Friday, November 25, 2022. Ask yourself what kind of a left we are when we will set a place at the table for right-wing men but won't for people of color, women and LGBTQ+s?
Daniel Villareal (LGBTQ NATION) reports:
Barely three days after a shooter at an LGBTQ club killed five people and injured dozens, right-wing media figures have been blaming LGBTQ people for causing the violence. Others are also attacking the military veteran who stopped the shooter.
Their claims continue a years-long campaign of stochastic terrorism in which they’ve accused queer people and their allies of grooming children for sexual abuse through LGBTQ school content and drag shows, and also of mutilating children’s genitals through gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth.
While genital surgeries aren’t conducted on minors and no kids have ever been molested during a drag show, none of these figures have spoken as passionately against forced genital surgeries for intersex kids or the literal thousands of child rape cases that have occurred in U.S. churches, nor have they promoted organizations that actually work against child sex abuse and trafficking.
[. . .]
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, —host of the network’s most-watched program and a man who celebrated the murder of gay politician Harvey Milk and once bragged about beating up a gay man — mocked those who said the shooting was caused by people complaining about “the sexualizing of kids… people mutilating the genitals of children, [and] … ads on Instagram promoting kiddie porn.”
But then he said the connection between LGBTQ activism and the above things is “a very specific religious ideology that’s true, is happening and is “absolutely real.”
He then said the shooting has become “a pretext for yet more censorship of [conservative public] speech.”
“You are responsible for this, they told you, because you said the wrong things,” Carlson told his viewers. “You are guilty of stochastic terrorism, inspiring violence by your beliefs. Anderson Lee Aldrich [the Club Q shooter] committed mass murder because you complained about the sexualizing of children. Every time you object to drag time story hour for fifth graders or point out that genital mutilation is being committed on minors — which it is — every time you say that, you are putting people’s lives at risk.”
He added, “The truth is that some adults in this country, apparently a growing number, have a deeply unhealthy fixation on the sexuality of children — when you say that out loud, you get people killed.”
In response, Twitter user Kat Abu published a thread that included the numerous broadcasts in which Carlson has talked at length about children’s sexuality and their genitals.
Giulia Carbonaro (NEWSWEEK) observes:
Florida political operative Jaimee Michell, founder of the controversial anti-trans group "Gays Against Groomers," told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that the mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs "was expected and predictable" and to be blamed on the LGBTQ "evil agenda" of gender-affirming care.
Talking to Carlson about the mass shooting, Michell claimed that what's really hurting the LGBTQ community is labelling "groomers"—a term that falsely equates non-heterosexual sexualities and non-cisgender identities with pedophilia—an anti-LGBTQ slur, and said that tragedies like the one at Club Q will keep happening "until we end this evil agenda."
Anderson Lee Aldrich is accused of opening fire at Club Q just before midnight on Saturday, killing five people and injuring 18 others.
Activists have denounced "Gays Against Groomers" as an anti-trans hate group that stokes anti-LGBTQ hate by regularly calling gay people "groomers" and accusing the LGBTQ community of sexualizing children. A couple of months ago, "Gays Against Groomers'" Twitter account was banned from Google, Venmo and Paypal after the group was accused of anti-trans hate.
Michell, the group's cisgender gay founder, frequently appears on Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News, repeating and amplifying conservatives' moral panic over the alleged "grooming" of children blamed on liberals and queer people.
I don't know how your Thanksgiving worked out -- hopefully it was pleasant and fun -- but 'Aunty GiGi' was denounced loudly by several gay activists at my home. 'Aunty GiGi' is how some are now deriding Glenn Greenwald for his idiotic support of Tucker Carlson and others who spread this crap. Yeah, people who had to stand up against this s**t in the 70s when Anita Bryant was spewing it aren't in the mood for precious GiGi to give his tacit support for it.
As he rightly loses influence and his 'brand' weakens, maybe Lauren Boebert can become his hag? Alex Bollinger (LGBTQ NATION) notes:
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) defended her anti-LGBTQ rhetoric after she was widely denounced online in the wake of the Club Q shooting for stoking violence against LGBTQ people.
“That is completely false,” she told Ross Kaminsky on KOA, an AM radio station. “I have never had bad rhetoric towards anyone and their personal preference as an adult.”
Sexual orientation is not a “personal preference” and minors can have sexual orientations. In fact, Boebert herself got pregnant for the first time when she was in high school.
This past Saturday, a shooter entered the LGBTQ bar Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killed five people, and injured 18 with an AR-15-style weapon before being subdued.
Boebert released a statement saying that “the victims & their families are in my prayers” and was immediately slammed online after spreading hateful rhetoric against LGBTQ people for years, something people said may have contributed to anti-LGBTQ violence.
“You encourage this type of hatred,” Chasten Buttigieg – the husband of out Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg – responded. “Get off Twitter and start looking inward.”
It didn’t take long in the radio interview for Boebert to go back to bashing LGBTQ people.
“What I’ve criticized is the sexualization of our children,” she said, an expression conservatives use to refer to a wide range of actions, including teaching kids that some families have two mothers or two fathers and allowing LGBTQ clubs to form in high schools. It’s unclear exactly what she was referring to.
“And I’ve criticized men dressing up as caricatures of women,” she continued. Drag is an art form with deep roots in LGBTQ culture, and the idea is to play with gender, often to express one’s own femininity, masculinity, or androgyny.
Lauren is disgusting but, sadly, so much is and that includes on our side -- the left.
Have you noticed the silence? I'm looking at e-mails. Garcia notes that Margaret Kimberley has Tweeted repeatedly over the last days but never managed to note the tragedy in Colorado Springs -- nor did BLACK AGENDA REPORT. Good catch, Garcia.
Equally true, I counted over 200 Tweets from Tara Reade this week and she never bothered to Tweet about it.
Tara. I believe her ex explained it best when he said she only cares about what happens to her. That is why, in the Tweets this week, she can reTweet convicted pedophile, registered sex offender Scott Ritter. Tara loves her some Scotty. Any man who harms others is Tara's buddy.
That's the truth. Tara thinks she deserves sympathy but -- as her ex explained in a roundtable for the gina & krista round-robin -- she doesn't have sympathy for others.
We've now seen that with all of her actions long before she started using her Twitter feed to pimp registered sex offender Scott Ritter -- who went to prison.
She won't do anything to help others because she's never cared about others her whole life. That's why she bailed on her bills and her loans from friends. She's a self-centered bitch.
And she won't help other women but she'll constantly demand attention.
A deadly attack took place in Colorado Springs and Tara couldn't be bothered with it because it's a gay thing and, please grasp this reality, gay things don't matter to the ultra left.
You'd think they would. But you'd be wrong. You'd be wrong today and you'd be wrong historically.
Tara Reade is the poster girl for obesity and for hatred.
Thanks, Tara, for showing your true self. I should disclose that for pointing out here what a whore she is to promote a registered sex offender, Tara banned me. I laughed then and I laugh now.
Reality, Tara was assaulted by Joe Biden. Didn't make her a nice person. Didn't make her a saint. Didn't make her anyone who could be considered an ally. Six days where she has Tweeted and reTWeeted and she couldn't once be bothered with an attack on the LGBTQ+ community.
That's who Tara is.
She'll never, ever help another person. Her narcissistic nature is what it is. She's also a deeply stupid person. Someone should have told her long ago to sue Joe Biden for her employment records. Someone should have pointed out to her that when Joe declared the pandemic over, there was no excuse to hide behind it regarding access to his records at the university.
But she's a deeply stupid person so let's not be surprised that she's so incompetent she can't even help herself.
I'd love to say she gives the left a bad name. She's part of the reason we have a bad name though.
The left is huge. It includes the group that votes blindly for the Democratic Party and think partisanship is being political. It's not. Parroting is not political. Then you have Democrats who can self-criticize but can't see too much beyond domestic issues. You've then got Socialists, Communists, Socialist-Democrats and then you're moving into the hard left which probably takes you all the way to anarchist which wraps around to the right wing because politics is circular and not linear.
Historically, on the left, we have not supported gay rights. The Communists in certain eras especially did not want to support gay rights. Occasionally, an individual would get support but that support was always tentative. Look at Walter Jenkins, embraced by the partisans and seen as a genius in certain ways. So they all pretended he wasn't gay. But then he gets arrested in 1964 and they're afraid that it could harm LBJ's re-election chances so they turn on him and sacrifice him while LBJ lies and pretends like he never knew Walter was gay (he knew, the FBI knew, the 1959 previous arrest was not a secret) and starts trying to save his own ass by lying and suggesting that mean Republicans must have drugged Walter's drink and that, as a result of being drugged, Walter found his mouth watering for dick and, due to the drugs, ended up at a YMCA bathroom where he was busted with his mouth around a cock.
Now back then, and this is an important point to grasp, oral sex wasn't thought to be as common as it is today. Marlon Brando infamously posed with Wally Cox's penis in his mouth and people act like it didn't happen even when writing Brando's obituaries. Marlon was one of our finest actors. His affairs with men didn't make him any less great. And that Wally Cox photo is a striking image.
But in the 50s and 60s, for many, anything beyond missionary-position male-female sex was time to clutch the pearls. (Though, traditionally, look at the studies, anal sex has always been popular among Catholics in the US as a way to prevent pregnancy.)
These days, straight couples peg. These days oral sex is common and noted as such. Tossing someone's salad, etc, etc.
So when an idiot starts talking about orifices and their 'true' intentions -- as many did on message boards this week in light of the shooting -- they look like idiots and defeat themselves. We've come far enough to be honest about sex and how sex can take place and those trying to police what they pretend is morality lose any argument right at the get go because this isn't the 1950s. We know what our bodies are capable of and we know about enjoying our bodies.
Nancy Friday, Dr. Ruth, Audre Lorde, Dan Savage and many others have done their part to allow us to be grown ups.
And this has impacted politics -- as it should. Awareness and education in any area has impact on other areas. You can go into a whole spheres of justice argument off that -- though I wouldn't because Michael Walzer ripped off the Torah for his argument and didn't even grasp the importance of the sphere of din -- telling -- and proof of the points we're making because din, of course, can be associated with the feminine and the feminine and LGBTQ+ issues have traditionally been dismissed in this country -- especially in this country's political maneuvering.
If you know the left's history, you know that Sly's "Everyday People" wasn't just a popular song, it was a portrait of our history:
There is a blue one who can't accept the green one
-- "Everyday People," written by Sly Stone, first appears on Sly & The Family Stone's STAND!
We hear the Jimmy Dore's insist that identity politics are destroying the left.
No, identity politics are what made the left. It's what forced the Communist Party to move beyond their limited White world and to give support to efforts to end lynchings in the US. It's what brings us together when we can get over our own pig headedness. When we can embrace the blue one and the long hair and the poor one and everyone. It's how we build a society and it's how we've always built a movement.
The Jimmy Dores don't understand that because they're unintelligent. They don't understand how things work, they haven't studied anything and they're victims of the atomistic age -- an age where we, as a people, were taught how to tear apart but not how to put back together. The synthesis is the missing step and people like Jimmy (who is not a bad person and who I would note still were it not for his promoting Scott Ritter -- a sex offender; I'm sorry, Jimmy, I can't big tent convicted offenders) don't even grasp it because they can regurgitate but they can't think.
If you want a powerful left, you're going to have to stand up for rights and that's not just your own rights. Don't be a Tara Reade offended by your own assault but caring so little of others that you'll promote a registered sex offender.
You've got to look beyond your own interests. You've got to support others. If you don't do that, the left goes no where. And that's been the case throughout history though those who short cut it -- due to ignorance or personal interest -- never pass that lesson on.
Here's Dove Cameron on Sunday saying what a lot of others need to be saying.
Instead? Instead our left outlets on YOUTUBE gave us silence. Our left voices on Twitter gave us silence.
As Keesha noted last night in the roundtable, Betty was right when she wrote "Hard truths."
Everybody wants sympathy and attention when it is them or their primary group but they don't seem to want to build bridges for other communities.
You can't even get women on half the YOUTUBE programs for the left so it's not a surprise that the LGBTQ+ is rendered invisible on so many of these same programs or that African-Americans are largely ignored by White hosts on these same YOUTUBE programs. For the left, understand, made for the left and by the left.
We need to do a much better job. Lives are at stake. If we can't offer inclusion and we can't share the spotlight, we might as well be Republicans.
Oh, excuse me. The Jimmy Dores and Glenn Greenwalds will feature Republicans -- it's women, LGBTQ+ and people of color that have to fight to be on left YOUTUBE shows and get left Twitter attention.
It's really telling that they will set a place for neocons and others at a left table but not for women, LGBTQ+ and people of color.
Stephen F. Eisenmen (COUNTERPUNCH) explains:
The shooting this week at Club Q in Colorado Springs was as horrendous as it was unsurprising. Though the city has changed a lot since 1992, when local, anti-queer activists championed the passage of a statewide, constitutional amendment prohibiting municipal anti-discrimination ordinances, the area retains pockets of deep reaction. Colorado Springs representative Doug Lamborn, like fellow Colorado Republican Lauren Boebert, this year supported federal anti-trans legislation in Congress. Since at least 2016, Lamborn has attacked what he calls the “madness,” and “politically correct absurdity” of federal protection for transgender students. Boebert has described trans people as “depraved” and their defenders as “groomers” bent on turning innocent children into trans people themselves.
Their statements condemning the recent violence were strictly pro forma, condemning “senseless violence,” praising first responders for “their rapid response,” and calling for prayers for “the victims and their families.” Neither mentioned that the victims were at a queer nightclub or that fatal attacks upon LGBTQ folks have reached a record high. And first responders failed both to prevent the attack and had no role in stopping it. Police handcuffed and detained the good Samaritan who stopped the shooting spree, retired U.S. Army major Richard Fierro, and kept him confined for an hour in a police car while his family and friends were left to struggle with injuries and death.
Some Americans were probably surprised to read that Fierro went to Club Q with his family to celebrate a birthday. In the United States, it’s still rare for families to visit gay bars together or watch live drag performances. (On TV, RuPaul’s Drag Race has been a fixture for more than a decade.) The night of the shooting, the club featured a drag show titled “Delusions” hosted by a local drag queen with the stage name Del Lusional. The audience for that event was limited to guests 18 y.o. and older, but a drag-brunch open to all ages was scheduled for the following day.
Fierro was having a great time when the shooting began, he told a NYTimes reporter: “These kids want to live that way, want to have a good time, have at it….that is what I fought for, so they can do whatever the hell they want.” It’s not yet clear what were the precise motivations of the shooter, Anderson Lee Aldrich, but he faces murder and hate crimes charges. His lawyers claim that he is non-binary himself and prefers to be addressed using they/them pronouns and the honorific Mx. in front of his name. The assertion may be a subterfuge to undercut the hate crimes charges and establish mitigation.
Family attendance at drag shows has risen in recent years, so much so that it has attracted literally delusional reactions from the Republican-right. In June, Florida governor Ron DeSantis threatened to order the state’s department of protective services to investigate parents who take their kids to drag shows: “We have child protective statutes on the books,” he said. “We have laws against child endangerment.” State legislators in Florida, Arizona, and Texas have proposed laws to criminalize drag entertainment, and armed militia groups have threatened the lives of drag performers across the country. It remains to be seen if the recent massacre will cause any retreat in the legal and vigilante onslaught.
The proposed laws against drag are patently unconstitutional infringements of free speech and would likely be struck down in court – even by conservative justices. Apart from first amendment considerations, such laws would be largely unenforceable because of the multitude of liminal cases. Drag performances have long been a staple of theatre, film, and television, from Twelfth Night to Some Like it Hot to Kinky Boots. Would they all be banned? And the fashion industry is predicated upon playful subversion and compliance with gender norms – men in skirts and heels, women in trousers and work boots. Corporate America profits from trans.
Gender itself is a form of performance, the philosopher Judith Butler long ago noted, though one that by its repetition, shapes our identity. On that basis, almost any theatrical entertainment could be described as a “drag show” and its sponsors and performers trundled into court. But the point of the proposed laws is not to legislate costume, comportment, or performance, much less identity – it is to supercharge hatred and promote violence, thereby creating an atmosphere of crisis that can be exploited for reactionary (fascist) ends.
In other news, ARAB NEWS reports:
Online propaganda campaigns that targeted Middle Eastern countries including Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria were linked to US military, technology firm Meta has claimed.
In its latest adversarial threat report, the company said the network that coordinated the campaigns used fake social media accounts to promote pro-Western narratives and was taken down in August after an independent research group flagged the profiles to Facebook’s parent company.
The findings of the report said: “The US network — linked to individuals associated with the US military — operated across many internet services and focused on Afghanistan, Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Somalia, Syria, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.”
The social media giant said 39 Facebook accounts, 16 Facebook pages, two groups, and 26 Instagram accounts had been removed for violating its policy on “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” a term used to describe the coordination of accounts and adoption of techniques to publish, promote, and spread false content.
The campaigns, believed to be the first of their kind, were designed to discredit Russia, China, Iran, and other countries, while promoting American views and values.
The tactics adopted by the US network were similar to those used in anti-Western campaigns, such as the use of fake people and the dissemination of artificially generated photos across multiple platforms.
“The people behind this activity posted primarily in Arabic, Farsi, and Russian about news and current events, including terrorism concerns and praise of the US military, as well as content about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic — some of which we removed for violating our misinformation policy,” the report added.
Although experts believe the campaigns were largely ineffective and their reach was very limited, Meta argued that the operations ran across many internet services, including Twitter, YouTube, Telegram, VKontakte, and Odnoklassniki.
“Although the people behind this operation attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, our investigation found links to individuals associated with the US military,” Meta said in the report, adding that, “the majority of this operation’s posts had little to no engagement from authentic communities.”
Hillary Essein (PEOPLE'S GAZETTE) also covers the story.
And that's going to have to be it. I am very sick this morning. This has been dictated in pieces and I'm sure it's very disjointed, my apologies.
The following sites updated: