Connect with us

WATCH: This Brave Teen From Kokomo, Indiana, Just Shredded the Transgender Bathroom Myth

Published

on

City Council Votes 5-4 to Approve LGBT Protections on First Reading

His name is Aleczander Dean, and he’s a student at Kokomo High School in Kokomo, Indiana. 

On Monday night, Dean addressed the City Council (video below) prior to its initial vote on an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. 

And with his powerful one-minute speech, Dean may have done more to counter the transgender bathroom myth than the entire $3 million campaign in support of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) last year. 

1.jpg

“In regards to people saying that transgender people will be predators … I just want to know why you guys think we’re going to be predators, seeing as how the bathroom is our worst nightmare?” Dean told council members. “We go in there feeling as if we’ll be attacked, and we know that people don’t want us there. Why do you guys want us to be hurt more? It’s not right for you to be denying us. I go to sports competitions. I go and change with the guys, because the girls would think that it was weird for a guy to be in there. Why would you want the girls to be freaked out by having a guy in the changing room?”

The council eventually approved the ordinance, 5-4, on first reading, with a final vote set for next week. 

More than 30 people addressed the council, with opponents of the ordinance outnumbering supporters two-to-one. And many of them repeated the familiar argument that LGBT protections would somehow lead to sexual predators entering women’s bathrooms to prey on victims.

This fear-mongering claim is provably false, as no such incident has been reported in any of the more than 200 cities with similar laws. In recent months, however, it has befuddled LGBT advocates, who’ve struggled to devise an effective response. This failure was most notable in Houston, where a TV ad depicting a man following a young girl into a bathroom stall led to voters overwhelmingly repealing HERO in November. 

“I have a little girl who is 6 years old, and my job as a mother is to guide her moral compass, and I feel if you pass this, you are stripping me as a parent [of the ability] to guide her moral compass, with fear that we will walk into a locker room, and that she may see a body part that she should not see at her age,” one woman told Kokomo council members. 

“Don’t tell me the sexual predators are not drooling over this opportunity to go into the women’s restroom,” one man said. 

Kokomo City Councilman Steve Whikehart, who authored the ordinance, pre-emptively addressed restroom safety concerns in introducing the measure. 

Deploying a powerful but underused weapon against the trans bathroom myth, Whikehart pointed to June 2015 recommendations from the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration, which state that “all employees, including transgender employees should have access to restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.”  

“As for the use of bathrooms, this doesn’t change anything about the safety of children,” Whikehart said. “OSHA’s goal is to ensure that employers provide a safe and healthful working environment.” 

One speaker in support of the ordinance also noted similarities between the trans bathroom myth and arguments in favor of racial segregation. 

“They didn’t want Black people in their bathroom because something bad might happen,” she said. 

Dean’s mother also spoke, noting the extremely high rates of violence against trans people. She said she fears that discrimination based on her son’s gender identity will prevent him from pursuing his dream of becoming a gender-specific psychologist. 

“I’ve got a very smart son. He’s not afraid to get up and speak his mind, and I thank God for that every day,” Dean’s mother said. “I want my son to have the same rights that I have.” 

Watch Dean’s remarks in the video below. 

 

Image: Screenshot via YouTube 

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Bombshell NYT Report Reveals Bill Barr’s Special Counsel Opened ‘Secret’ Financial Crimes Probe Into Trump But Never Prosecuted

Published

on

Special Counsel Robert Durham, appointed by then-Attorney General Bill Barr, uncovered possible financial crimes by Donald Trump but made no attempt to prosecute them, The New York Times reveals in massive, bombshell report published Thursday after a months-long investigation.

“Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham never disclosed that their inquiry expanded in the fall of 2019, based on a tip from Italian officials, to include a criminal investigation into suspicious financial dealings related to Mr. Trump. The specifics of the tip and how they handled the investigation remain unclear, but Mr. Durham brought no charges over it,” The Times’ Charlie Savage, Adam Goldman, and Katie Benner report.

The “potentially explosive tip linking Mr. Trump to certain suspected financial crimes” came during a trip Barr and Durham, his special counsel, took together. They “decided that the tip was too serious and credible to ignore.”

But, “Mr. Durham never filed charges, and it remains unclear what level of an investigation it was, what steps he took, what he learned and whether anyone at the White House ever found out. The extraordinary fact that Mr. Durham opened a criminal investigation that included scrutinizing Mr. Trump has remained secret.”

That’s just one aspect of The Times’ extensive and disturbing report.

It also reveals that there was little justification for Barr to install Durham as a special counsel to investigate what Trump wrongly maintained was an unjustifiable investigation into his ties to Russia.

In fact, The Times “found that the main thrust of the Durham inquiry was marked by some of the very same flaws — including a strained justification for opening it and its role in fueling partisan conspiracy theories that would never be charged in court — that Trump allies claim characterized the Russia investigation.”

READ MORE: ‘Failed Spectacularly’: Top Legal Experts Call for Ethics Probe Into Bill Barr’s Handpicked Special Counsel John Durham

In another shocking revelation, The Times reports Durham “used Russian intelligence memos — suspected by other U.S. officials of containing disinformation — to gain access to emails of an aide to George Soros, the financier and philanthropist who is a favorite target of the American right and Russian state media.”

The Times does not explain how Durham obtained the Russian disinformation.

“Mr. Durham used grand jury powers to keep pursuing the emails even after a judge twice rejected his request for access to them. The emails yielded no evidence that Mr. Durham has cited in any case he pursued.”

Attorneys on Durham’s team apparently had significant qualms with his actions, leading at least two to resign.

“There were deeper internal fractures on the Durham team than previously known,” The Times reports. “The publicly unexplained resignation in 2020 of his No. 2 and longtime aide, Nora R. Dannehy, was the culmination of a series of disputes between them over prosecutorial ethics. A year later, two more prosecutors strongly objected to plans to indict a lawyer with ties to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign based on evidence they warned was too flimsy, and one left the team in protest of Mr. Durham’s decision to proceed anyway. (A jury swiftly acquitted the lawyer.)”

BARR THREATENED NSA

The Times also reports that Attorney General Barr bought into Trump’s false claims that there had been “no collusion” between the Trump camp and Russia.

READ MORE: Republicans Claiming ‘Censorship’ Threaten to Haul AT&T and DirecTV Into Congress for Dropping Far-Right Newsmax

Importantly, The Times states point-blank that the Mueller Report “detailed ‘numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign,’ and it established both how Moscow had worked to help Mr. Trump win and how his campaign had expected to benefit from the foreign interference.”

According to The Times’ account, “soon after giving Mr. Durham his assignment,” in May of 2019, “Mr. Barr summoned the head of the National Security Agency, Paul M. Nakasone, to his office. In front of several aides, Mr. Barr demanded that the N.S.A. cooperate with the Durham inquiry.”

The NSA is a wholly separate entity from the Dept. of Justice. It is an agency under the Dept. of Defense and reports to the powerful Director of National Intelligence (DNI).

Barr apparently did not care, and, “repeating a sexual vulgarity, he warned that if the N.S.A. wronged him by not doing all it could to help Mr. Durham, Mr. Barr would do the same to the agency.”

DURHAM TRIED TO SCUTTLE A REPORT’S FINDING THAT TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION WAS WARRANTED

“Mr. Durham’s team spent long hours combing the C.I.A.’s files but found no way to support the allegation” that the investigation into Trump and Russia was the result of some anti-Trump deep state operation.

Barr and Durham actually “traveled abroad together to press British and Italian officials to reveal everything their agencies had gleaned about the Trump campaign and relayed to the United States, but both allied governments denied they had done any such thing. Top British intelligence officials expressed indignation to their U.S. counterparts about the accusation, three former U.S. officials said.”

The Dept. of Justice’s Inspector General’s investigation found there was, in fact, sufficient cause for the DOJ to have opened up the Trump-Russia investigation, contrary to Barr’s personal beliefs.

So he tried to have that finding removed from the final report.

READ MORE: ‘Big No-No’: Santos May or May Not Have a Campaign Treasurer Prompting Questions About Whose Signature That Is

The Times reports that “the broader findings contradicted Mr. Trump’s accusations and the rationale for Mr. Durham’s inquiry,” which should have shut down what ultimately became Durham’s four-year long investigation that netted almost nothing.

The DOJ Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, “found no evidence that F.B.I. actions were politically motivated. And he concluded that the investigation’s basis — an Australian diplomat’s tip that a Trump campaign adviser had seemed to disclose advance knowledge that Russia would release hacked Democratic emails — had been sufficient to lawfully open it.”

So Barr tried to discredit Horowitz’s report.

“Minutes before the inspector general’s report went online, Mr. Barr issued a statement contradicting Mr. Horowitz’s major finding, declaring that the F.B.I. opened the investigation “on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient.” He would later tell Fox News that the investigation began “without any basis,” as if the diplomat’s tip never happened.”

Read the entire Times report here.

 

Continue Reading

'THIS ISN'T GOING TO END WELL'

‘Big No-No’: Santos May or May Not Have a Campaign Treasurer Prompting Questions About Whose Signature That Is

Published

on

An amended Federal Elections Commission (FEC) campaign finance report from U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) made headlines this week after it appeared to indicate the embattled freshman New York Republican lawmaker was withdrawing his previous claims of having made loans of his own money to his campaign, totaling $625,000.

If the funds did not come from the candidate, who did they come from?

No one seems to know, and Santos is refusing to answer questions.

Now it appears to be even more complicated.

The Daily Beast reports on a “kerfuffle” that “took place after the FEC posted new statements of organization filed by Santos’ five federal political committees, including his campaign, claiming their treasurer, Nancy Marks, had handed the books over to another accountant popular among Republican officials, Thomas Datwyler.”

READ MORE: Watch: Santos Shuts Door on Reporters, Says ‘No Comment’ on $500,000 ‘Personal’ Loan After Amending FEC Report

Just one problem: Datwyler apparently doesn’t work for Santos.

“Datwyler’s attorney, Derek Ross, told The Daily Beast those filings were inaccurate, saying Datwyler had rejected the Santos campaign’s offer earlier this week.”

Meanwhile, Newsweek reports that Santos “has been accused of listing a man as his campaign financier against his wishes and using his signature without consent, in the latest controversy to hit the New York House Republican.”

Newsweek claims that in that amended filing that suggests the $625,000 did not come from Santos’ personal funds, Datwyler “was listed as his new treasurer, with the filing signed with his name.”

That’s raising even more questions.

READ MORE: Republicans Claiming ‘Censorship’ Threaten to Haul AT&T and DirecTV Into Congress for Dropping Far-Right Newsmax

ABC News adds that “Adav Noti, former associate general counsel at the Federal Election Commission and now senior vice president and legal director of the watchdog group Campaign Legal Center, told ABC News that someone with the committees’ login credentials would have had to file those amendments and list Datwyler’s name as the new treasurer.”

“It’s completely illegal to sign somebody else’s name on a federal filing without their consent. That is a big, big no-no,” Noti told ABC News.

Marc Elias, the famed elections attorney for the Democratic National Committee who won all 64 cases in the 2020 presidential election filed by Donald Trump or his allies, says some people need to get a lawyer.

“This isn’t going to end well,” Elias tweeted. “I would suggest that all of the treasurers, potential treasurers, past and future treasurers, and alleged treasurers for Santos’ campaigns get lawyers asap.”

Continue Reading

MELTDOWN

Republicans Claiming ‘Censorship’ Threaten to Haul AT&T and DirecTV Into Congress for Dropping Far-Right Newsmax

Published

on

Republicans in both the House and Senate are falsely screaming “censorship” and threatening to haul executives from DirecTV and AT&T in to testify before cameras in congressional hearings after the digital satellite TV service provider dropped Newsmax over the far-right wing, pro-Trump channel’s demand for higher fees.

DirecTV is majority-owned by multinational telecom giant AT&T, which has a history of donating to far-right extremist Republicans. AT&T also spent millions to fund the creation of another far-right channel, One America News Network, better known as OAN or OANN. Last year Newsweek reported “AT&T sits atop a list of corporate donors to U.S. senators and congressmembers who voted against certifying the election for Biden.”

AT&T, Newsweek reported, has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to members of the “sedition caucus,” lawmakers who “voted to overturn the election.”

And yet the GOP, from ex-president Donald Trump on down, are using their political power to try to force a private entity, DirecTV, to carry a channel it has determined doesn’t fit into its business model anymore. These are the same Republicans who would demand protections for bakers and florists who don’t want to serve same-sex couples getting married, who want to ban books they find offensive, and restrict a woman’s right to her health care choices.

READ MORE: ‘Complicit in Spread of Hate and Extremism’: Facebook Lifting Its Suspension of Trump Criticized by Experts as ‘Dangerous’

Over 40 Republicans sent a letter to AT&T, DirecTV, and TPG Capital, the minority owner of the satellite TV service provider, accusing DirecTV of “actively working to to limit conservative viewpoints,” as Ars Technica and CBS News reported.

The Daily Beast reports, “this should have been a typical cable package negotiation in an era of cord-cutting, shrinking subscription numbers, and reduced television revenues. Instead, it looks like it will become yet another salvo in the ongoing culture wars and partisan gripes fueling American politics and cable news.”

Indeed, a DirecTV spokesperson told The Daily Beast, “On multiple occasions, we made it clear to Newsmax that we wanted to continue to offer the network, but ultimately Newsmax’s demands for rate increases would have led to significantly higher costs that we would have to pass on to our broad customer base.”

They also noted that Newsmax is available, for free, “via NewsmaxTV.com, YouTube.com and on multiple streaming platforms like Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Google Play.”

READ MORE: Watch: Santos Shuts Door on Reporters, Says ‘No Comment’ on $500,000 ‘Personal’ Loan After Amending FEC Report

Republicans are furious, thanks in no small part to Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy, a longtime friend and ally of ex-president Donald Trump.

“AT&T’s DirecTV Cancels NEWSMAX in Censorship Move,” Newsmax wrote in an article on its website. It quotes Ruddy saying, “This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax.”

The article also notes that “41 Republican congressmen led by Rep. Wesley Hunt, R-Texas, sent a letter to the CEOs of AT&T, DirecTV, and hedge fund TPG Capital, the minority operator of the satellite system, warning of hearings.”

Donald Trump rushed to Ruddy’s aid. Writing on his Truth Social platform, the ex-president outright lied, saying DirecTV dropped Newsmax “without explanation.”

He then turned it into a campaign message: “This is just one of many reasons why we must WIN IN 2024!!!”

But Republicans aren’t even trying to hide why they are furious about DirecTV dropping Newsmax.

“If Newsmax is removed from DirecTV, in less than a year House Republicans will have lost two of the three cable news channels that reach conservative voters on a platform that primarily serves conservative-leaning areas of the country,” Congressman Hunt’s letter reads.

House Republican Conference chair Elise Stefanik took to Twitter to go after DirecTV, calling it “unacceptable to de-platform Newsmax, a popular news channel that many of my constituents in #NY21 depend on for news.”

Accusing “the left” of trying to “snap everybody in line with their view, their way of thinking,” U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) threatened to have AT&T and DirecTV “executives come to talk to us, and explain this to us,” adding, “it could go as far as having public hearings.”

One of the most far-right Republicans in the House, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), appeared on Newsmax to threaten congressional hearings.

“AT&T needs to feel it and understand this is not going to be tolerated,” Biggs threatened Wednesday.

Congressman Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) also went to bat for Newsmax, saying on Newsmax “this really deserves an investigation in Congress.” he falsely claimed, “it’s obvious” AT&T wants “to remove conservative voices wherever they can, whenever they can.”

U.S. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) also appeared on Newsmax ‘absolutely” agreed with a Newssmax host who asked if the Senate would hold hearings on why AT&T/DirecTV are ‘censoring conservative,” which again, is false.

“This censorship, by companies like AT&T, of conservative voices,” Scott falsely claimed, “has got to stop. We need to hold hearings.”

Not to be outdone, U.S. Rep. Mónica De La Cruz actually made a speech on the House floor. Stumbling over her words from a pre-written statement while repeatedly stressing “AT&T,” the GOP Congresswoman from Texas falsely called it “another victory in the woke left’s efforts to cancel conservatives and limit free speech.”

But Sirius XM host and attorney Dean Obeidallah has strong words for Republicans who are using their government power to try to pressure private entities like AT&T and Newsmax to make business decisions they have determined are not in the interests of their shareholders: “This is 3rd world country BS.”

The “head of Newsmax played the white right victimhood card,” he adds, saying the reason “they were dropped was for their political views. That is 100% a lie. The GOP wants to force businesses to do what they want or suffer consequences like their beloved Putin does in Russia.”

Watch the videos of Republicans supporting Newsmax and calling for hearings above or at this link.

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.