Joe Biden has been accused painting a false picture about hate crimes against transgender people, as well as using politically incorrect language, in a tweet vowing to “fight” for the “dignity and justice” they have been “denied.”
“At least 37 transgender and gender-nonconforming people have been killed this year, most of them Black and Brown transgender women,” Biden tweeted on Friday, recognized as Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The presumed president-elect said the deaths are “intolerable” and promised to “fight” to end the “epidemic of violence.”
“From the moment I am sworn in as president, know that my administration will see you, listen to you, and fight for not only your safety but also the dignity and justice you have been denied,” the former vice president wrote.
To transgender and gender-nonconforming people across America and around the world: from the moment I am sworn in as president, know that my administration will see you, listen to you, and fight for not only your safety but also the dignity and justice you have been denied.
Biden has been accused of not only “pandering” and exploiting Transgender Remembrance Day, but also painting a picture that may not entirely reflect reality. While 37 deaths is the highest recorded for transgender people, according to the Humans Rights Campaign, suggesting an “epidemic of violence” has received pushback, especially since many of these deaths have reportedly been linked to murders, unrelated to hate crimes, but more often domestic violence situations and robberies.
“The majority of murders of transgender people involve domestic violence, sex work and drugs. 0.001% of the transgender population experience lethal violence,” author Chad Felix Green, who covers violence against LGBTQ citizens, tweeted in response to Biden.
Here are the facts:The majority of murders of transgender people involve domestic violence, sex work and drugs.0.001% of the transgender population experience lethal violence.Since 2015 there have been 5 confirmed hate-motivated murders against transgender people.
The vast majority of murders of black and brown transgender women with known murderers were killed by black and brown assailants.The vast majority of murders with known motivations are routine crimes and not hate crimes, like domestic violence.Hate crimes are rare.
Greene also went on to detail some of the deaths and the fact that they are not confirmed hate crimes. The deaths can be read about at the Human Rights Campaign website too.
One victim was killed in a robbery after she was lured by a 14 year old to a secluded spot and two others attacked her. They wanted to steal her car. https://t.co/JaWHiV7E0L
One person listed, Jayne Thompson, was found unresponsive by police in a parking lot, and then upon being revived pulled a knife and attacked the police officer before he killed her in self defense. https://t.co/JaWHiV7E0L
As HRC notes on their website, “Some of these cases involve clear anti-transgender bias. In others, the victim’s transgender status may have put them at risk in other ways, such as forcing them into unemployment, poverty, homelessness and/or survival sex work.”
Others echoed Greene’s criticism and accused Biden of feeding into false narrative and over-emphasizing a situation in an attempt to virtue signal to his base.
“This is just absurd pandering. There were roughly 15,000 murders in the United States in each of 2018 and 2019,” lawyer Will Chamberlain wrote.
“It is indeed really sad! But it is worth pointing out that most of these people are not killed *because they are transgender* or in hate-crimes, as the narrative often suggests,” reporter Brad Polumbo added. “They are killed and also are transgender.Tragic nonetheless, but facts and context matter.”
Black and brown transgender women are being killed by their partners. But anyway let’s blame Whites. https://t.co/3isrpHfg8M
Every human deserves the right to life & to live as they choose. But facts matter, Joe.Every one of these transgender women were killed by a black or Hispanic man. Not one was killed by a Caucasian. In the majority of cases, the murders were related to drug activity & sex work. https://t.co/1ak5FkTtXU
And nearly all of these murders are related to drugs, prostitution, or domestic trouble. There is no epidemic of anti-trans hate crime murder. It’s totally fabricated. But don’t let that stop you. https://t.co/gFDiWIuYgT
While Biden received a lot more support from his liberal base, he was still criticized by some who targeted his choice of language when describing transgender people as “gender-noncomforming.”
I think gender queer or gender fluid would have been a better word choice here. Why use a negative word (nonconfirming)? I appreciate the thought though.
Before your post, I never even thought of non-conforming as negative but now I can’t believe I didn’t. As if one conforms and one doesn’t. Thank you
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