Connect with us

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



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


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.


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



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.


Continue Reading


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



‘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.



Continue Reading

2020 Road to the White House

‘This Is a Real Warning’: Ex-Campaign Aide Bluntly States Clinton Didn’t Go Far Enough Criticizing Tulsi Gabbard



On MSNBC Saturday, former Clinton campaign official and director of SiriusXM progressive programming Zerlina Maxwell said that not only did Hillary Clinton do nothing wrong for criticizing Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), she should have if anything gone even harder.

“I think she didn’t go far enough, and we have to decide whether or not we’ll listen to Hillary Clinton, who lived through this in 2016, or whether or not we’re going to do what we did in 2016, is decide that what she’s saying is irrelevant because of how we feel personally about her, and I think that that would be a mistake,” said Maxwell.

Related: ‘Malevolent Kraken’: Tulsi Gabbard Mocked After Attacking Hillary Clinton Over Claim Russia Is Grooming a Woman Democrat

“In 2016, anchors literally laughed at Hillary Clinton when she said it was Russia,” Maxwell continued. “Robby Mook went on television and said, ‘It was Russia that was hacking our emails and releasing them on Wikileaks.’ We were laughed at. I would like everyone to listen to us now because I, on the campaign, had that red banner over my email that said, ‘Government hackers are trying to infiltrate your account.’ So, this is a real warning. And I think that we would be smart to listen before it’s too late.”

Watch below:

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2019 AlterNet Media.