Things That Matter

El Paso And Dayton Welcome Trump With Chants Of “Go Back To Where You Came From” And “Words Matter”

Days after two white terrorists sent shockwaves across the country with back to back attacks, Donald Trump is on tour of both Dayton and El Paso – where the shootings take place. He’s set out to play ‘consoler-in-chief’ but before the trip even started he was proving that wasn’t likely to happen.

Trump was expected to draw a chilly reception in both cities and although there have been a few groups of MAGA hat-wearing supporters, his visit has drawn sizable protests.

Trump started out the day in Dayton, Ohio where a gunman opened fire and killed nine on Aug. 4.

Outside a Dayton hospital that the president was scheduled to visit, protestors inflated a large balloon of Trump as a baby, with signs reading “you are why” and “words have consequences.” Another group of protestors gathered near the site of the shooting, chanting, “Do something.”

“His rhetoric has been painful for many in our community, and I think people should stand up and say they are not happy if they are not happy he’s coming,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley told reporters.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown met with Trump during his short visit. Both said they reiterated the importance of urgent action surrounding gun laws.

Brown said he put pressure on Trump to move faster on signing a bill that would put background checks in place, but suggested that the president’s response was passive.

“He only said that, ‘We will get things done,’” Sherrod said at a news conference following the meeting.

While in Dayton, the usually very public president didn’t allow himself to be photographed and didn’t make any public remarks.

Many thought it was a smart decision given his statements earlier in the day. His advisors probably didn’t want to risk him saying offensive while in a hospital that was treating victims of a terror attack.

But he didn’t stop himself from tweeting.

Just moments after leaving grieving victims and first responders, Trump took to Twitter to share his experience. He said there was “tremendous enthusiasm & even love.” Interesting choice of words.

Then he went on to attack his political opponents in typical Trump fashion.

Following Dayton, Trump traveled to El Paso where an alleged white nationalist gun downed 22 people and used the same anti-immigrant rhetoric as Trump.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, an ongoing letter campaign, drafted by immigration advocacy group Border Network For Human Rights, had collected the names of more than 19,000 people urging Trump not to come.  

“Stay home,” said Pablo Lucero, 59, directing his words to the president.  “Don’t use us as your photo op. Your words have done enough harm. You’re not welcome. If you really want to come, apologize first.”

El Paso, a city of more than 700,000, is a predominantly Mexican-American community and a Democratic stronghold. Top local, state and national Democrats — from U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, to presidential candidate and Beto O’Rourke and others — have urged Trump to stay away from their hometown.

Dolores Guerrero, 60, told Dallas News, “We’re all very sad, shaken and feel directly targeted. He [Trump] has nothing to do here in El Paso. We don’t want him here, the same way he doesn’t want us here.” 

One woman who is being touted as a hero during the El Paso shooting had this message for Trump:

I think he should be careful of what he says, his words, because this is what happens,” she said, overlooking the Walmart parking lot where she spotted her vehicle. “You preach and say things and this is what happens. This is what happens to my hometown, to my people. This is what happens. No human should go through this. No human. No one needs to go through this.”  

Before Trump departed for Ohio, he defended his anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Trump defended his anti-immigration rhetoric on Wednesday, saying it was uniting the country, hours after slamming Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke for saying that the president’s “racism” was responsible for the recent mass shooting that left nearly two dozen people dead in O’Rourke’s hometown, El Paso, Texas.

“It brings people together,” Trump said of his language. “Our country is doing incredibly well.”

He continued to call illegal immigration a “terrible thing for our country” while saying he has toned down his rhetoric.

He also used the opportunity to attack Beto O’Rourke, a native Texan from El Paso.

O’Rourke, who is from El Paso, has been an outspoken critic of Trumps since the shooting on Saturday. It seems that his attacks have gotten under Trump’s skin because the president wasted no time firing back.

Except for Trump, he’s attacking a man whose hometown was just attacked by a white nationalist who wanted to kill Latinos.

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A Small Victory For Trans Ohioans As Transphobic Violence And Legislation Persists

Things That Matter

A Small Victory For Trans Ohioans As Transphobic Violence And Legislation Persists

Prior to 2016, trans people were able to change the sex marker on their birth certificates. That was until the Ohio Department of Health under former Republican gov. John Kasich “re-reviewed” its policy denying this right.

Upheld for four years, state government officials claimed the regulations were necessary to maintain “accurate birth records” and prevent “fraud.”

Though for trans folk, not having an accurate ID can be dangerous.

Ohio’s former four-year-old policy explicitly targeted transgender people.

Stacie Ray, a transgender woman, attended a job orientation back in 2016 that required new employees to present their birth certificates. When a human resources staffer called Ray up, she was outed in front of the other new employees.

According to the ACLU, she was called a “freak” and received harassment from co-workers threatening to “beat her ass” if she used the women’s bathroom. Ray quit after two weeks, though her troubles didn’t end there.

Although her driver’s license correctly identified her as female, her mismatched birth certificate prevented her from receiving higher paying jobs. Humiliated she went to change her birth certificate, but was rejected.

Fed up Ray, alongside three other transgender people sued the state against the policy refusing to change their birth certificates.

Ohio, until recently, was one of two states that banned trans people from updating their birth certificates to match their lived gender.

Last December, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio ruled in their favor condemning the state’s unconstitutional policy.

After examining the Plaintiffs’ evidence, Judge Michael Watson wrote in a 28-page-order that, “It is not just the Plaintiffs’ own experiences that have caused them to fear disclosing their status but also a broader reality that, unfortunately, many transgender individuals do face a heightened risk of ‘discrimination, harassment, and violence because of their gender identity.'”

In a 2015 state report by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 36 percent of trans people who presented an ID that didn’t match their lived gender were “verbally harassed, denied benefits or service, asked to leave, or assaulted.”

The Ohio Department of Health was expected to challenge the court ruling, but have since recanted their appeal. A process for trans people to rectify their birth certificates is set to be unveiled by June 1st.

This small victory comes as anti-trans laws are piling up nationwide.

2021 is on the cusp of surpassing 2015’s record for the most anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in recent history. More than 250 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced with states like Texas, Montana, Tennessee, and Arkansas leading the country’s bills.

Eight of them have already been enacted into law. But a vast majority of the anti-trans legislation will affect trans youth.

LGBTQ+ people and their allies are fighting back against a slew of anti-LGBTQ+ bills.

Currently, at least 66 proposed bills are anti-trans sports bills. At least 35 bills would prohibit youth from receiving access to gender-affirming medical care.

Last month, Arkansas became the first state to pass the most extreme anti-trans law yet. Despite a veto by Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, lawmakers passed the bill which will ban transgender youth from receiving proper medical gender-affirming care.

House Bill 1570, also known as the SAFE Act, would ban doctors from providing care to trans and non-binary youth under the age of 18 or risk losing their medical license.

LGBTQ+ activists have continuously advocated that these bills are increasingly harmful to trans and nonbinary youth.

In 2020, 52 percent of trans and nonbinary youth considered suicide, according to a survey by The Trevor Project. Twenty-six percent of youth without access to gender-affirming care attempted suicide.

Unfortunately, the horrors of transphobic rhetoric has not ceased.

Anti-trans violence is also rising as another trans woman of color is killed.

At least 17 transgender people have been killed in 2021 with the majority of victims disproportionately being Black and Latinx trans women.

In April alone, five trans women were killed as the recent news of Natalia “Smut” Lopez emerged last week. A 24-year-old Afro-Puerto Rican trans woman, Lopez was a beloved drag artist in her local San Jose LGBTQ+ community.

Senselessly killed by her partner, her assailant admitted to having stabbed Lopez in a 911 call, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, and is now facing murder charges.

Intimate partner violence disproportionately affects trans women of color compared to the general population. Since 2013, the Human Rights Campaign has tracked over 202 cases of fatal violence against trans and nonbinary people.

Last year was marked as the worst year for transphobic violence as 44 trans people were killed. So far, 2021 is on track to surpass that.

Local organizers and friends of Lopez have held a vigil for her which was attended by over 100 people. In addition, Lopez’s longtime friend Kiara Ohlde organized a GoFundMe to support Lopez’s family and funeral expenses.

To help donate, you can access the GoFundMe here.

As 2021, shows little promise in protecting and uplifting trans life, it is adamant that we continue to fight for trans and LGBTQ rights.

As the fight for justice prevails the Human Rights Campaign has compiled a list mourning the trans lives lost in 2021 so far.

Say their names! Share their stories! Continue to fight for your fellow trans brothers and sisters.

  • Tyianna Alexander, who was also known as Davarea Alexander, was a 28-year-old Black trans woman. Tyianna was shot to death in Chicago on January 6.
  • Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, a transgender man, was killed on January 9 in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Samuel was looking forward to starting a new year.
  • Bianca “Muffin” Bankz, a Black transgender woman, was shot to death in Atlanta, Ga. on January 17.
  • Dominique Jackson, a Black transgender woman, was shot to death in Jackson, Miss. on January 25.
  • Fifty Bandza 21-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot to death in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on January 28.
  • Alexus Braxton, also known as Kimmy Icon Braxton, a 45-year-old Black trans woman, was killed on Feb. 4 in Miami.  
  • Chyna Carrillo, who also went by Chyna Cardenas, was killed in the morning hours of February 18, 2021, in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.
  • Siblings Jeffrey “JJ” Bright, a 16-year-old trans boy, and Jasmine Cannady, a 22-year-old non-binary person, both from Ambridge, Pennsylvania, were killed on February 22.
  • Jenna Franks, a 34-year-old white transgender woman, was killed in Jacksonville, North Carolina in February.
  • Diamond Kyree Sanders, a 23-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot to death in Cincinnati, Ohio on March 3.
  • Rayanna Pardo, a 26-year-old Latina trans woman, was killed on March 17 in Los Angeles.
  • Jaida Peterson, a 29-year-old Black trans woman, was killed on April 4 in Charlotte, N.C.
  • Dominique Lucious, a 26-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot and killed on April 8 in Springfield, Missouri.
  • Remy Fennell, a Black transgender woman in her 20s, was shot to death on April 15 in Charlotte, N.C.
  • Tiara Banks, a 24-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed in Chicago, Illinois on April 21, 2021. According to a news report, Tiara was sitting alone in her Ford Fusion when the shooter approached the vehicle and shot Tiara multiple times. Tiara was pronounced dead at the scene.
  • Natalia Smut, a 24-year-old Black and Puerto Rican transgender woman, was killed on April 23 in Milpitas, California.

Read: More Anti-Trans Bills Have Been Introduced in 2021 Than Any Year in History

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Seven-Year-Old Jaslyn Adams Fatally Shot In Drive-Thru Of A Chicago McDonald’s

Things That Matter

Seven-Year-Old Jaslyn Adams Fatally Shot In Drive-Thru Of A Chicago McDonald’s

Jaslyn Adams was only 7 years old. Her age and innocence should have kept her shielded from the brutalities of her life and yet, even something as special as her father-daughter date to McDonald’s could not protect her.

While on a drive with her 29-year-old father, Adams was shot at and killed this past Sunday.

Adams was shot multiple times and pronounced dead.

According to reports, employees at the McDonald’s employee saw two men jump out of another car and ambush the Adams family car. The men fired into the car multiple times, striking Jaslyn multiple times in the body and her father in the torso.

A police vehicle at the scene rushed Jaslyn to a nearby hospital. She was pronounced dead at the hospital while her father is still being hospitalized and in serious condition.

No suspects have been arrested.

“It’s really emotional now for my family,”  Tawny McMullen, the victim’s aunt told WBBM. “She was just … sweet and outgoing. Really talkative, really lovable.” McMullen went onto lament how an average regular father-daughter trip to McDonald’s could end in such tragedy. “Y’all, please put the guns down,” McMullen went on to say “My 8-year-old baby says she doesn’t want to go out and play because she is scared that she is going to be shot.”

In response to the shooting, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot underlined how heartbroken she was.

“Our kids want to play. My kids can’t even go out the door because of this violence. Please put the guns down,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot commented. “This unthinkable act of violence has no place here. The epidemic of gun violence cutting our children’s lives short cannot go on.” 

Jaslyn’s death coincides with the recent murder of 13-year-old Adam Toledo who was also a child.

https://twitter.com/search?q=adam%20toledo&src=typed_query&f=image

Toledo was killed on March 29 by a Chicago police officer. Bodycam footage of Toledo’s murders shows “less than a second passed between when the boy is seen holding a handgun” and he was shot by the officer.

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