After Election, LGBTQ Youth Show Mix of Anxiety and Desire for Progressive Action in Trump’s America
‘I Get Worried the World Will Leave Us Behind’
Itâ€™s not news that our world has fundamentally changed since the election of Donald Trump on November 8 of this year. Many of us have had to re-tool our expectations for what the next four years will look like. We here at The New Civil Rights Movement have certainly covered much of the fallout from the election, including the severe downturn in feelings of safety and security across the LGBTQ community.Â
At the end of November, the Southern Poverty Law Center released the results of a study titled “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the 2016 Presidential Election on Our Nationâ€™s Schools.” The study collected responses from over 10,000 â€œteachers, counselors, administrators and others who work in schools.â€ Shockingly, 90% of respondents said their school culture had been negatively impacted by election rhetoric, including a dramatic uptick in harassment using Confederate flags, Nazi salutes, and swastikas.Â
Eight in ten educators said theyâ€™ve seen higher anxiety in marginalized students stuch as immigrants, Muslim students, and LGBTQ students, but because tensions have been running so high, many teachers are afraid to talk through the election and its aftermath in class, which could give students a chance to process their thoughts and work through their emotions in a safe environment.
NCRM spoke to a few students about what theyâ€™re thinking, feeling, and seeing in the weeks since the election.
Alyx, a bisexual, trans high school student in New York whoâ€™s active in LGBTQ Jewish teen programs, tells us, â€œAfter the election, I’ve found myself much more detached from politics and the news. I don’t read The New York Times or the Guardian much anymore – two websites I was on all the time before the election. It’s just hard to read. It’s hard to watch while a man who preaches hate takes over the country.â€ Â
She, like many other students weâ€™ve spoken to, have turned the election into a call for action. â€œI’ve thrown myself more into the work I do, and that dominates more of my time than it used to. I try to be an advocate and an ally as best I can. One thing that I’ve tried to do is through my work planning events for LGBTQ Jewish teens is make sure people are informed about their rights and, for trans people, how to legally and medically transition.â€
Sarah, a cis, lesbian student at Wellesley College says, â€œEven from my point of privilege as a white, middle class person in a safe environment, I’m scared. I’ve seen racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and everything else our PEOTUS lends his name to before and since the election. I’ve seen it on my own campus, and it scares me.â€
In the absence of safe adults to speak to and confide in, many LGBTQ youth are turning to crisis hotlines such as The Trevor Project or Trans Lifeline. Both agencies have reported a sharp increase in election-related calls over the past month.
Not everyone thinks the next four years will be as taxing as others have predicted. Gregory Angelo, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, told VOA that Trumpâ€™s statement that heâ€™ll â€œbe a real friend to the LGBT communityâ€ shows that the anxiety shared by many is a result of â€œmyths that were perpetuated by Democrats during the campaignâ€ rather than from empirical evidence.Â
However, in the weeks since his election, President Elect Trump has yet to nominate a single candidate for his cabinet who fully supports LGBTQ rights and equality. But he has placed high in his transition team at least one member of an anti-gay hate group.
Much like the greater population, not every young person is feeling anxious about a Trump presidency, but many are certainly affected by the emotions of those around them and the assumption that theyâ€™re supposed to think the same things their friends think.Â
Sterling, a bisexual, trans high school student from Connecticut tells us, â€œI, personally, don’t feel scared for President Elect Trump to enter office. The reactions of Republicans and Democrats alike scare me.â€ Because he didnâ€™t identify with either sideâ€™s reaction to the election, he was fearful he would be characterized as â€œa self-hating, ignorant LGBT person.â€
But Sterling wasnâ€™t immune to the anxiety many others are feeling, either. He continues, â€œThe night it was announced that President Elect Trump won, a friend of mine who is a Democrat and transgender sent me a series of texts about how we’re all doomed and that my friend wants to kill themself.â€
Through all of the rhetoric, one message has stayed true and clear: LGBT youth are looking to their teachers, their families, and their communities to support them, protect them, and celebrate them for who they are now and the adults they will soon become. And they see the possible opportunity in the fallout.
Sarah adds, â€œThe one thing I’m grateful for in the aftermath of the election is that finally non-marginalized communities are seeing it too. The reason marginalized groups are targeted is because we are assumed to be powerless, but we are not. Queers, people of color, Jews, Muslims â€“Â we are everywhere and we are fighting. We’re using this to bring attention to the hate and discrimination that we’ve always faced, and although we’re scared, this is a time to band together to work toward equality.â€
Chris, a recent Pennsylvania high school graduate who identifies as non-binary and pansexual sums up the current attitudes of many succinctly: â€œSince the election, I’ve been afraid. When I look at everything that’s been lined up to be destroyed I get worried that the world will just leave us behind, and sometimes I fear they may do worse. But I know that humanity’s real successes have been a direct result of opposition; change never is/was/will be easy, and that’s why despite whatever fears and doubts I have, I know we can make it through and be better for it.â€
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Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license
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'GOOD LUCK WITH THAT'
‘Trying to Have It Both Ways’: Ivanka ‘Flailing’ as Trump Indictment Slams Family
While Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump have taken to their social media platforms to viciously lash out at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for indicting their father on a reported 30 charges, Ivanka Trump posted a rather muted statement on her Instagram account which simply said, “I love my father, and I love my country. Today, I am pained for both. I appreciate the voices across the political spectrum expressing support and concern.”
According to Daily Beast conservative columnist Matt Lewis, the so-called “First Daughter,” who served in the White House with her father, is trying to stay true to her former president dad, while distancing herself from his legal problems — and it is not going to work for her.
As Lewis put it, Ivanka is “flailing” in her attempts to shed the memory of her participation in the Trump administration that reached its lowest point on Jan. 6 when supporters of Trump stormed the Capitol and sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives.
“It’s hard to argue with anything Ivanka says here, but it is not a statement of moral clarity. Nor is it (conversely) a statement of strong support for her father. She’s flailing and trying to have it both ways,” Lewis wrote before adding, “Now, it’s understandable that a daughter might not want to utterly condemn her father. Further, children are not responsible for their parents’ sins. Except, of course, if you consider the fact that Ivanka served as the primary weapon in the ‘Trump’s not such a belligerent pig as his four decades as a public figure would make you think’ propaganda push.”
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Noting that Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner — who has baggage of his own — both stuck with Trump in the White House for all four years, Lewis added, “As far as the former first daughter goes, she and her husband might be done with politics, but once you’ve been a party to an administration like Trump’s, it’s going to be a long time before politics is done with them.”
“So, Ivanka, you want to have a seat at the cool apolitical kids’ table? You want to be once again accepted by the socially liberal billionaires’ children you used to go to the Hamptons with and now have Miami Beach playdates with? You want to enjoy the privileges of being a Trump with none of the shame? Good luck with that,” he concluded.
You can read more here.
Dominion Wins ‘Blockbuster Victories’ Against Fox News – Last Legal Issue Will Be Decided by a Jury: Report
Dominion Voting Systems won what are being called “blockbuster victories” Friday afternoon when a judge ruled the company suing Fox News for $1.6 billion in a major defamation lawsuit had met its burden of proof that Rupert Murdoch‘s far-right wing cable channel had repeatedly made false statements.
The final, and likely greatest legal issue Dominion will have to prove will be actual malice. That issue will be decided in a jury trial, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis ruled Friday, according to Law & Crime.
Unlike previous cases, Fox News will reportedly not be able to argue the on-air statements its personalities made were opinion.
CNN legal analyst and Brookings senior fellow Norm Eisen calls Friday’s decision a “huge win for Dominion on their summary judgment motion against Fox News.”
READ MORE: Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’
“Dominion won partial summary judgement that what Fox said about them was false! Now they just have to prove actual malice and damages,” Eisen says. “Meanwhile Fox’s motion was totally denied.”
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, an MSNBC contributor adds: “Dominion’s evidence Fox made false statements with reckless disregard is as strong as any I’ve seen.”
The judge was very clear in his ruling.
“While the Court must view the record in the light most favorable to Fox, the record does not show a genuine issue of material fact as to falsity,” Judge Davis wrote. “Through its extensive proof, Dominion has met its burden of showing there is no genuine issue of material fact as to falsity. Fox therefore had the burden to show an issue of material fact existed in turn. Fox failed to meet its burden.”
READ MORE: ‘Propaganda Network’: Media Reporter Says Dominion Filing Exposes Fox News as ‘Void of the Most Basic Journalistic Ethics’
Attorney and MSNBC host and legal analyst Katie Phang points to this key passage in Judge Davis’ ruling.
Dominion has won the argument on the issue of falsity, meaning that as the Court funds below, “it is CRYSTAL clear that none of the Statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true.” pic.twitter.com/7lKEspN0WI
— Katie S. Phang (@KatiePhang) March 31, 2023
Court watchers and news junkies are familiar at this point with the massive legal filings Dominion has made in which it exposed how Fox News knowingly made false statements regarding the 2020 presidential election. Those filings, each hundreds of pages, also detail internal Fox News communications and bombshell conversations between the company’s top personalities, executives, and even Chairman Rupert Murdoch.
Image of Rupert Murdoch via Shutterstock
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’
The U.S. Capitol Police and the Senate Sergeant at Arms on Friday jointly issued a statement warning they “anticipate” Trump protests across the country. The statement is not time-specific, and it states it has no information on “credible threats,” but some Democratic offices are allowing staffers to work from home Friday and Tuesday.
“The Sergeant at Arms and United States Capitol Police (USCP) anticipate demonstration activity across the country related to the indictment of former President Trump. While law enforcement is not tracking any specific, credible threats against the Capitol or state offices, there is potential for demonstration activity. USCP is working with law enforcement partners, so you may observe a greater law enforcement presence on Capitol Hill,” the statement reads.
“The SAA and USCP are monitoring the potential nationwide impacts to Senate state offices,” it adds.
The House Sergeant at Arms was conspicuously absent from the statement. Speaker Kevin McCarthy has control over that office.
READ MORE: Trump Trial Could Go Well Into the 2024 Election – Or Possibly Even Past It: Former Prosecutor
Additionally, Axios is reporting, “several House Democrats are allowing staffers to work from home as a safety precaution,” noting that “the memory of Trump supporters ransacking the Capitol on Jan. 6 is still fresh on the mind.”
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) is allowing staff to work from home for safety reasons. She told Axios, “I don’t ever want to see a Jan. 6 again.”
“I’ve been in the Trump hate tunnel, Donald Trump has gone after me, and quite frankly I don’t have security. I don’t have entourages.”
She’s not the only Democrat to raise concerns.
“Much of the language from the former President and his devotees is similar to what inspired Jan. 6th,” U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips said. “I’m concerned about safety for my colleagues and my staff.”
READ MORE: ‘Lighting the Match’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Blasted for Off the Rails Rant Defending Trump
Meanwhile, House Republicans are issuing full-throated support for Trump and calling for protests.
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who was called out by name in a six-page letter Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sent to Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan Friday morning, announced she will be in New York on Tuesday to support Trump when he is arraigned. She has posted several tweets since Trump was indicted.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy issued a statement Thursday seemingly designed to gin up rage and action in the MAGA base.
“Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election. As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump. The American people will not tolerate this injustice, and the House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account.”
Image by Elvert Barnes via Flickr and a CC license
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