Teas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, running for re-election, on Monday sued the Biden administration in litigation falsely attacking LGBTQ people.
Paxton filed a lawsuit in a federal court seen as a friendly pipeline to the Supreme Court, over LGBTQ-related Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance, and even used the litigation to prop up a far right wing conspiracy theorist, who is also running for re-election. EEOC Commissioner Charlotte Burrows and Attorney General Merrick Garland are named as defendants.
The EEOC “guidance misstates the law, increasing the scope of liability for the State in its capacity as an employer,” Paxton claims in the lawsuit, as Bloomberg Law reports.
But as Courthouse News’ David Lee reports, the Paxton lawsuit also relies on old, false, and bigoted tropes about transgender people, saying allowing them to use restrooms that correspond to their gender identity, “puts many women and children at risk.”
#BREAKING: Texas sues Biden administration in Amarillo federal court over @USEEOC guidance for employers to allow bathroom, pronoun and dress code exceptions for #LBGTQ employees. @TXAG Ken Paxton says guidance is illegal, “puts many women and children at risk” @CourthouseNews pic.twitter.com/0VjRcC5TiN
— David Lee (@davejourno) September 20, 2021
A June 2020 landmark Supreme Court found that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination is sex discrimination. The Biden Equal Employment Opportunity Commission used that ruling to form policy that mandates workplace guidance, including on who can use which restrooms.
Curiously, and for no discernible reason, Paxton’s lawsuit also promotes the Texas Dept. of Agriculture (TDA), which is headed by conspiracy theorist Sid Miller.
“TDA has both unisex single-occupancy bathrooms and bathrooms that are designated by sex. It interprets ‘sex’ as referring to biological sex rather than gender identity,” the lawsuit says. “If any employee wanted to use the bathrooms designated for the opposite sex, TDA would reject such a request.”
Newsweek adds that Paxton’s lawsuit “says that the TDA interprets sex to mean biological sex, rather than gender identity. The complaint says, ‘If any employee dressed as a member of the opposite sex, TDA would consider such conduct to be a violation of its standards.'”
It also says the TDA would reject requests for “any employee wanted to use the bathrooms designated for the opposite sex” or any employee who “wanted TDA to require other employees to use pronouns based on gender identity.”
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Kanye West Asks Jewish People to ‘Forgive Hitler’ in Antisemitic Rant to Proud Boys Founder
Kanye West followed up his blatantly antisemitic rant on Alex Jones’ program by urging Jewish people to “forgive Hitler.”
The rapper, who now goes by Ye, appeared on the right-wing platform Censored.TV with Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, who said off the top that he hoped to “talk him off the ledge” and prevent him from “becoming an antisemite or a Nazi,” but the rest of the program strongly suggested he was too late, reported Rolling Stone.
“Jews should work for Christians,” West told McInnes. “I’ll hire a Jewish person in a second if I knew they weren’t a spy and I could look through their phone and follow through their house and have a camera all in their living room.”
McInnes met with West, who again wore a black mask covering his entire head, and neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes, who recently joined the rapper for dinner with Donald Trump, and pointed out that Adolf Hitler had a historically bad reputation.
“We make our reputations, that was made by Jewish people,” West claimed. “But some of it’s incorrect. Also, the Holocaust is not the only holocaust, so for them to take that and claim — we have abortion right now. That’s eugenics, that’s genocide. That’s a holocaust that we’re dealing with right now, so because Jewish people control the majority of the media, along with banks, along with real estate, along with malls.”
McInnes argued that secular Jews were problematic “liberal elites,” just like Kamala Harris and Barack Obama, but defended Orthodox Hasidic Jews, and West said he “lumps them all together” and blamed them for pornography — which he compared to a “gas chamber.”
“They can control the narrative,” West said. “History is written by the winners.”
Image via Shutterstock
‘Anathema to the Soul of Our Nation’: Trump Pilloried for Demanding ‘Termination’ of the US Constitution
The White House on Saturday afternoon responded to former President Donald Trump’s demand for the “termination” of the United States Constitution over non-existent “fraud and deception” in American elections, which he continues to claim cost him the presidency in 2020 and that he is expecting Republicans to embrace in his 2024 reelection campaign.
Trump wrote on his struggling fake Twitter app Truth Social:
ELECTION INTERFERENCE AT A LEVEL NEVER SEEN BEFORE!!!
So, with the revelation of MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION in working closely with Big Tech Companies, the DNC, & the Democrat Party, do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!
He went on to add:
UNPRECEDENTED FRAUD REQUIRES UNPRECEDENTED CURE!
I wonder what Mitch McConnell, the RINOS, and all of the weak Republicans who couldn’t get the Presidential Election of 2020 approved and out of the way fast enough, are thinking now?
There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the elections of 2022, or 2020, or any other major historical contest, let alone that which was pervasive enough to affect the results. And the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next – which Trump has attempted to upend through his lies and ultimately by mounting an insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021 – is a key tenet that holds the American democratic experiment intact.
White House Deputy Press Secretary and Senior Communications Adviser for Strategic Response Andrew Bates touched on those points in a statement:
The American Constitution is a sacrosanct document that for over 200 years has guaranteed that freedom and the rule of law prevail in our great country. The Constitution brings the American people together – regardless of party – and elected leaders swear to uphold it. It’s the ultimate monument to all of the Americans who have given their lives to defeat self-serving despots that abused their powers and trampled on constitutional rights. Attacking the Constitution and all it stands for is anathema to the soul of our nation, and should be universally condemned. You cannot love America only when you win.
The Democratic National Committee also fired back at Trump, as reported by Politico:
Donald Trump lost by 7 million votes in 2020 and his calls to undermine our democracy cost his party key races in 2022. The continued silence by Republican leaders, including his potential primary competitors, shows a MAGA party that is beholden to Trumpism, his divisive rhetoric, and his extreme positions.
Democratic lawmakers denounced Trump as well.
Congressman Don Beyer of Virginia tweeted:
Days after Trump dined with men who praise Hitler and the Nazis, he demands the ‘termination’ of the Constitution’s electoral process so he can be illegally reinstated. Trump’s words and actions are unacceptable, they stoke hatred and political violence, and they are dangerous. Every Member of Congress swore an oath to ‘defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’ Donald Trump has openly declared himself an enemy of the Constitution, and Republicans must repudiate him.
Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz said:
Trump just called for the suspension of the Constitution and it is the final straw for zero republicans, especially the ones who call themselves ‘constitutional conservatives.
New York Representative Richie Torres noted that “January 6 was Donald Trump’s attempt at terminating the US Constitution. He’s a repeat offender.”
California Congressman Eric Swalwell, who regularly faces death threats, stated that “every congressional reporter should demand responses from Congressional Republicans about Donald Trump’s call for the Constitution to be terminated … how many of them called themselves ‘Constitutional conservatives’ during the Obama years???”
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar said that “Trump just called for the suspension of the Constitution to overturn the 2020 results. Georgia VOTE. You stood tall against Trump and his minions last time. A win for [incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael] Warnock is another win for democracy.”
While outrage over Trump’s “truth” was not exclusive to the left, few on the right have stepped up to rebuke Trump. One exception, however, was ex-United Nations Ambassador and National Security Adviser John Bolton, who posted that “no American conservative can agree with Donald Trump’s call to suspend the Constitution because of the results of the 2020 election. And all real conservatives must oppose his 2024 campaign for president.”
Anti-LGBTQ Slurs on Twitter Up Over 800% as Musk Allows Thousands of Previously Banned Users Back: Reports
In the wake of the Colorado Springs hate crime mass shooting last month at an gay nightclub’s drag show event that left five people dead, the anti-LGBTQ slur “groomer” and other anti-LGBTQ hate speech posts on Twitter skyrocketed, “peaking at 885% over their highest level before the shooting,” NBC News reports.
“Barely 24 hours after the Colorado Springs hate crime attack,” Salon reported last week, “Elon Musk’s new Twitter responded to the massacre by reinstating the account of James Lindsay, the right-wing activist responsible for popularizing the anti-LGBTQ slur ‘OK groomer,’ which over the last 10 months has been used to imply that demands for LGBTQ rights or representation are tantamount to child molestation. In August, Lindsay was banned from Twitter for using a variation on the term, which under Twitter’s old regime was prohibited as a form of hateful conduct. But by Monday night, not only was Lindsay back, but ‘OK groomer’ was trending on the platform under its new ownership.”
Slurs against gay men on Twitter have increased by a daily average of 58% in the weeks following Elon Musk taking the critically influential social media platform private, firing its board, and welcoming back thousands of previously-banned accounts, according to information from NBC News and The New York Times.
“Travis Brown, an independent software developer in Berlin who tracks Twitter suspensions and screen name changes as part of a project studying extremism,” NBC News reports, shared data “that showed a wide variety of far-right accounts had been reinstated since Musk’s announcement” of a so-called “general amnesty.”
“In that time, Brown has logged an estimated 12,000 reversals of past bans, in a set that, while not a definitive list of reversals, provides a window into the types of users being welcomed back to the platform and leaving experts alarmed.”
In addition to “spammers, copyright rule-breakers, adult-content creators and high-profile accounts, Twitter has reopened the door to a growing and emboldened community of trolls, white nationalists, conspiracy theorists and extreme right-wing activists,” NBC adds.
Musk’s general amnesty “has restored hundreds of accounts of right-wing activists and QAnon adherents, according to data reviewed by NBC News. The reinstatement of far-right accounts has coincided with a series of bans of left-wing accounts, leaving users unsure of how the company is now applying its rules.”
The New York Times adds, “Before Elon Musk bought Twitter, slurs against Black Americans showed up on the social media service an average of 1,282 times a day. After the billionaire became Twitter’s owner, they jumped to 3,876 times a day.”
“Slurs against gay men appeared on Twitter 2,506 times a day on average before Mr. Musk took over. Afterward, their use rose to 3,964 times a day,” The Times reports. “And antisemitic posts referring to Jews or Judaism soared more than 61 percent in the two weeks after Mr. Musk acquired the site.”
“I see good things about Hitler,” West told Jones. “Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”
Musk apparently personally had West’s Twitter account suspended when the artist who goes by “Ye” posted an image of a Jewish six-pointed star embedded with a Nazi swastika. The account, at least for now, remains suspended.
The Times reporting, which includes information from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, the Anti-Defamation League and other groups, calls the increase in hate speech on Musk’s Twitter “unprecedented.”
“Accounts that Twitter used to regularly remove — such as those that identify as part of the Islamic State, which were banned after the U.S. government classified ISIS as a terror group — have come roaring back. Accounts associated with QAnon, a vast far-right conspiracy theory, have paid for and received verified status on Twitter, giving them a sheen of legitimacy,” The Times reveals.
Musk himself set the stage. At the end of October he retweeted a false, anti-LGBTQ conspiracy theory involving Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s husband, who had recently been bludgeoned in a “near death” attack in their San Francisco home, allegedly by a man who has promoted far right extremism. He later removed that retweet.
Just last week Bloomberg News reported Musk was “restoring a string of accounts previously suspended for harassing transgender people, rolling back protections for the LGBTQ community as the country confronts the aftermath” of the Colorado Springs mass shooting. “Advocates say the shooting… highlights the potential real-world violence that can stem from rhetoric against the trans community. They noted that anti-trans abuse has been mounting on the platform since the shooting.”
As Musk welcomes back thousands who were banned for various reasons, from hate speech to disinformation to spamming to attacks on minorities and more, NBC’s reporting makes clear that left wing activists are finding their accounts suspended for apparently no legitimate reason.
“Chad Loder is an independent journalist in Los Angeles with more than 137,000 followers whose reporting on the Jan. 6 riot has been cited in Justice Department charging documents. Loder, who uses they/them pronouns, recently had their account suspended, briefly reinstated and then suspended again without a clear reason.”
For his part, Musk took to Twitter to refute reports hate speech has increased dramatically.
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