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Just when you thought things couldn’t get any wackier, we get the return of Michele Bachmann.
The Minnesota Tea Party Republican, who served in Congress between 2006-2015 and briefly ran for president, likes to extol the virtues of “American exceptionalism,” and claims the US is “the indispensable nation of the world.”
A self-styled evangelical Christian, Bachmann is now painting a rather different vision: the prospect of the country being run by transgender black Marxists.
Bachmann told a televangelist news show, which aired on September 1, that the Black Lives Matter movement consists of “transgender Marxists, transgender black Marxists who are seeking the overthrow of the United States and the dissolution of the traditional family.”
Not to be outdone, Pat Robertson, a bizarre televangelist himself, but apparently determined to give women a fair shake, quickly pronounced that Black Lives Matter would also lead to a “lesbian, anti-family, anti-capitalist Marxist revolution.”
The irony that Bachmann co-owns a mental health care practice with her husband could not escape notice as she uttered one of the crazier conspiracy theories currently in circulation on the right.
Or maybe, unwittingly, she and Robertson had just envisioned a new US utopia.
After all, what could be better than a government led by anti-capitalist lesbians? Or especially by transgender black Marxists?
Wherever they may be lurking in numbers sufficient for such a coup, transgender black Marxists truly understand discrimination. They are discriminated against in triplicate — for their gender, their politics and the colour of their skin.
They know that compassion is essential for a fair and just society. They are anti-racist and support acceptance and equal rights for our LGBT community.
They oppose an economic system based on inequality, believe in unions, condemn the exploitation of working people and want fair wages and an end to capitalist control of profit.
They envisage a world community, not one riven by boundaries and conflict. They want people to be accepted for who they are, what they believe, who they love and what they look like.
The fear-mongering Bachmann has no idea what it is to walk in the shoes of a black transgender person, Marxist or otherwise. Black transgender women are victims of heightened violence in the US.
However, in the US there is as yet “no formal data collection effort that can be used to describe the nature, frequency, or extent of transgender homicides,” according to a paper in the American Journal of Public Health. Most calculations rely on reporting by non-profit groups advocating on behalf of the LGBT community.
However, in that same paper, the researchers concluded that while transgender people overall may not be at greater risk of being murdered than the rest of the population, “young transgender women of colour almost certainly face a higher chance of being murdered.”
According to the US-based Human Rights Campaign, at least 22 transgender and gender non-conforming people — almost all Black transgender women — were killed in the US in 2019.
In June 2019, during her presidential campaign, Senator Elizabeth Warren, tweeted: “The murder of black trans women is a crisis. We’ll fight this, and we will continue to say their names.”
Bachmann claims to belong to the White House “faith advisory group”, which appears to be a figment of her vivid imagination. So, possibly, is her faith, as it is hard to discern a truly Christian sentiment amidst all her volatile hate speech.
Linda Pentz Gunter is a writer based in Takoma Park, Maryland, just outside Washington, DC.
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