FBI, other agencies investigating threats against Oklahoma trans girl

From The Dallas Voice:  https://www.dallasvoice.com/update-fbi-other-agencies-investigating-threats-against-oklahoma-trans-girl-10256758.html

Aug 14, 2018

Several agencies, including the FBI are “stepping in” to investigate threats made online against a 12-year-old transgender girl in Achille, Okla., to determine if those threats constitute a hate crime, according to Sherman, Texas TV station KXII Channel 12, a Fox TV station.

The same TV station reported Monday, Aug. 13, that officials with the Achille Independent School District have decided to close school — which just opened for the school year in the middle of last week — until Wednesday, Aug, 15, due to safety concerns. There are also reports that a rally in support of the child and her family is planned for Wednesday morning when school reopens.

The girl, Maddie, is now in the 7th grade and has been attending school in Achille since 5th grade. Her mother, Brandy Rose, told KXII that her daughter has been living as a girl for years and that when they moved to Achille and the child started school there, there was no problem until another student accused Maddie of peeking under a bathroom stall. The mother explained that her daughter “leans very far forward to use the bathroom. I can understand why someone seeing her lean forward would think, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s trying to look under.’”

She said Maddie didn’t get in trouble then, but school officials did make arrangements for her to use the staff restroom after that. But when school started last week, she was in a building that was new to her and did not know where the staff restroom was, so she used the girl’s restroom. Another student’s mother found out and posted online in the Achille ISD Parent Group on Facebook.

The woman, Jamie Crenshaw, wrote: “The transgender is already using the girls bathroom. We have been told how the school has gone above and beyond to make sure he has his own restroom yet he is still using the girls. REALLY . . . Looks like it’s gonna be a long year.” Responses to Crenshaw’s post, all from adults, included insults like calling the trans girl “a thing,” “it” and “a half-baked maggot,” along with actual physical threats against her, with one man suggesting that other children be encouraged to “kick ass in the bathroom.”

One man even wrote: “If he wants to be a female make him a female. A good sharp knife will do the job really quick.”

Achille Public School Superintendent Rick Beene clarified that contrary to initial reports, only Jamie Crenshaw’s initial post was made to the parents group, which has since been shut down. He said the other messages and responses came from people in other parts of Oklahoma and in Texas, according to The Washington Post.

Jamie Crenshaw’s original post was shared on a relative’s Facebook account, which then drew many of the other derogatory responses, according to reports.

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Can liberals please work out how to win back the working class?

I would think a good start would involve actually being liberal and representing the people instead of the corporate interests. It might also help to actually campaign in places outside of the enclaves where Democratic support is pretty much a given.  Here in Texas Beto O’Rourke is actually giving the humanoid lizard Ted Cruz a serious challenge.

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/27/liberals-donald-trump-rightwing-populism

I’m taking a pause from journalism – while I’m gone, can someone please tell the Democrats that they need to stop betraying the movements that support them

Fri 27 Jul 2018

The other day I noticed, with something of a shock, that Brett Kavanaugh, the supreme court nominee, is almost exactly the same age as me. I have always scoffed at those of my generation who cynically hitched their star to the conservative movement but now, as I take my leave from this space, it occurs to me that maybe they played the game right after all.

I started out in journalism in the orange-fingered sunset of the Reagan era. The rise of the right, I felt back then, was the most consequential development of my lifetime, and understanding it was where I came to focus my energies.

What came to fascinate me was the paradox of the thing. Republicans had successfully inverted their historical brand-image as the party of the highborn, remaking themselves as plain-talking pals of the forgotten people who had so spurned them during the Great Depression. Republicanism’s payload, however, was the same as it had been in 1932. And just look at what conservatism proceeded to do to those average people once they welcomed it into their lives.

But understanding the perversity of rightwing populism only brought me to another mystery: the continuing failure of liberals to defeat this thing, even as its freakishness and destructiveness became apparent to everyone. My brain twirls to think that rightwing populism is still running strong in 2018 – that it’s even worse now than it was in 1988 – that the invective and the journalism and the TV shows and all the mournful books about the decline of the middle class have amounted, basically, to nothing.

We had the perfect opportunity to reverse course in 2008, after a deregulatory catastrophe sent the billionaires shrieking for handouts and ruined middle America as collateral damage. That was the perfect moment for liberals to reclaim their Rooseveltian heritage by governing forcefully on behalf of ordinary people, by warring against over-powerful corporations, by demonstrating the power of the state to build a just and humane society. But they didn’t do it.

I know the excuses: those Republicans were so clever, they wouldn’t vote for Obama’s proposals, etc. But from the long-term perspective, what really mattered was the absence of Democratic will. Instead of doing what the moment required, Democrats chose to help the banks get back on their feet and to stand by as inequality soared; they scolded their base for wanting too much and they extended their hand instead to Silicon Valley and big pharma. The task of capturing public anger was one they regarded with distaste; they left that to Tea Party demagogues and to Donald Trump.

We are going to pay for that failure for a long time. The GOP should have been ruined by the financial crisis; instead the culture wars are raging all over again, with dog whistles and fights over the flag and the persecution mania of the populist right blaring from the TV screen. We’re right back where we started. The crisis went completely to waste.

For all their cunning, Republicans are a known quantity. Their motives are simple: they will do anything, say anything, profess faith in anything to get tax cuts, deregulation and a little help keeping workers in line. Nothing else is sacred to them. Rules, norms, traditions, deficits, the Bible, the constitution, whatever. They don’t care, and in this they have proven utterly predictable.

The Democrats, however, remain a mystery. We watch them hesitate at crucial moments, betray the movements that support them, and even try to suppress the leaders and ideas that generate any kind of populist electricity. Not only do they seem uninterested in doing their duty toward the middle class, but sometimes we suspect they don’t even want to win.

(This is more than just a suspicion, by the way. As none other than Tony Blair has said, “I wouldn’t want to win on an old-fashioned leftist platform. Even if I thought it was the route to victory, I wouldn’t take it.”)

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/27/liberals-donald-trump-rightwing-populism

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Christine Hallquist, a Transgender Woman, Wins Vermont Governor’s Primary

Yet another reason why Vermont is one of the coolest places in the nation.

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/14/us/politics/christine-hallquist-vermont.html

By Jess Bidgood
Aug. 14, 2018

BURLINGTON, Vt. — On a cloudy afternoon this summer, Christine Hallquist, a former utility executive from Vermont, listened closely as Danica Roem, the Virginia state delegate who won national recognition when she became the first transgender person elected to her state’s Legislature, offered tips as the pair canvassed a stark residential neighborhood here.

Ms. Hallquist is transgender, too, but Ms. Roem’s advice had nothing to do with gender identity. Try a light, rhythmic knock. Leave a handwritten note with campaign literature if no one is home. Try to earn every vote.

“I have so much to learn,” Ms. Hallquist said, duly incorporating Ms. Roem’s lessons with each new knock.

On Tuesday, those lessons paid off, and Ms. Hallquist, a Democrat, made history of her own. She became the first transgender candidate to be nominated for a governorship by a major party, beating three other candidates in Vermont’s Democratic primary, according to The Associated Press.

“Tonight, we made history,” Ms. Hallquist said, addressing supporters at an election night party in Burlington. She added, “I am so proud to be the face of the Democrats tonight.”

It is a remarkable milestone, even for an election year already dominated by an influx of women and a record number of candidates who identify as lesbian, gay, transgender or queer.

“Christine’s victory is a defining moment in the movement for trans equality and is especially remarkable given how few out trans elected officials there are at any level of government,” said Annise Parker, the chief executive of the L.G.B.T.Q. Victory Fund, which trains and supports gay and transgender candidates, in a statement on Tuesday evening. “Yet Vermont voters chose Christine not because of her gender identity, but because she is an open and authentic candidate with a long history of service to the state, and who speaks to the issues most important to voters.”

Ms. Hallquist was not the only transgender candidate on the ballot in the country in recent days. In Hawaii on Saturday, Kim Coco Iwamoto, a lawyer, lost her bid to be the Democrats’ nominee for lieutenant governor.

And more transgender candidates will be on the ballot soon, including Alexandra Chandler, a former naval intelligence analyst who is running in Massachusetts’s Third District. Ms. Chandler is trying to differentiate herself in a crowded congressional primary in early September by emphasizing both her national security bona fides and the historic nature of her candidacy. “I’m running for Congress,” she said in a recent campaign video, “to be a voice for trans kids out there.”

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/14/us/politics/christine-hallquist-vermont.html

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