'Horizon' shines with hidden truth
March 8, 2002
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.
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
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."