[WSMDiscuss] The US in movement…. : First they came for trans Americans. Who will be next ? (Sarah Kendzior)
jai.sen at cacim.net
Fri Jul 28 16:30:55 CEST 2017
Friday, July 28, 2017
The US in movement….
[A powerful article – as always, from this writer. Read it. But, and with all due respect, ‘First they came for the Muslims…’. But yes, the rest is absolutely on target :
First they came for trans Americans. Who will be next ?
"On Wednesday, a man who never served in his country’s armed forces attacked the soldiers who sacrifice on its behalf. A man who bragged of assaulting women declared the gender identity of patriotic citizens to be “disruptive.” A man who swore to serve the United States endangered its security by stating he would strip the rights of citizens who have fought long and hard not only to defend their countrymen, but to be afforded basic dignity and respect.”
[I acknowledge that in her article, Sarah Kendzior has given the link to the line she has used for the title of her article. But nevertheless, I think that at this juncture, it's worth putting out right in front the full quote, right here – and even though I also did this just a month ago, in terms of what is happening in India these days. But this is our reality today, across so much of the world; and so the earlier we all wake up to this, throughout the world, the better :
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Martin Niemöller <https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007391> (1892–1984) - a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.
First they came for trans Americans. Who will be next?
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jul. 27, 2017 2:26PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Jul. 27, 2017 4:57PM EDT
Sarah Kendzior is a St. Louis, Mo.-based commentator who writes about politics, the economy and media
On Wednesday, a man who never served in his country’s armed forces attacked the soldiers who sacrifice on its behalf. A man who bragged of assaulting women declared the gender identity of patriotic citizens to be “disruptive.” A man who swore to serve the United States endangered its security by stating he would strip the rights of citizens who have fought long and hard not only to defend their countrymen, but to be afforded basic dignity and respect.
Hundreds rally against Trump's transgender military ban (Reuters)
President Donald Trump’s announcement that he is banning transgender Americans from serving in the military has been dismissed by some as a distraction, but an attack on civil rights is never a distraction: it’s a serious offence, and a familiar one.
Like all autocrats, Mr. Trump targets vulnerable minorities, presenting them not as victims but as a threat to the majority – despite the fact that in this case, transgender soldiers are willing to lay their lives on the line to protect that majority’s safety. By announcing his policy on Twitter without consulting the Pentagon, Mr. Trump showed yet again his complete disregard for process, protocol and serving the public.
When the Commander-in-Chief tweets about the military, one does not get to dismiss it as trolling. When the President threatens innocent citizens, one does not get to see it as a stunt. The pain it causes is real, and so are the political repercussions.
Lawrence Martin: Will Dump Trump gain momentum? Don’t bet on it <https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/will-dump-trump-gain-momentum-dont-bet-on-it/article35792064/>
It is a sign of how dangerously out of control the Trump administration is that the Pentagon, when watching his first tweet roll out, initially thought <https://www.buzzfeed.com/coralewis/trump-transgender-military-service?utm_term=.bsrkzVVka#.dtzb4jjbN> the President of the United States might be announcing an attack on North Korea and anxiously waited for nine minutes before learning he was attacking citizens instead. There are many reasons that Mr. Trump should be removed from power – violation of the emoluments clause, suspected collusion with a hostile state – but his ability to destabilize the world in 140-character increments ranks high.
As Trump lackeys such as Julian Assange <https://twitter.com/JulianAssange/status/890235001962364928> told the world to ignore the tweets, Democrats, Republicans, military officials and citizens sprang into action to defend transgender servicemen and servicewomen. Senators ranging from liberal Kamala Harris to conservative Orrin Hatch denounced the decision, while health-care experts dismissed <https://www.allure.com/story/military-spending-transgender-healthcare-erectile-dysfunction> Mr. Trump’s fatuous claim that transgender military members created excessive medical costs, some noting that the military spends 10 times more on erectile-dysfunction medications than it does on trans health care.
By launching a casually vitriolic attack on both a vulnerable minority and on the military, Mr. Trump misread the room, angering all but a fraction of his base. That his words are rightly condemned does not, however, give us the luxury to dismiss them. The declared ban on transgender service members was was followed by a Justice Department statement <https://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/the-justice-department-just-argued-against-gay-rights-in-a?utm_term=.ktvZArnwjq#.ol95RA2W0z> that LGBT citizens should not be protected from work-force discrimination. Attorney-General Jeff Sessions had met <http://www.newsweek.com/anti-lgbt-hate-groups-transgender-military-ban-trump-642218> throughout the year with anti-LGBT groups so extreme that they do not believe LGBT people should exist.
Mr. Trump’s words are not merely hateful rhetoric. They are part of a cruel, discriminatory and potentially lethal philosophy supported by an administration with the power to transform rhetoric into policy.
Transgender citizens who serve in the military do not get to choose their battles. Citizens who seek to ensure all Americans have civil rights should not choose their battles either, but recognize that an attack on one group is part of an attack on all. Martin Niemoeller’s famous poem <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_...> First they came … was shown in action over a mere 12-hour period: First they came for the transgender military members, then for the rest of LGBT Americans.
Since January, the Trump administration – the likes of Jeff Sessions and Steve Bannon – has targeted Muslims, Latino immigrants, the disabled and other marginalized groups. Broader initiatives such as TrumpCare – which will not only deprive millions of access to medical care but likely destabilize the U.S. economy – hurt the whole population, including the white conservatives to whom Mr. Trump caters. His attack on transgender service members is also in line with Mr. Trump’s prior attacks on the military, including his slander of a Gold Star family and the service of Senator John McCain.
In other words, no one is safe from this administration. Mr. Trump is following the standard procedure of an autocracy by focusing heavily on a minuscule and maligned group. That transgender Americans are targeted matters in itself, but it is also indicative of broader persecutory ambitions. If Americans want to stop it, we need to do what transgender soldiers have done: stand up and protect our countrymen – in this case, sadly, from their President.
jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net>
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