Content Notice: Racism, white supremacist apology, minimization, gaslighting, general clueless white assholery
When we last saw Apologist-for-White-Supremacy Amanda Kerri, she was attempting to delicately explain “economic anxiety” coming from the United States’ least troubled demographic within the working class. Now it seems Kerri is joining what will soon be a tradition of milquetoast liberals falling in line to give jackbooted authoritarianism a chance.
I try to ration my criticisms of other trans women carefully. Belonging to a badly-maligned group often makes visible activists a lightning rod for bad faith criticism, but nonetheless there’s only so much bullshit I can take before I switch from “maybe you just had limited opportunities in education because of prejudice” to “okay, you’re an asshole.”
In case you can’t tell: I am often at odds with my own community.
This is starting to become a red flag for me. Sticking your head out means people will loudly disagree with you. It’s a complete non-observation at this point. You should see my frickin comments filter, it needs to be changed but I haven’t rented a hazmat suit. Still, I’m not going to write any self-victimizing screeds about how people disagree with me, because if they didn’t, I wouldn’t have to be an activist.
Kerri gives a basic recount of facts:
This year the San Diego LGBT Community Center held a Transgender Day of Remembrance event, which held extra significance in the city because four transgender teenagers died there this year. After a march, which was escorted by the police, there was an event at the community center. However, when two uniformed police officers tried to enter the center, they were told by a senior staff member that they could not do so because it might upset a few of the attendees.
If we switch gears for a moment back to my all-time favourite study, the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, we find the following:
• One-fifth (22%) of respondents who have interacted with police reported harassment by police due to bias, with substantially higher rates (29-38%) reported by respondents of color.
• Six percent (6%) reported physical assault and 2% reported sexual assault by police officers because they were transgender or gender non-conforming.
• Twenty percent (20%) reported denial of equal service by police. More information about denial of equal service can be found in the Public Accommodation chapter.
• Almost half of the respondents (46%) reported being uncomfortable seeking police assistance.
• While 7% of the sample reported being held in a cell due to their gender identity/expression alone, these rates skyrocketed for Black (41%) and Latino/a (21%) respondents.
• Respondents who served time in jail reported harassment by correctional officers (37%) more often than harassment by peers (35%).
• Physical and sexual assault in jail/prison is a real problem: 16% of respondents who had been to jail or prison reported being physically assaulted and 15% reported being sexually assaulted.
• African-American respondents reported much higher rates of physical and sexual assault in prison, by other inmates and corrections officers, than their counterparts.
• Health care denial was another form of abuse in prison, with 12% of people who had been in jails or prisons reporting denial of routine health care and 17% reporting denial of hormones.
Man, it’s almost like queer people, queer people of colour especially, have a fucking reason to fear the police.
But Amanda Kerri quashes all this with her next flippant dismissal:
But here’s the catch: The officers who were turned away were Ken Myers, the LGBT community liaison officer, and Christine Garcia, San Diego’s only out transgender officer. To make it more interesting, Officer Garcia also helped plan the entire event. (The center’s executive director did subsequently apologize, saying the officers are welcome in uniform any time.)
The adage goes “one bad apple spoils the barrel,” yet this reeks of the same stench of other brutality dismissals in the vein of “they’re not all bad.” An LGBT liaison does not fix that police are still abusing queer folks and people of colour and they still have every reason, especially in the United States, to believe the police are a hazard to their health.
The incident is an example of everything wrong with a lot of LGBT activism and ideology.
I’m sure Kerri’s about to elucidate on the specifics, because rants about ideology are always constructive, right?
I get the need for safe spaces, but when those safe spaces start to exclude members of our own community, they’re not safe spaces but clubhouses where petty children with arbitrary rules decide who gets to come in.
Apparently you don’t get the need for safe spaces. The transgender officer could have attended plainclothes, “as a member of our community,” and instead they chose to represent the police. You know, the institutions that have been abusing us.
How wonderfully reasonable to characterize an evidenced prejudice held by an institution as “petty.”
(more emphasis mine)
When it’s decided that certain people aren’t allowed to claim membership in the community because of who they are, what they believe, what they do, or even what they look like, it’s no longer an inclusive ideology but a self-selected group of purists and right thinkers.
Kerri is engaging in a bit of smoke and mirrors. “What they look like” could be referring to a more valid criticism about upholding cissexist beauty standards as a heuristic for “true trans,” but no. We’re not even allowed to judge about what a person does. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t make a difference to me whose boot is on my neck, as long as its planted there and intending to cause pain.
Presumably Kerri doesn’t mind sharing company with serial rapists or murderers. Hey! It’s judge-y to decide you don’t want to associate with based on what they do!
In the attempt to respect the feelings of some, the concerns and fears of some, we have crossed a threshold that is no longer an attempt to comfort but an attempt to coddle.
The problem is that the right-leaning dickheads that keep pushing this twaddle can’t seem to agree on what, exactly, constitutes said threshold. You would know, Amanda. Some seem to think that respecting your name would constitute “coddling” since you’re trans. Alas, being discriminated against does not magically make you aware. C’est la vie.
I get that this person, who surely was trying to avoid every triggering thought that a cop being nearby could cause, was trying to protect, was trying to do the thing they thought was right, but they completely threw a trans person under the bus for the sake of others
Yes, well, said trans person wasn’t born a cop. I don’t know about you but if I actually joined law enforcement I wouldn’t be so fucking clueless as to liaison in uniform to a community that has been and continues to be brutalized by my colleagues.
A trans person who took time out of their schedule, took on the role of a community organizer, and gave their efforts to help a community just got told, “Thanks, but you’re not actually welcome here because we don’t like what you do for a living.”
Again, what enough of those cops “do for a living” includes shit like profiling us as prostitutes for carrying condoms. I would think that an endeavour like reformation of law enforcement would be ethically compelling for its own reasons–apparently, Kerri is unsatisfied unless the cop gets an unequivocal triple-back-flip cheer routine.
What’s extra infuriating is that Officer Garcia represents what exactly LGBT activism and progressive ideology should be trying to achieve — changing our society for the better.
The implication being that our existing efforts don’t count towards that end?
An open and proud trans woman being a cop and actually changing hearts and minds in every interaction she has shouldn’t be a pariah
Easy to say for someone blissfully unaware of abuses by law enforcement.
the ones that usually get handed out to people who often do very little to advance the community other than writing articles on websites and getting paid to lecture to people, and rarely introduce an original idea of their own, simply rehashing of the same talking points other people are rehashing.
Says the person employed to write puff pieces for The Advocate?
Instead, she’s told that she frightens the very people for whom she’s helping to make the world better.
She’s told her choice frightens the very people for whom she’s helping make the world better. You ought to make that distinction.
The other officer, who works as the police liaison to LGBT San Diego residents, is there to be the community’s voice to the department. You know how huge it is for a police department to have something like that? There are thousands of departments all over the country that don’t and have terrible relations with the LGBT community. Sure, there are still problems between police and LGBT people, but damn it, at least San Diego is trying. And now, when they try, the kneejerk reaction is to tell them they’re not even welcome to come around and learn how to be better.
On one particular day, Kerri. Trans Day of Remembrance. How many of our murders were actually solved by police? There are 364 other days in the year where the police can “come around and learn how to be better.” TDoR is a day of intense pain, a pain often involving callous disregard of trans lives by police.
Whenever you hear people complain about political correctness, there are two types of people complaining.
One group of people complain about it because it means that they can’t get away with being a bigot anymore.
This is about to get ironic, isn’t it.
The other type of people who complain about it aren’t bigots; they’re good people, often people of color, LGBT people, women, and others who see a certain strain of ideology that really hasn’t gotten a name of its own yet.
YEP SUPER IRONIC.
It does have a name of its own. It’s called intersectionality, and it tends to come up when clueless white people pen flailing op eds defending an institution with a long, long history of abuses towards queer people of colour.
It’s an ideology that has ended up becoming just as toxic, hostile, infantilizing, and weaponized as any other used to harm those same communities.
Translation: “I’m salty because QPoC expect me to be intersectional.”
Here’s an alternative headline Amanda Kerri should use for her next great work: “Comfortably employed white trans women belittles queer people of colour for cultivating healthy sense of self-preservation.”