The Kansas City Star has posted a story and video about a young person actually headlined, “How this black, Muslim, transgender girl is trying to cope in Trump’s America.”
What makes the story worth reviewing is that it shows just how deeply poisoned are the communication streams from which this 17-year-old, first name Josie, is pulling information.
A male genetically, Josie claims to have been born “in a mal-assigned body” and now identifies as female. That sentiment is by now old hat. What is disturbing is Josie’s view of the world in which we all live.
Says Josie, with a piano tinkling dolefully in the background, “When I leave my house, I am reminded I could be killed. I am reminded that as a black person in America, the cops could kill me. I am reminded that as a transperson in America, someone in the bathroom could kill me. As a Muslim person in America, people could kill me.” Josie, by the way, embraces a “solidarity” with fellow Muslims around the world. Good luck with that!
Just as disturbing as Josie’s take on her fellow citizens is the failure of Star reporter Aaron Randle to even suggest that Josie’s perspective might be more than a little paranoid. If anything, the Star has been reinforcing that paranoia with its relentlessly hyperbolic coverage of President Trump, the fear of whom has heightened Josie’s anxiety.
According to Josie, “The Midwest has a special breed of racism where people won’t talk about racism. They don’t use the N-word when describing me.” For Josie, this relatively benign racism ended in November 2016: “When Trump was elected it stopped being this quiet racism and turned into a full blown racism.” This is madness, but the Star elevates it to wisdom.
Writes Randle, “Earlier this year the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs listed Missouri as one of the most dangerous cities in the country for trans people.”
Josie recounts one actual threatening situation. A black man on a bus began making crude remarks then followed Josie off the bus. “I just sprinted off running,” says Josie. “I was so terrified. I was paranoid for a month after that.” The odds that this black stalker voted for Trump are no better than the odds that Josie’s fellow Muslims would vote for Josie.
Randle turns to the long since discredited shakedown artists at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for reinforcement. There he learns that 23 transgender people have been murdered so far in 2017, “21 of them women of color.” Does either Randle or Josie believe that Trump voters are killing trans women of color?
The Josies of the world are never asked to think this nonsense through. Addled by the toxic vapors emanating from America’s newsrooms, they inevitably channel their self-loathing in media-approved directions.