Yesterday, a mob of thousands of people, incited by the outgoing president, descended on Washington DC in a shocking attempt at violent insurrection. I wasn’t going to write about the events because I have no particular political expertise. I’ve changed my mind because I just learned something that is not yet being widely shared, but needs to be.
The president’s son whipped up the mob yesterday with an anti-transgender rant so mean-spirited and violent that even Fox News cut him off mid-speech.
Donald Trump Junior appeared at a “Stop the Steal” rally in DC yesterday, addressing the crowd not long before it broke into the capitol building, resulting in 4 deaths and over 50 arrests so far.
He whipped the crowd up with the following —
“To all of you red-blooded, patriotic Americans,” he almost screamed as he began his address.
“Thank you for being in this fight with us. Thank you for standing up to the bullshit. Right? Amen? Amen and A-woman!”
Trump waited through applause and a lot of apparently sympathetic booing. When he resumed speaking, his voice went up in pitch and volume beginning to crack and go hoarse in what sounded like outrage.
“But that shows you literally where the mentality of the Democrat Party is, right? … They spent money on a study that came to the incredible conclusion yesterday that trans women playing in competitive sports have a competitive advantage.”
Then Trump made several exasperated motions with his head and arms and began to scream.
“No shit! Who could have seen that coming? I had no idea!”
He continued to scream even more loudly and hoarsely to roars and matching screams from the crowd. Then, as spit appeared to spray from his mouth and as he waved his arms wildly, Fox News cut away.
Trump Jr. was dead wrong about the study he referred to
The research, which was not funded by the Democratic Party as he implied, wasn’t even published in the United States, and doesn’t say anything close to what he claims.
Researchers from three American hospitals published the study jointly in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. They actually conclude that after one year of gender-affirming hormone therapy, trans women athletes show a dramatic loss in overall competitive advantage compared to cis women, but still retain a small but measurable running-speed advantage. The authors appear to suggest that athletics organizations should therefore consider establishing a two-year standard of testosterone suppression for trans women athletes in elite international competition.
Trump Jr. leveraged anti-trans hatred to play the demagogue
The president’s son used those dry findings like a typical demagogue — screaming, spitting, and whipping up the crowd into a frenzy. Play the linked video above to see what I mean.
It’s bone chilling.
Trump’s speech and the crowd response scared ME, and I’m a cis man. If I’d been a trans women anywhere near that crowd yesterday, I’d have been terrified.
I’d have known I was being set up as a scapegoat, offered up as an object of hatred and revulsion.
Confederate flags join Christian flags in the mob
The racist foundations of yesterday’s attempted insurrection couldn’t have been any clearer as white nationalist hand signals flashed among Confederate battle flags, nooses that recalled lynching, Nazi symbols, and Norse religious imagery co-opted by white supremacists.
Trump owes much of his support to extremist racists, and they came out in force for him yesterday, like fell creatures in a Tolkien novel.
But so did conservative Christians, waving their own flags like the one in the header image at the top of this article. Conservative Christians have hitched their hopes to Trump despite the obviously anti-Christian life he leads, and they’ve done it with one primary goal — to retain the right to oppress and try to erase LGBTQ people and LGBTQ equality.
When Trump Jr. began screaming his hatred of transgender people yesterday, he was feeding those Christians the red-meat diet they’d come to DC to enjoy. When he called them “red-blooded” patriots, he endorsed their hatred and promised to work with them to persecute their chosen queer scapegoats.
I’ll leave it to Christian leaders to comment on the morality of whipping up hatred against a vulnerable, marginalized minority, but for the moment, let’s just note for the record that the Trump supporters who attempted insurrection in Washington DC yesterday include violent racists and conservative Christians who despise LGBTQ people.
Donald Trump Jr knows that, and he stoked right-wing Christian hate deliberately. Anti-LGBTQ scapegoating helped set the attempted insurrection into motion.
James Finn is a former Air Force intelligence analyst, long-time LGBTQ activist, an alumnus of Queer Nation and Act Up NY, an essayist occasionally published in queer news outlets, and an “agented” novelist. Send questions, comments, and story ideas to email@example.com.