“If they come for me in the morning, they will come for you in the night.”– Angela Davis
These words by activist Angela Davis are more of a warning of the future to come. They speak of a time that when the government comes for one group’s liberties and freedoms, that it will not stop until all of those that stand against them are subdued. We even see this theme carried over into cinema, where you can find an infinite number of movies that show how the government would rather control its people than to allow them to think for themselves. This administration is steeped in double talk to keep you distracted from what is actually going on behind closed doors. Last Wednesday I wrote “Trump, What Is He Good For?” and briefly touched on some of the policies he is pushing through while claiming that the LGBTQ people support him, Make no mistake, Donald Trump is no friend of the LGBTQ people. We as a community need to fight this monster and ensure his reign ends with the end of this term.
In that article I spoke of two major court cases that are in the SCOTUS and how they could affect our rights. This administration already feels that it is perfectly legal to discriminate against ALL LGBTQ people. Currently, our rights are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, but the current administration doesn’t feel that we should be allowed to use that as it refers to sex and not sexual orientation. Many judges already feel that discrimination based on sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination, due to the stereotypes it forces on people. Sexual orientation discrimination focuses on the stereotypes that people perceive of how men and women should behave. An example used is if a woman is fired because she is married to a woman then she lost her job because of being a woman, where as a man married to a woman would not be a deciding factor. This administration would rather strip away the civil rights protection of LGBTQ people. Gender non-conforming men and women should only be compared to gender non-conforming people of the opposite gender, thus allowing them to easily discriminate, across the board, based on sex stereotypes. This effectively creates a form of second-class citizenship.
We are also seeing Republicans trying to remove LGBTQ governors from office and only the LGBTQ governors, read the article here at LGBTQNation. There reasons are that the LGBTQ governors are enacting the agenda they ran on and not doing anything to further the Republican platform. In Oregon, Republics are trying to recall Governor Kate Brown for that very reason. Typically, a recall is put into motion when an elected official becomes corrupt or commits crimes while in office. Republican Party Chair Bill Currier filed the petition against Brown because of her policies. The policies he cited were on the environment, immigration, and civil rights, saying she did not have the interest of the people in her policies and was only furthering the agenda of the Democratic party. There are even consultants that are holding training sessions for Republicans on how to timely submit these recall notices to get a favorable outcome. GOP consultant Ben Engen is one of these people holding the training sessions. One of his tactics is to submit the petition at the correct time to trigger a winter recall election, a time when unaffiliated voters are less likely to turn out and conservative voters would turn out in larger numbers.
To see how this can affect us and our country, let’s look at a Trump appointee, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu. In Washington D.C, the number of hate crimes has doubled in the last two years, according to an article published by LGBTQNation.com. As the number of hate crimes has risen, hate crime prosecutions has plummeted to nearly zero and Liu feels she does not need to prosecute them. In 2017, D.C. police arrested 59 people in relation to hate crimes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office only prosecuted three. Later one of those cases was dropped. Of the 59 hate crimes, one involves a 27-year-old lesbian Ashly Taylor who was shot in the chest by an ex-con co-worker who had been luridly offering to have sex with her. Liu says the rise in hate crimes haven’t gone unnoticed and she claims to have hired a second hate crimes coordinator to help with prosecutions, but prosecution levels continue to drop under her tenure, without explanation.
Words can shape the minds of millions and can motivate groups into action. Throughout history we have seen how people can be swayed by rhetoric that caters to a small subset of people who feel they are being wronged. Our current president is no different. He goes into smaller towns and incites people into violence with thinly veiled threats against his opponents. There are studies being conducted to determine the extent of what is labeled as “the Trump Effect.” It essentially correlates data based on locations where Trump rallies have been held and an increase in violence and hate crimes. We have seen where counties that hosted a 2016 Trump campaign rally had an increase of hate crimes by 226%. We sit here and watch Trump praise citizens for attacking journalists, praising police for “roughing up” suspects, calling Mexicans drug dealers and rapists, and even seeing him refer to people of color as “brown people.” His policies unfairly target the poor, undocumented immigrants, trans people, and people of color. But when asked about his language, Trump had this to say. “I think my language is very nice.”
While these are the foci of his current administration, this will surely not be the end. Once he has taken away civil rights from LGBTQ people, people of color, women, and immigrants who will be left to target? We already see the policies in place that make the poor have a harder time in trying to better themselves. It will not stop as long as there is a group that can be subjugated. We have to finally decide when enough is enough. We have to decide how to fight back and when. The time is already here, and we need action. If you are not registered to vote, get out there and do so. If you need help in finding places to register, let me know. We need to become a cohesive community and fight under one voice, a voice for all those that can be subjugated against. Otherwise, where will it end?