Marco McMillian was "one of the good ones," according to his friends. And now, one of the first openly gay mayoral candidates in Mississippi history was found dead early Wednesday morning, and police say they suspect murder. At just 34, McMillian was running as a Democrat for the position of mayor in Clarksdale, Mississippi, which was his hometown.
Though investigators aren't calling this a hate crime, the details are both heartbreaking and highly suspicious. McMillian's car was found smashed, having been driven by someone else, and then his body was found in the woods.
It's sickeningly sad to see those who love him grieve for this young and vibrant personality who wanted so much to make a difference in his community. See below:
One has to wonder if his sexuality had something to do with his death. Obviously, there are any number of possibilities, but the one on most people's minds is that this was a hate crime.
There are other possibilities, of course. It could have been a robbery gone wrong or even some kind of personal squabble that has nothing to do with sexuality.
Regardless, it's horrific and tragic. The courage it would take to be an openly gay man running for office in a notoriously conservative state can't be overstated. This was a brave man who clearly would have done a lot with the position.
The mind immediately goes to the worst and that is that someone would have murdered him because of his sexuality. Even though it's not being investigated as a hate crime, sometimes that is missed. Sure, gay people get murdered like anyone else in ways that have nothing to do with their sexuality. But a "hate crime" is a special kind of cruelty.
To kill someone for the color of their skin or their sexuality IS worse than any other reason. It just is. We can't have people out there hating on others just because they exist. That has to end. But how does one prove a hate crime? How would we ever know the real reason McMillian is dead?
Was it a hate crime? Maybe. But it isn't being investigated as one. It seems too early to make that determination, but maybe the cops know something we don't.
Regardless, it's a horrific loss for the community and my heart is breaking for them all today.
Do you think there is more to this murder than what it seems?