Today North Carolina GOP Congresswoman Virginia Foxx tried to walk away from her claim yesterday that the circumstances surrounding the death Matthew Shepard were a “hoax”. Her office issued this statement:
It has come to my attention that some people have been led to believe that I think the terrible crimes that led to Matthew Shepard’s death in 1998 were a hoax. The term “hoax” was a poor choice of words used in the discussion of the hate crimes bill. Mr. Shepard’s death was nothing less than a tragedy, and those responsible for his death certainly deserved the punishment they received. I am especially sorry if his grieving family was offended by my statement.
The larger context of my remarks is important. I was referring to a 2004 ABCNews 20/20 report on Mr. Shepard’s death. ABC’s 20/20 report questioned the motivation of those responsible for Mr. Shepard’s death. Referencing this media account may have been a mistake, but it was a mistake based on what I believed were reliable accounts.
A poor choice of words? Are you kidding me? The only poor choice made here was the one made by the voters of the 5th District of North Carolina.
I urge you to do three things to hold Rep. Foxx accountable:
Call her office to complain about her outrageous remarks:
- Washington, DC: (202) 225-2071
- Clemmons, NC: (336) 778-0211
- Boone, NC: (828) 265-0240
Write a letter to the editor of the Winston-Salem Journal, which is the largest newspaper in Foxx’s district. Email your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Just follow these guidelines:
- Letters should be no more than 250 words.
- A phone number and complete mailing address must be included so the paper can verify that a letter is, in fact, from the stated author. Only the writer’s name and city will be published.
- You can also submit a letter using this form.
Contact your U.S. Senator to ask them to vote to pass the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Protection Act (S.909). Doing so will honor the life and memory of Matthew Shepard and will send a strong message to the Republican Party that we will not stand for their ignorance and hate any more.