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Activists Slam Dallas Police For Misgendering Trans Murder Victim

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A vigil is planned for Wednesday night for 22-year-old Shade Schuler.

As they prepare to stage a vigil for a transgender woman found murdered this summer, LGBT advocates are calling out the Dallas Police Department (DPD) for continuing to refer to the victim as male. 

A vigil is set for Wednesday night for 22-year-old Shade Schuler (Image, top and below), who advocates say was a black trans woman. Schuler’s badly decomposed body was found in an empty field on July 29, in an area where she’d repeatedly been arrested for sex work, according to police. Schuler was shot to death and found wearing a tube top, shorts, a wig and false fingernails with diamond studs and pink tips. 

signs.jpg
Signs for Wednesday’s vigil

Despite requests from transgender advocates, DPD has declined to change the department’s blog posts about the case, which refer to Schuler as “a black male.” Sr. Cpl. Monica Cordova, a spokeswoman for the department, said the decision is based on interviews with Schuler’s family members and friends, who’ve referred to her as male. 

“If it were something where the family and friends were referring to Shade as a transgender person, we would have absolutely no problem addressing Shade as a her,” Cordova told The New Civil Rights Movement. “In this case, it’s different, because the family and friends that we have talked to have both said the same thing — referred to Shade as a him, and said he did dress up as a female, but that wasn’t all the time. He didn’t really have a  preference as to what he was referred to as.

“He didn’t correct people when they said ‘him,'” Cordova added. “If they referred to him as a him, he was OK with it. If that’s the way he lived his life and didn’t have a problem with how people referred to him, then why should we? I’m just not comfortable changing something because they’re uncomfortable with how we’re referring to someone who wasn’t uncomfortable with it.” 

Nell Gaither, president of Trans Pride Initiative, a Dallas-based nonprofit, said the community has presented “clear evidence” to DPD that Schuler was trans. Gaither said she personally spoke with two family members who confirmed that Schuler identified as female. Schuler’s family members have declined requests for an interview. 

“This is simply setting a barrier to avoid accurate description of the person, adding to evidence of cis-centric transphobia in the DPD,” Gaither said. “The DPD likes to point to their dozen-plus years of cultural sensitivity training as evidence that disrespect is impossible, but an increasing number of reports to Trans Pride Initiative are showing that such training, at least around trans issues, may serve as little more than ticking off a check box and providing cover for entrenched transphobia. Reports of things like officers threatening to arrest a trans woman for ‘impersonating a woman’ … show there is little interest in or effort to identify and address possible the transphobia embedded in the culture of DPD.”

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Shade Schuler

In response to Gaither’s request, The Dallas Morning News updated its initial report about the murder to indicate the Schuler was transgender. 

Gaither said misgendering Schuler could hamper DPD’s investigation. She also said the department has declined to change its original report, which means the murder might not be reported properly as a hate crime to the FBI. 

Cordova said identifying Schuler as male won’t affect the investigation because the department has released her photo and other information. Cordova also said although investigators haven’t ruled it out, there is no evidence to suggest the murder was a hate crime. 

“From Shade’s record, he was a known male prostitute,” Cordova said. “He was killed in the same are where he was known to hang around and where he had been arrested. I’m not saying that’s what got him killed or anything like that. I’m just saying those are facts that we have.” 

Gaither said many trans women are forced into sex work for survival due to social stigma and employment discrimination. One recent national survey found that while the overall unemployment rate was seven percent, it was 14 percent for trans people and 28 percent for black trans people. 

“That is exacerbated by the high social stigma that lowers self-esteem and self-worth, often meaning trans folks take greater risks in survival work than other folks do,” Gaither said. 

Schuler is among at least 19 trans women who’ve been reported murdered this year, up from 12 for all of 2014, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. 

 

Images of Shade Schuler via MySpace
Image of signs by Trans Pride Initiative via Facebook

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BAD PRESIDENT

Trump Faces Furious State Dept. Revolt for Trashing Career Diplomats on Ukraine: ‘People Are Fed Up’

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According to a report from Politico, Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are facing a massive revolt by longtime staffers at the State Department for continuing to trash U.S. diplomats and members in the foreign service community who refuse to protect the president over his Ukraine misdeeds.

Politico notes, “They’ve been derided as a ‘Deep State,’ slurred as ‘Obama holdovers,’ threatened with draconian budget cuts and told that President Donald Trump doesn’t even need them. Now, America’s diplomats are taking their revenge.”

Describing diplomats and State Department officials who have already spoken with House investigators, Politico reveals that resentment toward the president runs deeper than just anger over his Ukraine troubles.

“Overall, the diplomats’ testimony has bolstered allegations that Trump tried to improperly pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival,” the report states. “But some also used the platform to air long-held grievances over Trump and his aides’ treatment of the State Department’s career staffers, several of whom were demoted or sidelined following attacks by the conservative media.”

According to Laura Kennedy, a former U.S. ambassador who still keeps in touch with former associates at State, “People are fed up, there’s a deep well of resentment that’s just bubbled toward the top.”

According to another source, some lower-level employees are worried their reputations may be sullied by the turmoil going on in Pompeo’s department.

In fact, Pompeo has infuriated the career diplomats with how he is running the department as well as his criticism of well-respected employees.

“State Department employees say they’re furious that he hasn’t publicly supported [former Ukraine Ambassador Marie] Yovanovitch, who testified that the deputy secretary of state, John Sullivan, admitted to her that she’d ‘done nothing wrong’ but was being recalled anyway,” Politico reports. “Pompeo took over the department in April 2018, after morale had sunk unusually low under Trump’s first secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. Tillerson had largely sidelined career diplomats and seemed willing to go along with steep budget cuts Trump proposed for the State Department – cuts Congress has repeatedly blocked.”

According to a U.S. diplomat stationed overseas, “People are generally disappointed that Pompeo seems to have abdicated principled leadership in favor of political games.”

“But for now, as the impeachment inquiry leads their colleagues to Capitol Hill, State Department staffers feel like they matter, too. ‘They are sad, tired and scared,’ one former State Department official said, ‘though glad to see colleagues stand up and fulfill their oaths.’” Politico summed up.

You can read more here.

 

Image by U.S. Department of State via Flickr

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IT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL

Trump Reverses on Illegal Hosting of G-7 at His Own Resort – Blames ‘Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility’

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President Donald Trump late Saturday night finally reversed his decision to host the G-7 at his Doral Miami resort in June of 2020. Ignoring numerous Republican lawmakers, legal experts, and bipartisan condemnation of his unconstitutional and illegal decision the president instead blamed the “Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility.”

Curiously, Trump announced his administration would “begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately.”

But on Thursday Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters at a rare White House briefing that the administration had conducted an exhaustive search for the best space to host the G-7 leaders, and fairly decided Trump’s Doral Miami resort was “perfect.”

Earlier: Trump Mocked After Saying He Thought Violating the Constitution and Profiting From G7 Hosting Was ‘Good for Our Country’

Mulvaney went so far as to claim the White House had looked at 12 locations, including two in Utah, but decided on the Doral.

He also preemptively refused to release any emails or other items documenting the search process.

But if an actual search had been conducted, it would make sense to simply announce the 2020 G-7 would be held at the next “best” locale. Instead, Trump announced a new search would be conducted.

Why?

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READ THE CONSTITUTION

Trump Mocked After Saying He Thought Violating the Constitution and Profiting From G7 Hosting Was ‘Good for Our Country’

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‘Bro Tweeted Out an Ad’

After tremendous public and private  bipartisan condemnation of his decision to host the 2020 G-7 at his own Miami resort President Donald Trump Saturday night appeared to be laying the groundwork of reversing the unconstitutional and illegal decision.

In an insane series of tweets the president did what he always does: blamed the media for holding his feet to the fire in accurately reporting the consequences of his actions.

“I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders. It is big, grand, on hundreds of acres, next to MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, has tremendous ballrooms & meeting rooms,” Trump tweeted, adding that “each delegation would have its own 50 to 70 unit building. Would set up better than other alternatives. I announced that I would be willing to do it at NO PROFIT or, if legally permissible, at ZERO COST to the USA. But, as usual, the Hostile Media & their Democrat Partners went CRAZY!”

Also going “crazy” are Republicans and legal experts.

Should Trump host the G-7 at any of his properties he would reportedly be violating at least one if not several laws, and the U.S. Constitution.

Many quickly took to Twitter to express their condemnation yet again.

 

 

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