Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Is it Free Speech or is it Bigotry Disguised as News

By Sabrina Samone, TMP


According to a recent article in the Advocate Magazine, hate-motivated violence against transgender people rose 13  percent last year. The overall incidents of hate-motivated violence against LGB, and HIV-affected communities dropped 32 percent, compared to last year. More recently, we came together as a community, to speak the 271 names of our fallen brothers and sisters.

Currently, there are only 20 states, including Puerto Rico with hate crime laws that include gender identity. South Carolina is not one of them, even more terrifying is that South Carolina has no hate crime laws, period. It's why an article by a conservative columnist, Kevin Fisher, titled "LOL at USC Protest", referring to a recent attempt by transgender students to protest, so damaging. It's even more disheartening that the paper Free Times, a pseudo liberal free newspaper defended the columnist and themselves for publishing it, by pointing out their support for "Gay Rights". They also stated, that reaction to Fisher's comments, were a decline in free speech, yet they admitted that a statement by Fisher was insensitive, when he questioned whether there were any trans students at USC.

The column by Fisher was written  in reaction to a push among students, and staff  to make the University of South Carolina inclusive for transgender students. Fisher's column begins with him writing, "Maybe it's because I went to college in the era of the Vietnam War and its protests, as well as the civil rights movement and its protests. Or Maybe it's because of the respect I have to this day for the courage and commitment shown by those student protesters in the face of REAL DANGER and SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES."

Either Fisher was hoping to stir the pot with a public statement like that, just two days before a planned TDOR event near USC. Or worse, he didn't see that the 271 transgender people who died were  in any "REAL DANGER", and did not suffer "SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES".

Neither did he even attempt to recognize the call for black equality, that was also apart of the protest, which were organized predominately by Cis and Trans women of color.

That was only a start with the insults to the transgender community. He went on to call the protesters, "the self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing, self-is-everything students, pretending to be protesters while making a mockery of that term and its tradition."

His reaction he states, to the idea of a protest for transgender inclusion at the states 2nd largest center for higher learning? "My reaction", he writes, "to this week's protest at the University of South Carolina was LOL. And I mean that literally. If you WANT A GOOD LAUGH, LOOK AT THE VIDEO on the The State newspaper's website, which includes an interview with a student spokesperson for the protesters."


This past Nov. 20th, we spoke the names of 271 transgender people who have lost their lives. Lost
their life because someone thought of them as nothing more than a joke, something to point, and gawk at. They lost their lives to people who thought their life was nothing to fight for, their freedom was somehow less than others. 271 people were denied the right to live their authentic self. Fisher talks about making a mockery out of the act of protesting, but what about the lives of those died by the mockery filled with hate that was inflicted upon them?


The columnist and the paper, that supports hate are no different from the murderer that wants to bash the head open, of another trans person. Words used to easily disregard a people are forms of hate Fisher, and Free Times. It is not free speech, it is bigotry, hate, and insensitivity to the plight of another human being. A true liberal journalist would not assume there aren't any transgender people but get the facts, even if they are already starring you in the face as you mentioned, "in a video from the State Newspaper. You would also have known,  that just because Fox News can dress shit up and sell it to a zombie audience, doesn't mean we all don't know the difference.
Even this amateur knows it's still bullshit bigotry.







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