'Horizon' shines with hidden truth

Campus Times
March 8, 2002

photo by Jennifer Contreras

Tuesday afternoon, the Cabaret Theatre provided a forum for discussion as the Institute for Multicultural Research and Campus Diversity presented "Horizon Line", a play written by Peter Howard. The one-man play follows a teenage boy as he deals with issues of hate crime. Kevin Blake auditioned with the National Conference for Community and Justice for "Horizon Line" and has been doing the show for the past 13 months. Blake, who graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a bachelors degree in acting and directing, portrays nine different characters in "Horizon Line" and said, "I seek out work that can make a difference." He is seen here enacting one of the characters in the play.

by Melissa Lau
Staff Writer

One gifted actor. Nine different characters. One provocative subject.

"Horizon Line," one of a series of plays sponsored by the Institute for Multicultural Research and Campus Diversity, in collaboration with the Associated Students Federation (ASF) Forum, took place at the Cabaret Tuesday. Addressing the subject of hate crimes, "Horizon Line" is a simple name for a complex subject.

By dissecting the evils of hate crimes using the life of a 16-year-old boy as an example, the Los Angeles Regional Office of the National Conference for Community and Justice was able to present students with the roots and causes of such actions.

A brief presentation on hate crimes was given before the play by NCCJLA member, Lecia Brooks. Brooks incorporated audience members into her discussion by asking them to read the definitions of "hate crime" and of "hate incident" aloud.

Hate incidents are a freedom of opinion that are protected by the First Amendment; hate crimes are forms of harassment. She mentioned that hate crimes are not only done to people but can also be done to places, such as buildings for religious worship.

Recent hate crimes were also topics for discussion. Within the first two months after Sept. 11, 384 hate crimes occurred. Only 13 of these were prosecuted.

Brooks discussed "protected classes," or groups of people that are specifically targets of hate crimes. These include race, ancestry, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation and disability. "That's what makes hate crimes so tragic," Brooks said. "They are harassed because of who they are."