But, as the media rejoiced upon the passage of the bill through the House of Representatives, which is majority Democrat, it seems they forgot that every bill they pass must, consequentially, be ratified by Senate… a Republican majority, deeply conservative Senate.
Yet, the House of Representatives remain at the mercy of McConnell and the whole of the Republican Senate who aren’t interested in the betterment of America or the lives of their constituents, but instead, wielding their power like a sword of vengeance to assert their control and preserve their superiority while setting aside constitutional integrity to protect the President.
We will see Roe vs. Wade, which protected women’s right to agency over their own reproductive decisions instituted in 1973, be uniformly overturned by the Conservative Supreme Court. This will set women’s liberties and progress back forty years. Trump promised to do this during his campaign and, since his election win, has had the privilege of appointing 2 new hyper-conservative Supreme Court Judges, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, as well as over 100 judges in lower districts. The reason Alabama, Ohio, Tennessee and Georgia introduced these new bills now is not a mere coincidence. They’ve been biding their time for Senate and the Supreme court to align politically and thus take a shape that would indisputably reflect their narrow world view.
Overturning Roe vs. Wade is their test bed. They know if they can succeed with obliterating a 40 year old ruling, all the other Supreme Court Rulings throughout history that ensure social equality or protect minorities from discrimination is fair game.
They’re willing to re-litigate historic rulings to manifest a new America that solely reflects and serves those on Capitol Hill and their most radical loyalists. Wealthy, white, straight, cisgender men who are exhibiting a desire for control over the rest of society by weaponizing our own legal system against us… making certain the system intended to protect us no longer works for us.
When Senate shoots down the Equality act, LGBT Americans will be devastated, but knowledge is power. You must expect this; Don’t develop false hope. Expect it instead so that you may steel yourself from the tragic impact of seeing our existence, once again, be debated by those who will never allow us to be equal.
“Never bite the hand that feeds you” is the old adage and it certainly applies here. Two years ago, a 17 year old James Charles reached out on social media to Youtube Star and entrepreneur Tati Westbrook. According to Westbrook, Charles idolized her and implied his desire to follow in her footsteps. She took the young man under her wing, counseled him, negotiated contracts for him, optimized his youtube channel to maximize his profits and introduced him to other influencers to give him more clout. Beyond that, Westbrook says she took on a maternal role as well, seeing Charles as a son. She alleges their relationship was not transactional and she expected nothing in return from the budding make-up guru.
She explains in her video that she watched with pride as James Charles career soared. His Youtube subscriptions reached over 16 million followers and he was inking million dollar deals with sponsors around the world. He commanded large sums of money for personal appearances and endorsements and established his own brand of make-up that he marketed to his throngs of fans. By 19 years old, he was a multi-millionaire and bonafide celebrity. Most recently, he attended the elite Met Gala in New York City, allegedly as a representative for YouTube. This is the first year the Met Gala included popular influencers on their list of invitees.
James Charles was on top of the world, but soon it would all come crumbling down when he decided to betray Westbrook, the very woman who had coached him to his status, and aligned himself with her competitor. It was then that Westbrook published a video that gave disturbing in-depth details on her friendship with James Charles, characterizing him as an opportunist who used her and her family as a wrung on the ladder of success- but even worse- as a sexual predator who routinely targeted straight identifying men and sexually harassed them both in public and in private. When confronted about his behavior, Charles told Westbrook “I can do this because I’m a celebrity!”
In the aftermath of Westbrook’s lengthy tell-all, James Charles subscribers- which he affectionately dubbed “Sisters” began unsubscribing in record numbers. As of this writing, he holds the number one spot on Social Blade for number of subscribers lost in 24 hours.
James you're such a disgusting person🤮🖕🏼@GlamLifeGuru you have given the strength to all those men who were victims of James Charles to speak up, you are a great person with a wonderful heart that deserves nothing but the best❤️#jamescharlesiscancelled #tatiwestbrook
when i met james charles 2 years ago in a hotel room at playlist live, he was not only rude as fuck, but he was visibly trying to get one of his intoxicated straight friends to cuddle with him to the point where his friend had to say "james, fucking stop."
How did James Charles respond? In private, threatening lawsuits against at least one individual accuser, and claiming that in the referenced incident, his victim did not resist despite insisting he was straight, thus Charles perceived the Man’s not struggling or screaming as “Consent.” Charles explained he “Got a vibe he was bi-curious,” and thus pursued a sexual encounter anyway.
This is the very pattern of behavior that Tatianna Westbrook outlined in her video and attempted to discourage claiming she found his treatment of straight men inappropriate.
tati westbrook just grabbed the sexual predator and manipulator james charles by the neck and DRAGGED him and his career straight to the cemetery. we stan https://t.co/u6EvzlAiBH
In the past, in tweets that obviously didn’t age well, James Charles openly bragged about his relentless pursuit of straight men which led members of his high school to start calling him out as well, alleging he would pretend to be a female to solicit explicit photos of male students.
Apparently james charles has catfished boys pretending to be a girl when he was in high school so he could get dick pics and recently manipulated and pressured a straight boy into doing things he didn't wanna do.. unfollow/unsubscribe to this kid if you still are following him.
Unusually, Tati Westbrook’s video, which had been trending at #1 on Youtube’s page, suddenly vanished from the trending list as allegations against Charles escalated. While Youtube has not indicated why they would remove Westbrook’s video from circulation, some have speculated it is likely because, just last month, YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki, met with James Charles to discuss potential partnerships.
James Charles, at 19, has done gay men- who are already a huge target by Red Hat wearing Trump Supporters- a dangerous disservice. His behavior reflects poorly on the entire LGBT community, and in the hostile climate we are thriving in as a disenfranchised minority, the last thing we needed was a gay men preying upon straight men. You can be certain that conservatives will leverage this and attempt to use it to their advantage.
Despite all of this, Charles still has his supporters, and as of this writing, his partnerships with companies including Cover Girl, Sugar Bear Hair Vitamins and his own line of eyeshadow pallets by Morphe.
She’s right. In fact, Nancy Pelosi has been involved in a world dominated by outrageous male ego long enough to know the tricks they keep up their cuff linked sleeves.
In a time that was even close to normal, where co-equal branches of government were interested in service to the people rather than themselves, impeachment would be a reasonable consequence. Sadly, that’s not where we are. Not even remotely. Were so far adrift that the island of normalcy is no longer in sight when it comes to the vast expanse and deeply chaotic seas of politics.
Donald Trump has built his wall. Indeed, an impenetrable one around himself that is composed of controversial Supreme Court Judges he appointed, Republican Senators that he campaigned aggressively to seat so they might obstruct any pursuit of accountability. His radicalized base would riot, further widening the chasm that is dividing America.
The American Senate itself is populated by majority republicans; People like Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows and Lindsey Graham who love to make a spectacle of themselves any time they believe the president might be watching as if they’re auditioning for his favor. They have set aside the concepts of rule and law and supplemented this with a morally bankrupt urgency to preserve Trump’s power.
Impeachment would never be approved by Republican Senators. It could be challenged all the way to the Supreme Court if Democrats chose to take that route, but the robed figures behind the Nations highest bench are now, like our Senate, majority conservatives, some who owe Trump for the privilege of being there. They aren’t about to turn on him now.
The Attorney General, William Barr, wrote a 19 page letter to Donald Trump prior to his appointment, assuring the President that he could not and would not be indicted for criminal activity if he were given the job. Of course, he got the job. Now he acts as the President’s personal attorney, not one who enforces the constitutional law. Just another brick in the wall.
Nancy Pelosi knows this. She maintains a keen awareness that Donald Trump has masterfully manipulated and populated the most powerful branches of law, order and oversight. He has methodically placed so many obstacles between himself and accountability that he is now virtually untouchable. He flaunts it a cavalier attitude knowing that he is beyond reproach. They’ll block subpoenas, assert executive privilege, refuse to allow access to things like his tax returns or medical records. The Republican party, now the party of Trump acolytes, hold the most power in Washington and they’re flexing every muscle they have to demonstrate their willful treading upon the constitution and the rule of law, all for Trump. They are complicit in burying any evidence that might implicate Donald Trump in a crime. They act not in service to the American people, but in subservience to a dictator.
Nancy pelosi understands that Trump’s greatest weapon, however, is his stronghold on a cult-like, red hat wearing sect of Americans who are responsible for an unprecedented spike in hate crimes and extremism. Trump has postured himself as a God-like figure, a savior to the straight, white, cisgender Americans who resent having ever been asked to play on an even field with those they deem as possessing lesser human value… people of color, LGBT people, non-christians.
For Donald, the movement to impeach would be a gift. It would ultimately solidify the beliefs of his radicalized base- Those who perceive him as a shepherd to their flock would view an effort to impeach him similarly to a modern day crucifixion. After all, he has spent 3 years manipulating them into believing he is a victim; A victim of democrats, a victim of the fake news, a victim of false allegation of sexual misconduct, a victim of a bunch of sore losers.
Let us not forgot that Donald Trump lost the popular vote by a mere 2.1%. That means of the 137.5 million Americans that voted in 2016, half remain under Trump’s toxic influence of lies, misinformation and gas lighting. Most shockingly, 43% of eligible voters didn’t care enough to vote at all. Despite all the arm-chair outrage expressed on twitter by the general public, it’s the conservatives taking the hate to the ballot box.
While Democrats can claim victory in the 2018 midterms, it was by the skin of their teeth. For days, many elections remained to close to call. This only amplified the division in America and the eagerness many have to turn a blind eye to Trump’s leadership as long as it means creating an America in their own image. How can we possibly forget the fact that Trump campaigned for a known pedophile, Roy Moore, who almost won his bid for senate and certainly would have if not for the mobilization of black female voters who made up the small difference and allowed Moore’s opponent, Doug Jones, to win the seat instead. You see, Trump would have rather have had a pedophile in senate than a democrat if it meant tipping the scales of justice more in his favor.
Trump has his wall. Nancy Pelosi seems to be one of the few democrats that acknowledge how rugged and unnatural this new terrain is. This isn’t merely political sparring, this is a potential civil war brewing. Trump would love for nothing more than to bellow from behind his phone: “Look what they’re doing to us!” He uses that often. “Us.” Implying his base is under some fictitious siege so they feel threatened themselves. “Us” is a vernacular he uses to incite panic and make every single one of his loyalists perceive it as a personal attack that requires their retaliation. Trump uses them as guard dogs and they haven’t disappointed him.
Again, he uses their prejudices, fears and bias to his advantage. We who have remained outside the smokescreen of Trumpism understand that this President doesn’t do anything for his followers. He only care about weaponizing them to do his bidding. It’s a political Waco, Texas in the rust belt and he is their divine leader.
Nancy Pelosi has tried to substitute the justified anger of the freshmen class in the House of Representatives with pro-activity instead. Still, she has been ridiculed, mocked and degraded by her own party who think they can parlay their win by running in front a freight train to stop it from going further. It just doesn’t work that way, not in this new world of tribal politics where the wellbeing of America has been reprioritized to fall into formation with the Trump agenda instead. Democrats, in terms of organization, can’t even seem to agree on or approve of any candidates on their side stepping up to save them in 2020. They’ve effectively knee-capped every one of the democratic potentials for one reason or another, cutting off their nose to spite their face thus ensuring Trump a second term.
We have impeached Presidents for less, of course. However, we’ve never seen such a terrifying stronghold that a President maintains and wields against his opposition- all with the approval of his colleagues in Senate. Let’s be factual, even in a universe where facts are “Alternative fact” and “The truth is not the truth.” We cannot impeach Trump. Once proposed, it would not pass senate. It would not get past the Attorney General. It would be rejected by the Supreme Court. We have a government coup. We’re in unfamiliar, uncertain territory and Nancy Pelosi is attempting to navigate carefully through it while maintaining what remains of the integrity of the governing body of the United States, our democracy and, more importantly, the safety of Americans in jeopardy who are currently at the mercy of Trump and his Red Hats.
Trans people have died from illnesses that could have been prevented or treated because of their inherent fear of seeking help from a medical professional. We fear judgement, persecution, even humiliation as we place ourselves at the mercy of a medical caregiver who may have an immediate bias the second they walk through the door. We experience this in all areas of social integration- whether it’s at school, our place of work, a local bar, institutions of worship or trying on clothes in a department store, we as trans+ people have been forced to be hyper vigilant in order to self preserve. One might even say we’ve had to develop a sixth sense. An asset to our survival can be our ability to sense someone else’s unspoken discomfort or tempered disgust provoked by our mere presence in their company. We can read a person or situation better than the Long Island Medium. Our culture has demonstrated to my community over and over that the privileges straight, white, cigender people take for granted are not intended for us- the “othered.”
Many LGBT folks and people of color have stood before a judge with that bias; Many of us have had a teacher with that bias, or worked beneath a supervisor with that bias, or been pulled over by a cop with that bias. Far to many of us have been born into a family with that bias. Whether it is motivated by religion, the passing down of toxic systems of belief or consuming the opinions of others and accepting it has gospel, it has resulted in our isolation and the deterioration of our quality of life, our ability to thrive and be productive in a society that champions our rejection and dehumanizing. We’ve seen people like us killed while murderers walks free. We’ve seen people laugh and cheer and we’re mocked and degraded. While we are allowed our pride week, we still have to watch ignorance on parade ever single day of our lives.
My therapist once asked me if my emotional struggles were the result of coming to terms with my gender identity.
“No.” I said matter-of-factly. “The erosion of my mental health is the result of how I have been treated by those who refuse to allow me to exist unchallenged.”
Those people responsible have never been held accountable for the damage they incur on LGBT+ people. They aren’t asked to be held responsible for their behavior wherein their duties to us as professionals are impeded by their bigotry. No one has bothered asking why.
That’s how we got here.
That is why we have an administration that advocates for the inevitable genocide of my community. It may not be gas chambers this time, but instead by leveraging the legal system, the education system, the medical institution to allow those in power to drive us into darkness and embolden the hatred expressed by those who wield it. My community experiences a disproportionate number of murders and suicide. Prisons are populated, in some stated, by 70% black men who will never be allowed to reintegrate into society even after released due to the stigma. They can’t get a job. They can’t get a loan. They don’t qualify for benefits to get back on their feet. They can’t even vote. The system relies on their return to prison, not their recovery, redemption or success.
This is deliberate.
Now that medical caregivers can refuse us basic healthcare treatment citing their religion or moral conscience, more transgender people will die. This is a deterrent for us; Something else to advertise with gleeful authority that we are not human. It comes on the heels of the Trump administrations 3 year war on minorities- Trans people, people of color, immigrants, muslims, people of non-christian faith as geriatric Republicans with antiquated world views attempt to reshape American into their image. White, wealthy, straight, christian. No one else matters. The rest of us our disposable.
Trans people are just the first to find ourselves in their direct fire, eve though people of color in large communities have had their votes tossed and even been arrested for trying to vote in a democratic election. None of those responsible were asked why. But it is transgender Americans, some who served in the military before the trans ban, some who just need a flu shot, that are walking around with a bullseye on our backs. I know we’re not alone; We’e not the only community they’re severing the rights from; Whose existence they’re erasing. We’re just the smallest, easiest community to start with. We’re the experiment. When Trump and his appointed cronies see how far they can get while the est f the world says silent or, at best, indifferent to our politicized destruction, they’re laying the groundwork for which community they’ll take down next. Black and brown folks and gay rights.
Now, can we be afraid? Can we angry without being ridiculed or accused of suffering from “Trump derangement Syndrome?” Can we not be accused of lacking a sense of humor as people make jokes at our expense as if that’s hat we’re here for- your entertainment as you watch us being stoned in the town square?
Upside down world, backward morals. Everything is wrong with this. There is not one rational or logical explanation for the onslaught of domestic attacks launched against us by a government standing on “We, the People.” conservatives have distorted that in to “We, the People Only Like Us.”
The consequences to this are grave. People will suffer. Good people- not the tiki torch carrying white nationalists chanting “Jews Will Not replace Us” that the President adores, but we Americans who just want to live our lives and contribute. We have no one advocating for us in government now. We have no high-powered ally punching back at Trump and his gang of thugs in our name. We have to sit back and accept that this is what out live will be like.
This is sadly the hill many of those who came before us died on. Pioneers of the LGBT+ movement and Black leaders formative to civil rights like Martin Luther King didn’t die so this could be our future. They wanted for us what had been denied them. They fought, they sacrificed so we might not have to.
And all it took was Donald Trump to lure all that rage and white, heterosexual, cisgender fear of sharing space out the shadows of shame and hand them the power to influence our lives our safety in an increasingly violent society and his notorious abusing of government henchmen to disrupt the promise of a hopeful future.
Now, here’s what needs to happen: Medical caregivers with these prejudices should be required to be transparent and disclose this information visibly in their office and website. “This office does not provide care for Gay/Transgender/Jewish/ Muslim Patients.” At minimum, we targeted Americans should be equipped with the information necessary to maintain some dignity and ensure our safety rather than risk becoming the victim of government authorized abuse or negligence resulting from retaliatory behavior from a radical with a degree. We deserve to know where we are safe, and in terms of our tedious task of seeking healthcare, where we are welcome. Require these “care”givers to out themselves instead of letting them potentially hurt innocent people with no consequence.
This is a sad day for transgender Americans… but we are the canary in the mine. We have stopped singing. The climate is now deadly, and if you’re not one of them, you won’t be handed a mask either.
From the the moment I woke up in the world of politics, I was designed to be a democrat by my very nature. My very existence represented everything Republicans loathed. I’m a transgender person that conservatives on Capitol Hill have characterized as a potential predator. My gay friends had the acknowledgement of their relationships as marriage compared to practitioners of bestiality. We, an innocent demographic of society have endured a barrage of attacks from Republicans which, as a developing person, was one of the first legitimized institution to make sure I knew I was wrong. I was sick. I should e exempt from civil rights, denied healthcare, housing and eve the right to have a family with a partner. It was evident to me that Republicans serving in positions of power had one goal — to create a nation in their image. The rest of us, people of color, LGBT folks, those who don’t subscribe to the faith of Christianity… we have no place. That’s when I opened my eyes and realized that I had no choice but to use my words to push back against the venom and deadly fearmongering and propaganda being peddled by White men in expensive suits speaking from a Senate podium.
I’m not the American they wanted to represent.
Maybe you aren’t either.
4 years of Trump has taken an immense toll of so many of us. Each sun rises with a new crisis wherein we find ourselves- we who are othered- as sitting in the cross-hairs of people with extraordinary power to influence our lives, or safety and our ability to thrive in society without an inordinate amount of resistance. It has been demonstrated repeatedly that Republicans want to make it harder…
Trump may not be responsible for molding this agenda, but he and his administration have amplified it. In fact, they’ve emboldened hatred to such an extreme that our cultural division has grown more hostile and dangerous for minorities because every wrung of the political ladder has been corrupted by a theater entirely cast by Donald Trump and his cult-like followers.
So, why would I, a disabled, transgender person of Arabic descent who lives in a state of perpetual fear from the opposition walk away from a party that was supposed to be my allies? Why would I step away from a collective that I once eagerly sang in chorus with?
Because as much as Donald Trump completely distorted the Republican party beyond recognition, robbed it of any shred of integrity or accountability, the other end of the spectrum found themselves growing equally radical. I’ll concede that we’ve all been forever altered by the emotional and psychological trauma over what we’ve witnessed during Trumps tenure in the Oval Office. From bombs sent to journalist and Democratic leaders to black families having the police called on them for spending family time in parks or selling lemonade on a hot day, to immigrant babies in cages, to white nationalists marching as they proudly chanted “Jews will not replace us” before being called “Fine people” by the Commander in Chief. How does one maintain some semblance of normalcy, much less sanity? How do we organize to resist and ultimately refuse this macabre twisting of reality instead of fall victim to it and become the very monster we’re fighting?
Those were question I asked myself. During the past few months, a surprising number of Democrats stepped forward to challenge Donald Trump in the 2020 election and provide some salve for our ever-deepening wounds as a nation.
Instead of breathing a sigh of relief and listening, the liberal extremists segregated immediately into primitive tribes and each found something wrong with every candidate that came forward.
These are tweets and facebook statuses of absolute condemnation filled my timeline on the event of every announcement of candidacy. Bizarrely, they all came from liberal social justice warriors who are impossible to satisfy and thus are willing to hand Trump another presidency. They were all self-described Democrats. Ideologues who have decided upon an unattainable standard of expectation despite the bar being so low that a piss ant couldn’t limbo beneath it. Still, there’s something wrong with everyone willing to save them from four more years of Trump terrorism.
Once again, Bernie has tapped into an enthusiastic base who see him as gentle, thoughtful, experienced candidate who is, perhaps most importantly, likable. They’ve thrown their weight behind him and in doing so have openly attacked other candidates with shocking ferocity. I didn’t believe in the term “Bernie Bros” when it was used in 2016. I believed it was a caustic slur. Today, it is clear they exist.
Then there are the gay men, a specific brand of gay men, to be clear, who are straight acting and enthralled by the idea of having our first openly gay president. It sounds great- full disclosure: It’s something I’d love to see. But Mayor Pete has developed a base as loyal as Sanders who refuse to see beyond their own relatable candidate.
Some people of color, quite understandably, have aligned themselves firmly behind Corey Booker more than they have Kamala Harris. They see him as the next Obama (If only!) and they have created this narrative of him that isn’t accurate, but idealist. They do not see an alternative.
Democrats have splintered off into a dozen different directions. There is no organization, no communication between the factions; It’s been reduced to in-fighting, insults and damning accusations as the different teams rally behind their fighter and sling mud at each other.
We don’t need a crystal ball to see that the results of the primary will leave the bulk of loyalists behind the 21 losing candidates outraged that their horse didn’t finish first in the Kentucky Derby of politics. Many have, disturbingly, confessed that they won’t support anyone else.
Since the first candidate stepped forward, I have say agog at the immediate division that formed with the democratic party based primarily on identity politics. While it’s a historic year election year, being the most diverse cast of representatives from every sector of society, I know that the ego of the democratic voter will, inevitably, split communities into small subsets white Trump followers, united beneath their bigotry and red-hat wearing symbolism, will turn up at the polls in record numbers. These are people who will not tolerate another black president, a woman president, a gay president or even a diminutive, white haired old man. In fact, some women voters are determined not to have a male president at all, and gender alone has committed them to candidate already based on that fact.
So, while the democrats- the proverbial snake eating it’s own tail — take aim at each other, Trump is thumping across the country hitting very backwoods township and village to rally his backwoods voters who are chanting his name and willing to dismiss his estimated 9,000 lies, his alleged obstruction of justice and even christians re filling seats at his stadium speeches. They don’t care that they can’t see his tax returns but can, indeed, see his wifes nude photos. They don’t care he is an adulterer. They don’t care he is antithetical to everything their institutionalized religion represents. They’ve allied with even their most heinous enemies to ensure their Divine leader stays in power. They’re even having him autograph their bibles. No. Really.
I’ve seen enough at this point to know that I don’t fit into the democratic party anymore. I’m not interested in voting for someone who simply looks like me, share an identity encompassed beneath my LGBT umbrella, or who has shared a similar life experience. I don’t want a president created in my image, and I don’t want one who thinks I need to reshape my identity to fit their standard of acceptability. I want a leader who will give the office of the most powerful seat in the world the dignity it deserves. I want someone who represents the interests of all Americans and recognizes the trials and tribulations of those of us who are treading water, surviving instead of living, and is more concerned with the health and wellbeing of, for example, the residents of Flint, Michigan who still have no clean drinking water and are suffering irreparable damage to their health. I want someone who doesn’t sit on a loft perch and build a wall around him with appointed flagellants that protect him from accountability but a President who wants to protect us and improve our quality of life.
I used to think that every American who identified as a Democrat shared that sentiment, but I was wrong. It has now become a blood sport. It’s become hyper-emotional and rife with protest voting… even while our current President and his colleagues have manipulated the system so, if you come from a poor community or one that is populated with people predominantly of color, your vote won’t count a all.
Democrats are distracted. Many have chased Trump into the rabbit hole of his crazy, upside-down world where extremism is normal, where lies are alt-facts, where white nationalists are fine people, and the results have been, much to his delight, we’ve turned on each other and have lost our way.
To maintain my own sanity, I had to take a step back and watch the very same people I was once in lock-step with. I think the path they’re going down is detrimental to us as a people- not just some of us, all of us.
And if Trump wins, it will be a deserved win. He won’t need Russia this time. Democrats are sabotaging each other.
Meanwhile, because this specific hearing was one of such public importance, the hearing was live streamed via Facebook and Youtube so those who could not be present might listen to our Nations leaders finally address the plague of bigotry that is impacting so many lives in America.
However, all of those live streams had their accompanying comments quickly disabled mid-hearing as Owens rambled on about Hate not really being an issue of relevance.
Why were all live broadcasts ended prematurely? Hate.
Just as Owens is sitting there in a room denying its existence, all live streams broadcasting the hearing were swarmed by white nationalists proclaiming “White Power” and “Jews Will Not Replace Us” and “Ni**ers Go Home.”
The live chats that accompanied the streams were full of people targeting not only Americans of color, the LGBTQ community, Muslims and Jews, but also Democrats conducting the hearing along with Democratic Presidential Candidates like Pete Buttigeig, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Corey Booker. The hatred being spewed had made the broadcasts so septic that both Facebook and Youtube decided to cease the broadcasts and close the chat sessions.
I was one of the people watching.
As a transgender person, a committee hearing that finally address the daily firestorm of hate that all minorities are subjected to in America was of grave importance to me. Imagine me expression, if you will, as I’m listening to Candace Owens testify to the committee that White Nationalism is simply a “Democratic Strategy for 2020,” and thumbing her nose at it’s very existence… all this as I’m watching the chats alongside the broadcast filled with homophobic, racial and antisemitic slurs by white folks- many of them aimed squarely at Owens as she spoke. “No on wants to hear what a c**n has to say, go pick cotton!” stood out to me as Owens spoke. I left Youtube and went to Facebook hoping for a reprieve from the violent language, but it was tragically worse. Youtube was quick to address the issue via twitter:
Hate speech has no place on YouTube. We’ve invested heavily in teams and technology dedicated to removing hateful comments / videos. Due to the presence of hateful comments, we disabled comments on the livestream of today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing.
Perhaps the most disheartening of all of this remains the fact that Owens, herself, is a woman of color… she exists at an intersection of targeted prejudice, oppression and radical attacks just because of who she is and what she looks like- yet still, she has found her platform being a defender of those who would subjugate her. Congressman Ted Lieu brought up Owens ominous history of making remarks defending Nationalism.
@TedLieu just played Candace Owens' comments on Hitler and nationalism during the hearing on white nationalism. She looks less than pleased. https://t.co/AwOLiGhQkK
If ever the House Committee needed evidence of the reality that hate doesn’t just exist, but is thriving and growing at an alarming rate, the could have dismissed Owens from the hearing and just watched the comments.
When newly elected Pennsylvania State House Member Movita Johnson-Harrell arrived on the floor to be sworn in as the states first Muslim Representative, she had her children by her side and fifty-five family members and guests in the seats to support her confirmation.
That’s when Rep. Stephanie Borowicz took to the podium, opened her arms and began a jaw-dropping religious rant that she called a “Prayer.” Borowicz prayed for forgiveness for a country that has “Lost it’s way,” cited Biblical scripture that condemned non-believers as “wicked” and demanded they fall on their knees before her Lord.
If we had been in Church, such a sermon would be fine… expected even. But not on the floor of the State House, and moreover, completely inappropriate and downright malicious given Movita Johnson-Harrell is the one she is preaching to. Make no mistake, this swearing in ceremony became anything but what it was intended to be. Borowicz distorted the event into a public shaming of a colleague who didn’t share her religious belief. She took it upon herself to weaponize her religion as a protest in her most official capacity and even ask for forgiveness from the Lord, presumably for making way for a Muslim person. It got awkward, painfully. You could see the discomfort that manifested on the faces of onlookers as Borowicz hammered on the Name of God over 20 times in under 2 minutes.
Now put yourself in the shoes of Movita Harrell-Johnson as this heavily conservative religious zealot is shouting the name “Jesus” and “God” in your face, in front of your family, friends and constituents who elected you.
Now, for a moment imagine if Borowicz were not merely a member of the State House, but instead, a Judge holding authority over a Muslim woman who is challenging a traffic ticket. One can predict the outcome. There are, in fact, thousands of Officers of the Law and Judges holding authority of every civilian who stands before them who may not break out into radical prayer, but certainly share the same sentiments as Borowicz. It is not what they say, it is the bias and prejudice that makes its presence known in how they rule.
Whether it is racial discrimination- as we know, our prisons and jails are disproportionately populated with black and brown men and women as well a LGBT people- or religious persecution, gender discrimination or old-fashioned bigotry, straight, white, cisgender people are rarely met with the same heavy hand of justice as minorities. This is a fact that has been proven time and time again with absolutely nothing done to counter this gross abuse of power. One can argue that this is the consequence of giving people who are just as prone to conflict and character flaw control without oversight over the masses. Power of that magnitude quickly escalates into ego and devolves into toxic corruption. History has demonstrated this for us, repeatedly, be it the Holocaust, the Apartheid, Native American genocide, African slavery or the Chechnyan purge of LGBT men and women, that humans who aggregate social power always attempt to shape it in their own image.
President Trump is doing this now, and although some recoil at comparing him to a modern Nazi, the similarities are undeniable. The cult-like following that lifts him up as a sacred idol, the symbolism of the blood red hat that has come to represent a hive-mind of those united in hatred and strike fear through those communities Trumps orders them to attack. The marriage of politics and religion, in spite of the constitution, as the President appeals to their embedded intolerances and promises to return control of the country to God… the latter at an event where anti-gay propaganda was passed around an adoring audience and President Trump applauded a minister who suggested gay men should be burned to death in hellfire. Trump has leveraged religion like a commodity. He’s walking around signing bibles for his radicalized base that preach love and then throw acidic hate into the faces of minorities at every opportunity. Border walls, transgender bans, travel bans, redacting protective executive orders issued by previous presidents. All this as his entranced audience chants his name and demands the heads of his enemies on a pike. Indeed, it was just earlier this year that many of Trumps political critics were sent bombs by radicalized supporters. His influence is bleeding out of America into other Nations. The shooter in Christchurch, New Zealand who took 55 lives at a Mosque praised Donald Trump in his manifesto. Hate crimes in America have increased 17% in the last year alone.
Add to this already dangerous equation, the heightened intensity of the political climate with division an everyday nuance as the president peddles outrage toward minorities, women, the disabled, the poor, the mexicans, transgender people, democrats… and his base bites on command.
Whatever convinced Rep. Stephanie Borowicz that such a tirade was either acceptable or appropriate is likely the direct result of our septic culture toward those of us who the privileged deem “Othered.” What manifested on that State room floor was a terrifying example of what so many have experienced at much greater cost by someone who presumed a post, an office or a seat of power. It only amplifies why so many Americans have lost their faith in leadership or its ability to protect us as equals to our counterparts who have no visible differentials.
What we saw captured in just under two minutes is a clear symptom of our social direction and the alarming momentum it has gained in the last three years.
It’s not just in America. The UK media has been pushing anti-trans propaganda for years.
If you were a transgender identifying person who woke to the startling headline from the Economist which questioned, quite matter-of-factly, whether Transgender people should be sterilized before be recognized as their preferred gender, you were shocked, but not surprised.
Sadly, the media’s war on transgender people has amped up over the past two years; In the US since the election of Trump, and in the UK since the reforming of the Gender Recognition Act that allowed trans people to self identify without the burden of the restrictive, bureaucratic red tape that had to be navigated through in order for their gender identity to be legally acknowledged. The reform fetched great opposition from TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) and conservatives alike who took a page directly from the US political playbook on investing inordinate amounts of energy (and Headlines) to vilify transgender women, create a series of narratives that sexualize the trans experience in bizarre fashion- pontificate on our activities in spaces such as bathroom settings, public gyms and what we do there that they apparently don’t.
The Times has been incredibly strategic in their relentless attempts to disseminate misinformation and provoke ire toward the transgender community by using a Transgender identifying writer in the form of Debbie Hayton. Hayton, herself hated by those she is desperate to earn approval from by appearing to align with Times readers disdain for trans people, authors a weekly column that criticizes progressive legislations and protections as well as the safety and equalities of other transgender individuals. She’s a self loathing transwoman used as a conservative puppet by hate groups like Mumsnet to give credibility to their extremist anti-trans agenda with the hopes it will these trans critical articles will legitimize their hate since they are coming from a transgender person. Her conservative and evangelical readers laud her as “Sensible” on the issues while at the same time referring to her using transphobic slurs on social media.
Back in the USA, as recently as three days ago the widely respected newspaper The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece by Abigail Shrier that bellowed from the front page:
The Transgender War on Women is as real as the War on Christmas manufactured by radical Christians. It doesn’t exist. One can presume that Ms. Shrier was thrust into a panic when the House of Representatives prioritized the reintroduction off the Equality Act which would protect the civil rights of LGBTQ people living in the United States and defend them from targeted harassment and discrimination similarly to the one already implemented in the UK back in 2010. Efforts to introduce an American version of this act has already been struck down by the Republican majority senate twice before.
Hate crimes in America have been on a steep incline for three consecutive years since Donald Trump assumed the office of Presidency in 2016. After a string of political attacks targeting the trans community, from banning trans service members from the military to passing laws allowing first responders to legally refuse LGBTQ+ patients life saving medical care of it conflicts with their religious or moral convictions, prejudice has been emboldened by those believing their bigotry now comes with a Presidential stamp of approval.
And the mainstream media seems to be running with it. It sells papers; It feeds Trump’s base, all of them eager to consume anything that justifies their openly expressed venom toward minorities, especially transgender women.
With respect to Trans Visibility Week, it’s important to acknowledge just how we’re met when visible, online or otherwise, often due to reckless, irresponsible and inaccurate headlines that encourage the relentless, aggressive pursuit of a vulnerable minority who already suffer disproportionate instances of suicide, verbal harassment and physical assaults.
We mustn’t underestimate the devastating impact of their commitment to harm trans folks before audiences of millions.
In 2017, Twitter, the popular social media platform boasting 261 million users worldwide announced new guidelines to ensure the safety of its accoount holders from targeted harassment, bullying and incited violence. Although they’ve claimed to crack down on misgendering trans users, we’ve seen little change. In fact, it has been demonstrated repeatedly that these protections ensconced in their guidelines do not apply to the transgender community, nor are they enforced on behalf of us.
Even more disturbing is how Twitter actually did a full pivot on their own rule set which states:
Why? For using the word “TERF” — and acronym for the aforementioned Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist- which is a moniker given to those who do not believe that transgender women should be included in the feminist movement, nor will they acknowledge them as women at all. Often, TERFs use social media to organize malicious attacks, especially on higher profile transgender women, misgendering them, harassing them while provoking their followers to do the same. They believe transgender women are men and claim they pose a threat to women and children everywhere despite having absolutely nothing to substantiate this malformed logic except their own, deeply ingrained hatred.
While trans women who use Twitter have had to compromise their own comfort and emotional health to use the platform due to the relentless hysteria they’re met with every time they log in, more often than not, when trying to defend themselves, they end up being the one put in Twitter’s proverbial time-out, not their attackers.
@horridbaby Reported them but since Twitter is banning trans people speaking out against TERFS rather than the TERFs themselves – I’d imagine not much is going to happen.
Based on the breadth of reports, it appears that there's a certain word which Twitter's policy team has designated as a slur. The word is an acronym factually describing people who hold a certain category of transmisic belief and attempt to enforce it on others. This is bad.
Anyways twitter has no morality when it comes to what will get your account suspended I've seen people get banned for cursing or saying "terf" but Ann Coulter can post the most racist and insensitive images and nothing! Please go report the tweet 2x as sensitive images and abuse!
Fascinating that Twitter will suspend accounts for saying "terf" but not the n-word, calling people fat, inciting harassment against trans people, etc. I've reported multiple abusive people with no results and yet a non-slur is getting people banned.
Hey twitter, stop banning people for calling out TERF bullshit. Our existence is not up for debate and you cannot treat both sides of this equally, as we wish to simply exist and they wish for us to be erased from society. Cut it out. TERFs can go to hell.
When a report is made over a tweet or, in most cases, entire accounts devoted to anti-trans vitriol designed to intentionally mislead the public, peddle dangerous misinformation and prejudices that provokes violence towards the trans community, this is typically Twitter’s response:
This, in spite of Twitter’s own declaration that targeted harassment or abuse of an individual or group is against its rules. Indeed, Twitter is complicit in the mobilizing of TERFs and other hate groups or accounts whose sole purpose is to promote aggression toward transgender people as well as provoke others to do the same.
The British writer/comedian has made inciting violence and hatred toward transgender women a full time job via social media.
The 50 year old has become better known for his relentless twitter attacks on trans women- and those in the LGBT community who ally with them- than any of his former career achievements, one of which includes creating the beloved classic comedy sitcom “Father Ted.”
Ever since the proposal to reform the Gender Recognition Act in 2018 which would allow transgender individuals to self identify and receive legal recognition of their proper gender without the restrictive requirements previously in place that obstructed comfortable medical and social transition, Linehan has postured himself as one of the most vocal antagonists of transgender women on the platform. To an audience of over 650,000 followers, Linehan has made a practice of parroting misleading information, posting fear-mongering, anti-trans statements and attacking anyone, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation and even age (He has openly attacked Transgender children) who attempt to inform or correct his dangerous erroneous statements and open any meaningful dialog.
One of his favorite targets is Linda Riley, the out lesbian editor of Diva Magazine and Board director of the GLAAD organization. Riley has been a strong ally for the Transgender community and made great strides in dispelling myths created by people like Lineham which are intended to make cisgender women fear transgender women. Riley has worked tirelessly to unify the lesbian and transgender community of women who also identify as lesbian, acknowledging that gender identity and sexual orientation are unrelated to one another. A trans woman can, in fact, also be a lesbian, or straight, or asexual, bisexual or polyamorous. Riley has gone to great effort in her career to demonstrate that affording the rights to one letter of the LGBT acronym does not result in the removal of said rights from another.
Because of Riley’s support of the inclusion of trans women, she found herself placed firmly in Linehan’s crosshairs. Her refusal to condemn all transgender women, label them perverted men donning dresses to assault innocent women and children in private dressing rooms and public bathrooms, or preemptively convict them of crimes they’ve never committed, minority report style, infuriated Linehan. He dubbed her a Transgender sympathizer.
Linehan posts upwards of 20 times a day, and every single post rests solely on one topic… his staggering hatred of transgender women. His twitter account appears to be devoted entirely to targeting this community and inspiring attacks against us. He has introduced himself as the Great Straight Male Hope of women, especially lesbians, who he works diligently to convince suffer indelibly as a result of transgender women being allowed to exist. To the Trans exclusionary radical feminists, he has become something of a hero. To the rest of us, it’s clear that Linehan has done nothing more than leverage the ignorance and prejudices of others in order to amass an army of bigots who join him in his twitter tirades.
As Linehan presumed himself the spokesperson for lesbians around the globe- a misogynist maneuver if ever there was, ironically- Riley asked him to stop speaking on behalf of lesbians and allow them their own platform. Not an unreasonable request as Linehan has been literally propelling their opinions and statements- except they weren’t theirs… they were his. In response, Linehan posted a poll on his twitter timeline that immediately blew up in his face.
And there the truth sat before him. Most lesbians have no desire to be locked in a culture war with transgender women for the benefit of Linehan, nor do they feel compelled to exist in a state of perpetual unrest beneath the shared umbrella of LGBT activism simply to pander to his blatant bigotry. Most women know that Linehan’s rapid fire attacks on transgender women are not motivated by any desire to protect them, but instead to exact his own brand of vengeance and ceaseless bullying of an already vulnerable group of innocent people.
They refused to co-sign his targeted hatred or enable what has become a disturbing obsession Linehan has with transgender women altogether. Make note- Linehan never references transgender men in his missives which only further exposes his explicit interest in transgender women. He has mocked the disproportionate number of transgender suicides, berated lesbians who stand in support of transgender women and launched a barrage of scathing insults toward women who question his unhealthy fixation with trans women altogether claiming they are “Siding with their oppressors”
The reality is, women do not require Graham Linehan or any man to push them from their own platform so that he can do the talking for them. Nor do they require informing on what they should be worried about or who they should rail against. Linehan, despite it being demonstrated for him over and over again via his own vanity polls, refuses to concede that women are smart enough to speak for themselves. He prefers to believe women are fragile and dim-witted, so they must need him.
But, it is Linehan that needs them, actually. His efforts to develop a fanbase around his manufactured “Truths” intended to provoke outrage among women and lesbians while grooming them for his own makeshift war against transgender folks only elevates his status and serves his very personal agenda. He does this while convincing his followers that he is doing it for them… and that is masterful deception.
There is only one individual here guilty of misogyny and it isn’t your transgender neighbor… It’s Graham Linehan. The Alex Jones of the LGBT world- and he’s not even LGBT. He simply enjoys spewing rhetoric, complaining about transgender women and encouraging lesbians to pick up their proverbial swords to fight us so he can sit back and watch from his lofty perch. But even the worst of our society has varied on their targets. Katie Hopkins, for example, has said abhorrent things about everyone from overweight people to immigrants. Linehan, however, has zeroed in on one community with an alarming intensity, and he’s using women as his pawns.