A 23-year old transgender and gay man was beheaded in his home town of Kuruman, South Africa Friday, in an anti-gay hate crime.Â Thapelo Makutle,Â who wasÂ crowned Miss Gay Kuruman, was murdered by two men who remain at large. Reports state that police, for reasons of language and training, are not classifying the murder as a hate crime, and do not understand the significance of the attack. On report states the police reject thatÂ Makutle was beheaded, but acknowledge his throat was slashed.
Mamba Online reports:
According to the group Legbo Northern Cape, Thapelo Makutle was attacked at his place of work in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district on Friday. The organisation said that there was an argument related to “his sexuality and homosexuality”.
His two attackers are believed to have followed him to the room where he lived and on Saturday cut his throat, decapitating him.
They left his body under a blanket as though he were sleeping.
Makutle, who identified as both gay and transgender, was a volunteer for Legbo Northern Cape. He recently participated in the Kimberley Out In Africa Gay and Lesbian Festival, was known as a beauty queen named Queen Bling and was recently crowned Miss Gay Kuruman.
“It’s so sad. I can’t describe the pain that we are feeling right now,” Shaine Griqua, director of Legbo Northern Cape, told Mambaonline. “We have lost a young, talented, gay man who was open about who he was. The last few days have been like a dark cloud.”
He said that no arrests have yet been made in connection with the murder. He expressed his frustration with the lack of support for LGBT people in the Northern Cape and noted that hate crimes are on the rise in the province.
“We recently had a lesbian stabbed three times in a bar because they said that she should be a woman and not a man. She chose not to press charges because she didnâ€™t want her family involved,” Griqua said.
“The government is not interested in this problem,” he added.
A later report form Mamba Online states:
According to the Mothibistad police, Thapelo Makutle’s body was found lying on the floor of his rented room. It is alleged that the victim has been out with his friends that night. He left unannounced and his friends assumed that he had gone home to sleep.
Shaine Griqua, Director of Legbo Northern Cape, who first reported the attack, said that confusion around the state of the body likely stems from miscommunication due to most people in the area not speaking English as a first language.
Griqua believes that the attack was a hate crime and said that he has information that Makutle was killed as a result of an argument about his sexuality and gender appearance, but police have yet to confirm this, saying that the motive is as yet unknown.
He told Mambaonline that the police in the area are ill-equipped to deal appropriately with a hate crime.
“These people [the police] are not reliable. They donâ€™t even know what a hate crime is. If you ask them if it was related to his sexuality they will say â€˜noâ€™ because they don’t understand the context,” Griqua insisted.
Global Post adds:
In a statement, Cosatu’s Northern Cape secretary Anele Gxoyiya condemned “this brutal attack on a young, brilliant and educated soul whose head was chopped off in a hate crime.”
While South Africa is one of the few countries in the world to extend equal rights to homosexuals, and the only nation in Africa to allow same-sex marriage, the reality of life in townships and rural areas for gays and lesbians has been one of often brutal violence.
In a high-profile incident last year, Noxolo Nogwaza, a lesbian activist based in KwaThema township near Johannesburg, was gang-raped and then stabbed and stoned to death, in what the New York-based group Human Rights Watch described as part of an “epidemic” of hate crimes against gays and lesbians in South Africa.
Politics Web published a statementÂ in response to the murder, byÂ Lindiwe Mazibuko MP, Democratic AllianceÂ Parliamentary Leader:
This violent and gruesome assault is yet another reminder that many of our country’s people are still denied the basic rights and freedoms which our Constitution enshrines.
There is a spate of homophobic hate crimes which have recently taken place across our country, including the repugnant and unconscionable crime of so-called “corrective rape” committed against lesbian South African women.
At this time, South Africa needs strong leadership from President Jacob Zuma, and an indication of his commitment to ensuring that all South Africans are able to live their lives free from fear of discrimination or violence.
Unfortunately, the silence from the Presidency has been deafening. This silence is made worse by the fact that President Zuma has in the past shown himself to be prejudiced towards homosexuals.
Last year, the DA welcomed the establishment of a government-led Joint Task Team on a “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Intervention Strategy”, established in September 2011, under the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
Unfortunately, this task team has yet to make any report on its work.
Meanwhile, the spate of crimes continues.
President Zuma must speak out against this weekend’s horrific murder, and the many others like it, which are in danger of becoming all too commonplace in our country today.
I will today be calling for a debate in Parliament about the prevalence of these crimes in South Africa, and calling on MPs to discuss what can be done by the government to address this ongoing problem.
In addition, I will also be writing to the President to ask what immediate steps his government will be taking to address the violence and intimidation that homosexual South Africans must face on a daily basis.
Such crimes, and the President’s silence on them, cannot be allowed to continue.
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Trump Unveils New Oddly Familiar Space Force Logo – and Star Trek’s George Takei Jokes He’s ‘Expecting Some Royalties’
President Donald Trump unveiled his new Space Force logo Friday afternoon, and many immediately noticed a strong similarity to the Star Trek logo. Even the original “Star Trek” series’ actor George Takei had a lot of fun at Trump’s expense – including demanding some royalties.
I feel like Melania must have had a hand in copyi–I mean, designing this.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 24, 2020
There is nothing sacred any more. pic.twitter.com/ubyy4OIZrp
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 24, 2020
Many others had a good time as well:
“What if we just use the Star Trek logo?”
“We could never get away with that.”
“I dunno, the President’s pretty dumb.”
“You don’t think…”
“C’mon. Let’s try.”https://t.co/2a19FgI3yN
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) January 24, 2020
Anyone know who holds the copyright to the logo from Star Trek? They might want to call their lawyers.
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) January 24, 2020
Donald Trump decided to rip off his Space Force logo from Gene Roddenberry and Star Trek, one day after everyone just watched Star Trek Picard and got reminded of what the Starfleet logo looks like.
Trump is the world’s dumbest criminal, and it’s not even close.
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) January 24, 2020
Many people are saying Trump plagiarized the Space Farce logo from Star Trek… https://t.co/8OJL4XriTO
— William LeGate 🧢 (@williamlegate) January 24, 2020
Space Force is apparently going to use the Starfleet insignia as its symbol because of course it is. https://t.co/3owXpNhWBD
— VICE (@VICE) January 24, 2020
Conservative national security commentator and analyst John Noonan weighed in enough to ruin some of the fun:
to be clear, the Air Force definitely stole the Star Trek logo. It just happened decades ago!
— John Noonan (@noonanjo) January 24, 2020
For those excitedly tweeting that Trump stole the Star Trek logo!!!!, the patch on the left was the existing Air Force Command logo.
The same one I wore as a Lieutenant in 2005. pic.twitter.com/mYb60YioBP
— John Noonan (@noonanjo) January 24, 2020
Tulsi Gabbard’s $50 Million Lawsuit Against Hillary Clinton Exposes Exactly Why She Is Not the Leader America Needs
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a lower-tier presidential candidate with high aspirations, announced she is suing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for $50 million after the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee said Russia is grooming “somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary” for a third-party run, and reportedly called that person, “a favorite of the Russians” and “totally” a “Russian asset.” It does not appear Clinton ever named Gabbard directly.
“They’re also going to do third-party. I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton had said.
A Clinton spokesperson later did not deny the former Secretary of State and former U.S. Senator was referring to Gabbard.
Gabbard’s explanation for why she is suing Clinton exposes exactly why she is unfit to be president.
“This is my life that we’re talking about here,” The Hill reported Gabbard said on Fox News Thursday night to Tucker Carlson – three months after Clinton’s remarks. “When you have someone as powerful as Hillary Clinton seeking to smear my reputation and essentially implying that I’m a traitor to the country that I love, what she essentially is doing is taking my life away.”
Tulsi Gabbard appears on Tucker Carlson to discuss why she is suing Hillary Clinton pic.twitter.com/rFTWDV8N0T
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) January 24, 2020
We know that President Donald Trump would take to Twitter to attack anyone who made disparaging remarks against him, even private citizens, but most politicians would turn the other cheek and ignore the insult. Why dignify it with a response – much less a lawsuit?
What would Congresswoman Gabbard do if a Hillary Clinton, or a Vladimir Putin, or an Emmanuel Macron, or the head of the Republican Party, made similar comments about a President Gabbard? Would the nation have to witness and live through yet another thin-skinned president railing against being called a name, and turning to the courts for support? Haven’t Americans had enough of that already?
Gabbard’s thin-skin not only did not allow her to move on, she felt it appropriate to draw the U.S. Armed Forces into the controversy.
“For me as a soldier, as every service member does, I took an oath of loyalty to our country — the country that I love, willing to put my life on the line for our country — deploying twice to the Middle East to do so,” Gabbard added. She took a similar oath when she became a U.S. Congresswoman, but she had to drag our entire military into her battle.
Gabbard also told NBC News that her lawsuit “should have been for $50 billion.”
“What is your life worth to you? What is your honor and loyalty, your identity worth to you?” Gabbard asked a reporter. “What she has done has very directly attacked who I am as a person.”
Rep. Gabbard on her new $50M lawsuit against Hillary Clinton:
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 24, 2020
Again, this happens to politicians – and certainly presidents – daily.
In fact, after Clinton’s remarks became public, Gabbard attacked Clinton, calling her “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.”
Clinton did not sue Gabbard.
No one likes to be smeared, whether or not the allegations are true. When you’re a prominent elected official, it comes with the job. Turning the other cheek, moving on, and being the bigger person is the sign of a good leader, a strong leader, a leader who shows good judgment and has the perspective to focus on what’s really important to those she or he is serving. Gabbard has exposed she is not that leader.
Pentagon Triples Number of US Troops With Traumatic Brain Injury After Iran Attack – Trump Said They Were Just ‘Headaches’
The Pentagon has just announced 34 U.S. troops have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries as a result of Iran’s missile attacks on U.S. Forces at Iraqi bases where they were hosted earlier this month. That’s more than three times the number of service members initially reported, eleven, and an upgrade from “possible” traumatic brain injuries.
President Donald Trump, hours after the missiles hit two U.S. bases declared “All is well!” and insisted there had been no injuries to American forces. He later dismissed the injuries as “not very serious” and “headaches, and a couple of other things.”
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can lead to severe permanent brain damage and can be fatal.
On Wednesday the Commander-in-Chief was asked about the eleven U.S. service members who had been diagnosed with possible traumatic brain injuries as a result of Iran’s attack on U.S. Forces at Iraqi bases where they were hosted. Trump told a reporter they were just “headaches,” and became defensive quickly (video below.)
“I heard that they had headaches, and a couple of other things but I would say, and I can report, it is not very serious.”
“You don’t think that a potential traumatic brain injury is very serious?” the reporter asked.
“Um, they told me about it numerous days later – you’d have to ask the Dept. of Defense,” Trump replied. “No, I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen.”
That reporter was CBS News White House Correspondent Weijia Jiang. She later noted that “Trump has said many times that no Americans were hurt when Iran retaliated for the Soleimani strike, and that was a big reason he declared victory.”
That reason has been shredded, and Trump has made no effort to correct his remarks, and shown no concern for the now 34 service members.
Former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance weighed in, saying, “34 with TBI, in a crisis that looked like it was manufactured by Trump to distract from impeachment.”
“Pentagon officials have said there had been no effort to minimize or delay information on concussive injuries,” Reuters reports, “but its handling of the injuries following Tehran’s attack has renewed questions over the U.S. military’s policy regarding how it deals with suspected brain injuries.”
Here’s Trump dismissing TBIs as mere “headaches” earlier this week:
When asked about the 11 U.S. servicemen injured in the Iran airstrikes, President Trump told @weijia he didn't "consider them serious injuries relative to other injuries I've seen." https://t.co/anmIdCHO6a pic.twitter.com/boSjvDujCS
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 22, 2020
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