Thursday, May 7, 2009

Virginia Foxx sends 'apology' to Judy Shepard

(By Pam Spaulding - Pam's House Blend)

She didn't have the guts to apologize face-to-face, but the deluge of emails and phone calls to Rep. Virginia Foxx have now resulted in an apology to Judy Shepard -- but she is not releasing the note sent to Matthew Shepard's mother.
U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx has written a letter of apology to the mother of Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming man whose name is on a bill adding sexual orientation to federal hate-crimes legislation.

During recent debate on the bill, Foxx, R-5th, called attempts to label Shepard's 1998 murder a hate crime "a hoax." She said that he was killed during a robbery and not because he was gay.

Foxx's remarks caused an uproar, and she later issued a statement saying that her use of "hoax" was "a poor choice of words."

Neither Foxx nor anyone in her office would return repeated calls and e-mails from theWinston-Salem Journal for comment about her apology.

So she can slur the hate crime against the young man in public, but cannot offer a public apology? Class. Her filthy behavior on the floor of the House stained our great state -- she owes everyone an apology, particularly those who have been the victim of a hate crime and the families of those who lost a loved family member to one.

But was it an apology at all? Foxx did reveal this bit of business to a local station:

She told WXII that she sent a handwritten note to Judy Shepard, Shepard's mother, saying that "if I said anything that offended her, I certainly apologize for it and know that she's hurting, and I would never do anything to add to that."
Also revealed is that Foxx declined to say whether she now considers Shepard's death a hate crime. Right.

In an earlier interview with WXII (video here), Foxx said she only "misspoke" during her closing remarks. "I was speaking off the cuff and simply chose a poor word, and it happens all the time and unfortunately that gets blown out of proportion."   Can we call bullsh*t? Here's what she said on the House floor.

Rep. Foxx:  "The bill was named after a very unfortunate incident that happened, where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of robbery. It wasn't because he was gay. The bill was named for him, the hate crimes bill was named for him, but it's, it's really a hoax, that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills." [House Floor Speech, 4/29/09]
In the WXII-TV report, Foxx also claimed that 99% of the calls came from outside her district and that she received 10 death threats (the Capitol Police have no knowledge of any threats reported from her office).

One can only imagine that party hacks felt the criticism had reached the tipping point with Rep. Virginia Foxx (since her only public supporters are the hate fringe, like Peter LaBarbera). I mean come on -- PFLAG Winston-Salem was running ads in local papers in NC blasting her inhumanity and ignorance regarding the murder of Matthew Shepard. The Matthew Shepard Foundation has confirmed receipt of Foxx's missive, but did not comment publicly other to say that the organization is focused on getting the federal hate crimes law named after Matthew passed in the U.S. Senate.

Rep. Foxx doesn't get it; like most pols backed into a corner, she did the minimum to stop the carnage. We all know her views haven't changed one iota. She'd vote no on the legislation again, perhaps deciding to keep her bigoted trap shut (and even then, I doubt that).

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