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.
Most recently, we’ve seen the proposal to remove us of from inclusions beneath the 1964 Civil Rights Act which will, consequentially, expose to to further acts of violence, discrimination and harassment. In a memo that was leaked to the Washington Post which had been drafted and amended by four judicial branches, the Department of Justice, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor since early 2018, it stated that the Obama Administration, by force “…wrongfully extend(ed) civil rights to people who should not have had them.”
The latest series of attacks came from all sides, fast and furious. In true Trump fashion, so many other stories dominated the headlines that the conversation, the outrage, the backlash disappeared within days, buried. This is truly the era where it seems impossible to keep up or even stay proactive when something new arises every day, provoking more shock, more fear and more cultural division.
But, transgender Americans were watching this election from the edge of their seats. We knew that the unfolding results had direct implications on our lives, our safety, our security and our future ability to thrive in this nation as an equal. There were throngs of cheers as Democrats swept the House of Representatives, but that alone cannot protect us from the political missiles ready to launch in our direction.
The House of Representatives has several powers assigned to it, including financial oversight, introducing or reforming revenue bills and even the ability to impeach a federal official- yes, they can move to impeach the President. However, what passes through the House must also pass through Senate… and if you, like millions of others, watched the election results come in on November 6th, you know that Republicans not only maintained control of the Senate, but picked up two seats.
The Senate can block every effort that the House of Representatives makes. This is the dark reality of having two branches each run by opposing factions. They don’t care about the issues as much as they care about keeping score. They vote with each other, not against each other. They are more like National Sports teams than a body intended to represent everyday folks like you and me. We must accept there is no bipartisan effort in government.
We trans folks and our allies can fight these immeasurably damaging lawmakers all the way to the Supreme Court, but Trump has been ahead of the ball, stacking the bench with Conservative Judges- and one specifically, Justice Kavanaugh, is very eager to please the President who defended him against multiple sexual assault claims to ensure his confirmation- a decision made by Senators who, unsurprisingly, voted along party lines to put him there for the duration of his lifetime despite evidence he may have perjured himself during his testimony.
It’s been hard for the nation to stay on course, however, with so many minorities coming under fire by Trump Administration and the venomous candidates he has devoted the last two years campaigning across the country for. Amidst blatant voter suppression, bombs sent to leaders of the Democratic Party by a Trump loyalist, more devastating gun violence, the latest at a Country and Western Bar in Thousand Oaks, California marking the 307th mass shooting since the beginning of the year, it’s easy for us to get lost in the chaos.
And it is chaos. The entire Nation is reeling.
As a Transgender person, I get a lot of critical feedback. Some are polite and some are violent threats. The argument most often posed to me is this:
Many people say; “There are just too few of you to matter.”
They can’t even agree on how many of us there are. All our detractors care about is there being more of “Them” than there are of “Us.” Those are the politics this administration relies on. Them vs. Us.
Everywhere you look, the Trump administration is starting a war on people. Their goal is to keep everyone scattered. Like a pride of Lions attacking a herd of wild buffalo, they keep the attacks coming with a rapid intensity, thus there is no time to organize against or even react to the last. They go for who they perceives as the weakest first. It is not unnatural, if you are a member of any of the disenfranchised communities that have suffered as a result of this cancerous presidency, to be concerned for your own fate or be hyper-focused on issues that explicitly target you. It’s hard to be angry with others for having already moved on from the discussion of my civil rights. That only happened two weeks ago, although it feels like years by now. As a social activist, or, more accurately, a humanist, it’s a challenge to determine where my own efforts are best served. Every day it feels like a new crisis and another marginalized community in need of our collective acknowledgment and more importantly, our compassion as acts of hate are emboldened and then escalated by Presidential rhetoric. He winds up his base with lies and fuels their white, cisgender, heterosexual anxieties over sharing spaces with people unlike themselves. He gives them a show, they give him unwavering loyalty. It isn’t entirely dissimilar to the time he was a mainstay on the World Wrestling Entertainment Stage. That was a gig Trump maintained for awhile, appealing mostly to those who enjoy watching others being kicked, punched and body slammed, but in a ring rather than at a rally. Although not a wrestler, he was combative sidebar; A character of antagonism and the audience loved him… and he loved the attention. Great entertainment for denizens of a sports bar, a tragedy for a country under his unqualified leadership.
That’s a fancy term, isn’t it? It’s actually a dangerous trend. Here’s why.
People who self-identify as “Free Thinkers” are growing in numbers at an alarming rate. From the perspective of a casual observer, these individuals parade themselves as an elite collective that have taken the proverbial red pill. To them, we live in a complex machination, a Matrix like world where all of us who possess a conscience- but not an elevated consciousness- are merely drones. We’re tendrils acting with uniform behaviors and our thoughts are not independent, but instead a reflection of some great hive mind that they, themselves, have managed to unshackle themselves from.
Everything is a lie, if you ask a Free thinker. The moon landing never happened, the Earth is flat, global mind control is plaguing society, wealthy lizard people are influencing the political direction of the Nation. To be fair, not every Free Thinker subscribes to all of these campfire conspiracy theories. Some adopt a decidedly different tactic and attempt to legitimize their attempt to swing away from reality using faux science and pack mentality. They find pockets of people who claim the Free-Thinker badge and spoon feed each other misinformation, propaganda and radical hyperbole as they enable each other’s further untethering from logic.
Throughout the decades, Free Thinkers came in various forms; Some were simply anarchists, interested in mostly in rebuking power and authority figures. Some were social rebels fighting against man-made traditions, cultural constructs and heavily embedded world views we accepted without resistance. They regarded themselves as uniquely informed and inarguably correct. With that gift of awareness that eluded most others, they perceive themselves as superior to the rest of us simpletons; Us worker ants trapped in a never-ending mechanism of primal habit and indoctrination, effectively blind to our own slavery of automated responses and thought.
There is something disturbing about today’s emergence of those who dub themselves Free Thinkers and that lies in the fact that they are functioning based on emotion, not thought, not logic, not facts. Science is abandoned, truths are a burden and reality, as it irrefutably exists doesn’t anymore thus is open to debate. This deviation from reason; This departure from the tangible world and its myriad of functions- they shirking of these things they embrace as a form of liberation.
It’s not liberation. It’s a wanton desire so impermeable that they have accepted a grotesque distortion of a fantasy in order to cope with adversity or appear as if they’ve been delivered some vast insight into the secrets of the universe that science has somehow missed altogether. They know things that even the most intelligent of our species clearly missed as we are prisoners of a singular structure. We do what we are allowed. We think within the boundaries of the thought police. We fear being detached from some make-shift mother organism and developing our own self governance or manifesting an unaided perspective or untainted opinion.
Many times we dismiss those who self-identify as “free Thinkers” as wild haired neurotics living in houses of tin foil. Some might say that Einstein was free-thinker, or Benjamin Franklin who went out into a lightening storm with a kite connected to a conductive wire. Bystanders surely though that was indisputably crazy. Maybe you could argue that Da Vinci whose genius allowed him access to experimentation and the development of new concepts. None of them dismissed reality, but by their very acceptance of it, they maneuvered to re-shape it.
These are not the Free-Thinkers of today. Today, free thinkers are, in fact, eager to place themselves in the shackles of control while convincing themselves that they’re actually absolving themselves of them. Kanye West, for example, a black man who has often defined himself as a free-thinker, aligned himself with his own oppressor. He deliberately omitted all cogniscence of social conditions in an effort to appear rebellious and exalted when he was actually handing his own fate to a man who, historically, would have refused him basic human rights. He expressed absolute disinterest in was was unquestionably bad for him- and all black Americans, with the intent of appearing separated from those of us who sat in disbelief.
“You wouldn’t do this, but look at me, everyone is telling me not to, but I am! I don’t do what everyone else does! I’m not a sheep! I’m a free thinker!”
No. You’ve been radicalized enough to declare yourself your own enemy. That’s not being a free thinker or indicative of any heightened awareness; That’s self sabotage. That’s intentionally wounding yourself while the world watches, hoping that we’ll believe your proclaimed divinity will keep you alive as you bleed out in front of a man who would have happily done that on your behalf. Abandoning common sense, refuting what we know to be true or false to aggrandize yourself isn’t free thinking… that’s one letting their own ego obstruct their judgement. It’s not innovating new concepts or ideas. It’s not pioneering new paths or demonstrating things we have never before seen or considered.
The fact they have developed their own organization to legitimize their ostentatious ignorance and people have subscribed to it is only evidence of an inherent need some humans have to be, not just informed, but specially informed, like Moses standing atop Mount Sinai receiving a Godly message. They want to be recognized as a people set apart from the rest of us… just because it provides them a message or a purpose. It turns an otherwise ordinary life experience into an extraordinary mission of delivering what we now call alternative facts.
Many who voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election viewed themselves as free-thinkers. That superhero-like free thought gave them the courage to rebuff their responsibility to their fellow Americans, to break the establishment, which they accept as bad, and turn it on its head. It was all about the ego of influencing change via the power they recklessly wielded at the polls. Vote for the reality television star, they thought, he’ll destroy the system and set us all free from ruin. Trump brilliantly played to that demographic; Those whose ego inevitably hamstrings their discernment. They operated under the impression that they were Trump’s chosen. The promises he made appealed directly to their prejudices and fears. He represented everything that went against what we know to be good; Equality, due process, freedom of the press and he conjured up a monolithic adult version of a boy’s club in a tree house. The red hat grants you access. It is the equivalent of the white hood, but they don’t see it that way. Falling into ranks behind a chest thumping tribal chieftain of the Republican party wasn’t flipping the middle finger to the system or executing free thought… it was, despite what they’ll tell you, an abandonment of civility and refusal to co-exist peacefully with others as they see themselves as superior. Because Free-Thinkers all see themselves as operating on a different plane of wisdom and expanded knowledge… in this case, we’re all left to pay the consequences for the mass hysteria the ensues.
There is an undeniable confusion that free-thinkers suffer from, and that is their inability to tell the difference between being an individual and being a revolutionary. Revolutionaries were the true free thinkers. Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, the Wright brothers, Rosa Parks, Sylvia Rivera, the people who changed the world by changing minds and expanding our scope of appreciating the experiences of those who are not like us. They weren’t peddling conspiracies or burning down their own houses to demonstrate on behalf of those who would have done it for them. They did express free thought by shedding dismissing knowledge and suppressing their awareness of social evolution to give credibility to those who hoped to thwart it. They fought for a better world and an improved quality of life. They were not these absent-minded, hate motivated rebellious teenagers who balked at things like research, hard-line evidence and preached against a common good, they were indeed revolutionaries who challenged social injustices they knew were corrupt and removed them of their self sovereignty.
Free thinkers want to set themselves on fire to push back against those they deem controllers. Revolutionaries simply want to empower and inspire the rest of the world to make it a better place. They were devoted to a cause, as where free thinkers are mere followers of a mythical design and devoted only to self interest.
In the end, they only hurt themselves. We must rely on the revolutionaries to save us from the self appointed free thinkers.
Every Republican in Senate voted to install Dreiband into the seat of civil rights control, while every Democrat voted against his confirmation, claiming he had done nothing more than devote his entire career to enabling discrimination and inciting hatred toward minorities. Given that the house and Senate are controlled by Republicans, their effort to stop his appointment was in vain. He was confirmed with a 52–45 vote.
Yesterday, the New York Times revealed that Trump had laid his crosshairs on the civil rights of Transgender people with the intention of removing all remaining protections under the civil rights act, exposing us to a broad scope of discriminatory acts would, by consequence, be sanctioned by the White House. We would be legally denied housing, employment, education and would possess no freedoms, equalities or benefits of the justice system. The 14th Amendment of the US Constitution which reads;
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. — The 14th Amendment: Section 1
Would no longer apply to us.
The previous appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was integral in this movement to marginalize transgender Americans. With a bench composed predominantly of conservatives, any appeal made on behalf of LGBT people would likely be denied as the scales of justice in America’s highest court have tipped to favor religion over equality.
This cunning plan has long been in the making, both Kavanaugh and Dreiband have played a vital role in putting it in motion. To be clear, Trump’s aggressive campaigning for both men was not simply a matter of ego, but essential to the agenda of his administration in achieving the ultimate goal of dismantling the civil rights act to exclude transgender people and, most certainly in the near future, gay people as well.
Despite his public antics and face-palming buffoonery, Donald Trump’s words may be his own, but his policies have the fingerprints of Mike Pence and John Kelly all over them… and both of them work closer with Trump’s nemesis, Jeff Sessions, than Trump himself ever would. Still, somehow, Sessions planted the seeds that would ensure the excision of Trans people from civil rights and basic protections and with the help of John Kelley and Mike Pence, it was given the presidential stamp of approval.
What remains most disturbing about this administration is how calculated their efforts have been to build their own impenetrable wall around themselves to ensure every move they make avoids blockading. From nominating judges to installing hate-motivated leaders in top positions, they thwart any potential intervention by democrats, even in the nations Supreme Court which they now, unquestionably, control indefinitely.
Even if democrats win the house majority in the mid-term elections, they enter their positions in shackles created by this administration; Ineffective, in fact, nearly powerless.