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The Right's Anti-Trans Playbook Was Used Against Blacks And Others Before
They're Always Wrong And We Have To Fight Them Until We Win
Conservatives aren’t very good at coming up with new stuff. Like the head of a Hollywood movie studio, conservatism is addicted to sequels. If Bigotry I worked for decades, then why not release Bigotry II and Bigotry III: The Return? That is what is happening right now with the right’s unpatriotic war on transgender Americans.
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The core thing that needs to be understood is that the right has never been in the right on these things. On every single battle for equal and human rights in the entire history of the United States and the world, conservative forces have been on the wrong side of the equation.
When progressives were championing equal rights for women, Blacks, Latinos, gay people, Asians, it was conservatives who were pushing scare campaigns and fearmongering about the fall of civilization.
Sound familiar? Because that’s what they’re doing today with the convenient target of the moment, transgender people.
To follow the rhetoric of anti-trans leaders like Ron DeSantis and right-wing propaganda outlets like Fox News, the push for transgender acceptance is corrupting the souls of the innocent, brainwashing innocent kids through rainbow t-shirts at Target and drag show clips on TikTok.
A generation and a half ago, the ideological forefathers of these same people were telling America that dangerous blacks were luring innocent young white children into lives of sex and depravity, with jazz music and the innate sexuality of Black men.
Just twenty years ago these same people were telling the world that gay marriage would lead to people marrying ducks and goats.
They always fight this battle, because it’s all they’ve got. They’re intellectually bankrupt, small-minded bigots.
But what needs to be understood is that the wrongness of conservatism is not self-evident. That is the mistake that liberalism makes far too often. We assume because it is clearly wrong and because it has failed in the past that it will just fail and collapse under its own weight.
This is a mistake. Women’s rights didn’t just happen. The civil rights movement had to exist and it suffered a horrific death toll. The battle for gay and lesbian equality is not yet concluded.
A war of ideology has to be fought and to sit on the sidelines, assuming victory, is to provide aid and comfort to the darkest forces in society.
Right now, the right is beating up on transgender people to get ahead politically. In the last twenty years we have seen this happen to other vulnerable populations. The right used 9/11 to argue against equal rights for Muslims. The right continues to blame every ill in society on Latino immigrants.
But all of this blame ignores the fact that the people threatening the most sexual crimes against women and children are far, far, far more likely to look like the straight white men that make up the bulk of the conservative movement. Kids aren’t in danger from drag queens and Mexican immigrants to the same degree they are white guys going to NRA-approved gun shops.
We have to speak out against these thugs and their thuggish behavior. Continually ostracize them from society. Hound them out of the public square and vote against every single attempt — every single attempt — they make to gain political power. They are an internal enemy that requires eternal vigilance.
The stakes are too high. Their bigoted rhetoric and oppressive legislation is pushing vulnerable children into suicide and putting them at risk from right wing mob violence. The right is desperately trying to recreate the conditions that led to the deaths of iconic figures like Emmett Till and Harvey Milk, again and again.
We can’t operate like they will just lose when those are the stakes of their day to day malevolence. They are wrong, have always been wrong, and we have to make them absolutely stew in that wrongness at every turn.
We have to fight, and we have to win.
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