Larry King – Eighth Grader…

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Lawrence King was a gay teen in Oxnard California. He did not have a safe home to go to. He lived in shelter for abused and troubled children. His short fifteen years were marred with abuse, taunts and bullying.

Lawrence was shot to death by a classmate on February 13.

As far as obituaries go, it is always sad when a person who hasn’t had much chance at life is inevitably defined by the manner of their death.

Anderson Cooper, wrote in his blog:

“Tonight… we are focusing on a story that hasn’t received the attention it deserves…According to many accounts, he had been bullied repeatedly, and some parents have even claimed students knew of threats to Lawrence’s life. At this point it doesn’t seem clear how much school officials knew of the bullying, but a full investigation needs to be done. If this had been an African-American student bullied by a teenage skinhead, would it have received more attention?

“Would school officials have taken it more seriously if it had been a Christian campus leader attacked by another student because of his/her religious beliefs? I don’t have the answers to those questions, but I do think they are worth asking.”

One mainstream media personality who decided not to remain silent was talk show host, Ellen Degeneres. In a moving prologue to her show, she said:

“I don’t want to be political, I’m not a political person, but this is personal to me. A boy has been killed and a number of lives have been ruined and somewhere along the line the killer, Brandon, got the message that it’s so threatening and so awful and so horrific that Larry would want to be his valentine that killing Larry would seem the right thing to do. And when the message out there is so horrible that to be gay that you can get killed for it, we need to change the message.”

Ironically, according to The Huffington Post’s Dipayan Gupta, the mainstream media really is uncomfortable with the discussing issues like this. He says that CNN edited out Cooper’s segment on the incident from his regular podcast.

Ellen is wrong about one thing though: this is political.

Part of the reason that the message won’t change anytime soon can be gleaned from this clip from a Bill Maher show, where Alec Baldwin and Christopher Hitchens face up to a Republican party policy maker.

The murder of Lawrence King has sparked yet another debate on Hate Crime.

But, make sure Lawrence is not forgotten.