
On June 7th, 1998, James Byrd Jr., an African American, was murdered by three white supremacists in Jasper, Texas. He had been beaten, tied to the back of a car and dragged for three miles. Four months later, on October 6th, 1998, Matthew Shepard, an openly gay student at the University of Wyoming, was beaten, tortured, set on fire and hung from a fence and left to die near Laramie, Wyoming. Both James Byrd Jr. and Matthew Shepard succumbed to brutal injuries, but it was a far greater force that took their lives: hate. Nearly a decade after their murders, President Barack Obama signed into law the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. With one swift signature, America sent a message to the world: that we would not tolerate crimes committed against people based on their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or disability. Now, 10 years later, the real question is, has it worked?