This morning, I read a sad news story about a transgendered black woman who was found dead in Dallas, Texas. Muhlaysia Booker, aged 23, was shot and killed in Dallas, yesterday. That would have been sad enough. But Booker was also in the news a month ago, since she was attacked in a parking lot at a Dallas shopping center. Cellphone footage of the parking lot attack made national headlines.
Edward Thomas, 29, the man who attacked Ms. Booker last month, was arrested, and it appears that he had nothing to do with Ms. Booker’s murder. As Thomas was beating Ms. Booker last month, other people in the crowd shouted anti-gay slurs and some other men were kicking her before a group of women helped her escape. Ms. Booker suffered a broken wrist and a concussion and had to be hospitalized. What was the motive for the attack besides hate? A lousy $200. Thomas was offered that much to beat the ever loving shit out of a transgendered woman. Thomas was charged with aggravated assault and serious bodily injury.
Muhlaysia Booker, who was no doubt still recovering from last month’s attack, is now dead. She was only 23 years old and, besides being transgendered, was also black. Of course I didn’t know Ms. Booker, but she obviously didn’t have an easy time of it during her short life. Last year, 26 transgendered people were murdered in the United States; most of them, like Ms. Booker, were black. Not including Ms. Booker, three transgendered people have been killed this year. All were black women who were fatally shot.
This story would be sad enough if I hadn’t read the comments that followed the article. But, dopey me, I just couldn’t resist. I read, with much dismay, ignorant, hateful comments, mostly posted by white men. Behold, the comments by just three white guys:
Notice that one of the commenters brought up how “liberals” are upset over a transgendered black woman being murdered in cold blood, but they aren’t angry about the “murder” of unborn babies. Judging by the sheer disrespect and downright hatred these men have shown toward the deceased Ms. Booker, I am not convinced they care about unborn babies, either. It appears to me that they are disenfranchised, cowardly, little boys who feel emboldened by bullies like Donald Trump.
It’s very hard for me to believe that most of these men are actually “pro-life” so much as they just want to control and enslave other people. Most of them are very immature, ignorant, and completely lacking in compassion and empathy. It’s hard for me to imagine a human– or humane– side of these white guys who are commenting here. They seem to have inherited the “asshole gene”. It looks like the “asshole gene” is very prevalent these days, as uniformed twits show up on comment threads and reveal themselves to everyone with the stench of their hateful views.
I don’t know a whole lot about transgendered people. I have never been exposed to them. I did go to a high school that was somewhat recently in the national news, thanks to a transgendered student who wanted to force school officials to let him use the boys’ restroom. But I graduated in 1990, and he graduated many years after that. I read with much dismay, ignorant and hateful comments from people in the community that I called home for almost 20 years. I still have many friends there and consider it my hometown, even though it’s not where I was born. I know there are many good, decent, kind people there, but I also know that many of the people I thought of in that way would silently cheer on these guys with the “asshole gene”, callously commenting on a tragic story shared by The New York Times.
I don’t understand what difference it makes what gender Ms. Booker identified as. She was a human being who felt great pain in her last weeks of life. People were unspeakably cruel to her, simply because of who she was. Someone felt that it was worth $200 to beat her up in a parking lot, while a pack of rabid, hateful, homophobic men stood by and joined in the fray. Many of these people would have supposedly done anything for Ms. Booker when she was still in her mother’s womb, but they don’t give a shit about her now… and continue to spew vile hatred, even after she’s been gunned down in cold blood.
I’m sure if I met any of the three men whose quotes I’ve highlighted today, they’d probably be alright to talk to face to face. They might even convince me that they’re decent people. They’re probably “Christians”, and they wear the cloak of self-righteousness that comes from identifying as “Christian”. They have no problem forcing an eleven year old rape victim to give birth, since all life is “sacred”. But they also have no problem cheering on the death of a transgendered black woman, who no doubt felt every blow as people attacked her in parking lot. She probably felt the gunshot wound, too.
This being said… Edward Thomas, the man who took $200 to beat up Ms. Booker, is himself a black man. I guess that just goes to show that when it comes to hatred for the transgendered, there is no racial harmony. If you are a transgendered person– particularly if you were born with male parts but identify as female– your life will be in danger. If you also happen to be a person of color, your life will be worth nothing to some people. They’ll kill you simply for being yourself.
There are people out there who think the world would be better if it was like it was in the 1950s. I’ll admit, when I look at television shows and movies from that era, it does look like things were more… “whitewashed”, I guess. I can’t fathom how it must have been to be someone who didn’t fit in, back in those days. Maybe it was a “great” time to be a white person. For other people, I don’t think it was the best of times. As a society, Americans were making some strides into accepting people for who they are. But then, Donald Trump arrived, and hateful people have now been emboldened like the rabid vermin they are, coming out of the woodwork to literally stomp on people like Muhlaysia Booker.
See… this is why I remain very much “pro-choice”. The world is not a kind place, especially for those who aren’t like the “norm”. Every time I see some pro-life activist bring up the “millions of babies murdered in utero”, I think about how a good percentage of those babies might not have really been welcome in this world. The truth is, if you don’t fit neatly into the mold, your life will mean absolutely nothing to a lot of people, anyway. And, as you can see from the comments in The New York Times, many of those so called “pro-life” people are only pro-life when it comes to the unborn. After all, the unborn make no demands on or offenses toward anyone but pregnant women.