Fomenting Hate

Fomenting Hate

In its fourth quarter 2018 report on transgender deaths, the Human Rights Campaign noted the number of transgender Americans murdered has increased during each of the last three years. 

This is what makes President Trump’s focused discrimination against this vulnerable group so concerning. The report also concluded  more than one in four transgender people has been assaulted because of their identity. 

During 2018, 28 transgender individuals were murdered across the country—eighteen of the victims were shot, four were stabbed, the homes of two were set on fire with them still inside, and another four were beaten to death.  They ranged in age from 18 to 54, and eleven of those murdered were under the age of 30. 

Transgender murder is an area where transphobia and racism intersect—most transgender individuals murdered each year are people of color. In 2018, all but one of those killed were non-White, the majority—Black transgender women.

It is also a well-known fact that the actual number of murders of transgender people are underreported, most often because their sex is “mis-gendered” by police, the media and even some family members. 

Since taking office the Trump Administration has targeted this group with vigor. The Department of Health & Human Services is working to define sex under Title IX as strictly male or female and as a biological and unchangeable condition determined by genitalia at birth. 

In addition, the administration has reversed an Obama era determination and guidance that the 1964 federal civil rights law protects transgender workers from employment discrimination. 

The Trump Administration has ruled that public schools no longer have to accommodate transgender students who would prefer to use a restroom consistent with his/her transgender identity.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Trump’s reimplementation of restrictions on transgender military service while the issue works its way through the lower courts. 

The administration’s targeting of the transgender community not unlike its attacks on other vulnerable minority groups is not only discriminatory and mean spirited, it gives a tacit approval to treat transgender individuals as less than. 

I am once again forced to ask myself, who’s next? He’s targeted women, Muslims, immigrants, asylum seekers, Blacks, Hispanics and those who identify as transgender. Americans must find their voices and speak out against such blatant discrimination and injustice. 

When one foments hate those targeted by hatred suffer. Being different is not a crime. Being different should not make one a victim and history has taught us—legalizing hatred has consequences for both the hater and the hated.

Of course, this is just my opinion. I’m keeping it real. 

S.E. Williams

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