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On National TV Obama Is Asked and Answers: ‘Why Is Which Bathroom a Person Uses Such an Issue?’

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For So Many Reasons This Was a Historic Moment

For about a century African Americans suffered under the weight of Jim Crow laws, legal segregation mandating separate restrooms, discrimination in housing, education, credit, and many other areas. The infamous, horrendous, “separate but equal” concept, which was never equal, arose out of these laws and beliefs.

So consider for a moment the historical significance (and irony) of what took place on national television Wednesday night.

A Black woman, the anchor of a network news show, held the microphone for a Black man, who asked America’s first Black president, near the end of his second term in office, on national TV, “With all the pressing issues that you have before you right now, why is the issue of which bathroom a person uses such an issue?”

That woman of course is “PBS NewsHour” anchor Gwen Ifill, who is also the moderator and managing editor of PBS’ “Washington Week.” Ifill hosted a town hall with President Obama in Elkhart, Indiana on Wednesday.

Think for a moment of the irony of that question, but also, what an amazing moment in time this is, how far we’ve come, and yet, how far we still have to go. But how wonderful it is that the President of the United States, on national television, is advocating for the civil rights and equality of transgender people. 

The real focus of the story is of course, the rights of transgender people, and how they are being forced to use restrooms and other public accommodations that do not correspond with their gender identity.

President Barack Obama’s response was, naturally, excellent.

“Somehow people think I made it an issue, I didn’t make it an issue,” the President noted. “What happened and what continues to happen is you have transgender kids in schools. And they get bullied. And they get ostracized. And it’s tough for them.”

The man who asked the question was identified by the Washington Blade as “Arvis Dawson, who identified himself as a community organizer and said he supports equal rights, but has issues with transgender restroom use.”

The President reminded Dawson that in their generation people “suffered silently” but now transgender people are coming out and living their lives openly. He says schools asked for guidance.

“My answer is that we should deal with this issue the same way we’d want it dealt with if it was our child,” Obama said. “And that is to try to create an environment of some dignity and kindness for these kids. And that’s sort of the bottom line.”

“I have to say what’s in my heart, but I also have to look at what’s in the law, my best interpretation of what our laws and our obligations are, is that we should try to accommodate these kids so they are not in a vulnerable situation.”

“Now, I understand that people, you know, for religious beliefs or just general discomfort might disagree,” Obama said. “And I’m not the one who’s making a big issue of it. But if the school districts around the country ask me, ‘What do you think we should do?,’ then what we’re going to do is tell them let’s find a way to accommodate them in a way that makes sure that these kids are not, you know, excluded and ostracized.”

After the video ends, the Blade reports President Obama continued, saying, “I have profound respect for everybody’s religious beliefs on this.”

“But if you’re at a public school, the question is, how do we just make sure that children are treated with kindness. That’s all. And you know, my reading of scripture tells me that that golden rule is pretty high up there in terms of my Christian belief.”

“I just wanted to emphasize to you, though, it’s not like I woke up one day and I said you know what we really need to do is let’s start working on high school bathrooms,” Obama said. “I was thinking about ISIL. And I was thinking about, you know, the economy and I’m thinking about jobs. But one of the things that, as president, you learn is that you don’t choose the issues all the time. The issues come to you. And then you have to make your best judgment about what you think is right, and I’ve expressed what I think is the best judgment that is consistent with our traditions and our laws.”

 

Image: Screenshot via PBS NewsHour/YouTube
Hat tip: Joe.My.God., Washington Blade

 

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NOT POLITICAL PRISONERS

4 Top Trump-Supporting House Republicans ‘Demanding Answers’ on ‘Treatment’ of January 6 ‘Prisoners’

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The U.S. Dept.  of Justice arrested and charged over 500 people who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, many in a coordinated effort to overturn a free and fair election. DOJ expects to charge about 100 others as well.

“The investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Attack will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence,” the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. wrote in March, when the list of people to be charged was estimated at about 400, The Washington Post reported at the time.

On Tuesday, as the newly-minted U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack launches, holding its first day of events, four far right wing House Republicans – some of whom has been linked to white nationalists – will be holding a different type of event.

Instead of working to uncover and piece together all the information about what happened on Jan. 6, including what led up to the attempted coup, four GOP representatives – Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene – will hold a press conference on the “treatment” of the January 6 “prisoners,” suggesting they are “political prisoners,” which is false.

The four extremists will hold that press conference Tuesday at 1 PM, “demanding answers on the treatment of Jan. 6 prisoners” from Attorney General Merrick Garland, per a press release.

“This is taking place on the same day as the Jan. 6 select committee’s first hearing,” Forbes’ Andrew Solender reports. House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “is also holding a presser ahead of that to counterprogram.”

“The lawmakers have all pushed a baseless conspiracy theory that federal agents were behind the attack, with Gosar also casting slain rioter Ashli Babbitt – who was shot by law enforcement while trying to breach the House chamber – as a martyr,” Solender says in a Forbes article.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Groveling Before White Supremacists’: GOP Senate Candidate Slammed for ‘Going Fully Anti-Semitic’

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A Republican candidate for the seat currently held by retiring U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) was both criticized for antisemitism and mocked for accidentally yet accurately linking extremism with conservatism on Monday.

Venture capitalist J.D. Vance, whose former boss, billionaire PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel has invested $10 million in a PAC supporting him, posted the strange tweet attacking the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL is a civil rights organization dedicated to “monitoring, tracking and responding to antisemitism in the United States.” Vance is the author of “Hillbilly Elegy.”

He retweeted this post from disclose.tv and called the ADL “a joke of an organization that just goes after conservatives.”

Some slammed Vance’s tweet as antisemitic:

Others just mocked him for accidentally speaking the truth about “extremist and hate movements.”

 

 

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WHO DO YOU THINK?

Psaki Forced to Explain COVID Basics to Fox News Reporter Asking ‘Whose Fault’ Is It Pandemic Cases Spiking

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Monday was forced to explain the basics of the coronavirus pandemic to Fox News reporter Peter Doocy after he tried to blame the increase in COVID-19 cases on President Joe Biden, bt asking, “whose fault” is it that the numbers are “going in the wrong direction.”

Naturally, the answer is those who could be vaccinated yet are still refusing to do so.

“On COVID Dr. Fauci says we’re going in the wrong direction. Whose fault is that?” Doocy asked.

“Well,” Psaki replied, “I would say first what he was referring to is the fact that because there are still a large population of people in this country who were unvaccinated. And we have the most transmissible variants that we’ve seen since the beginning of the pandemic that more people are getting sick with COVID, and that’s not, those numbers are not moving in the right direction. I think that’s accurate and you can see it by data.”

Doocy works for one of the top conservative cable channels that possibly has spread more coronavirus and vaccine disinformation than almost any other.

Watch:

 

 

 

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