WaPo reports that there’s a spike in violence and harassment directed at Pride events this year thanks to hard-right Republicans’ rhetorical attacks on the LGBTQ community:
The surge in right-wing hate-mongering against LGBTQ people is spilling into violence, with high-profile attacks this month casting fear over Pride celebrations throughout the country.
Extremism researchers have long warned of an escalating risk as hard-right Republicans and militant groups portray LGBTQ people as “groomers” targeting children, along with other baseless smears. Now, provocateurs are acting on those messages in what President Biden last month called “rising hate and violence” targeting LGBTQ communities.
Thanks to an alert citizen, the cops in Idaho thwarted the U-Heil neo-Nazis’ plan to terrorize a local Pride event, but other thugs did manage to disrupt events and intimidate individuals elsewhere. Trans people are bearing the brunt, according to the Human Rights Campaign as cited in The Post. It’s almost as if the hard-right’s eliminationist rhetoric on TV and online activates violent thugs in the real world.
Speaking of hard-right thugs and their moneyed influencers, they talk tough when it comes to drag queen story time, middle-school girls playing field hockey or faculty exercising free speech rights in a way that hurts their feelings. But they shriek like scalded ferrets when called out on their bullshit.
Case in point: Mori Hosseini is a wealthy Florida developer and DeSantis mega donor. Coincidentally, DeSantis appointed Hosseini as chairman of the University of Florida board of trustees. (Hosseini doesn’t have any particularly relevant academic experience, but he does have piles of cash.)
Equally coincidentally, conservative operatives appear to have pressured university administrators to censor academic speech that undermines the DeSantis regime’s political objectives. Examples include the university suddenly prohibiting faculty from testifying as experts in voting rights cases or legal action opposing state restrictions on local public health rules on masks and vaccines.
Professors squawked about it, dog bless them, and the university’s accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, launched an investigation into the matter. Well, the latter got everyone’s attention, and UF drafted new policies to address professors’ concerns. Also, the university president announced he was stepping down.
Yesterday, the accreditor wrapped up its investigation, saying that UF had “responded well” to free speech allegations, so case closed. Notably, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools didn’t say the allegations were unfounded; it said the problem had been addressed. Cue the scalded ferret:
“Where do I get my reputation back?” Hosseini said during Thursday’s trustees’ meeting.
He then referred to UF president Kent Fuchs. “Where do I get his reputation back? Where do I get the reputation of this university back?”
Shades of Rich Lowry’s “wHeRe DoEs RoN dEsAnTiS gO tO gEt HiS aPoLoGy” nonsense. Whine, whine, whine. It sucks to have to live through an authoritarian takeover of a state for a lot of reasons, but today, it’s the whining that is particularly intolerable. It’s not the heat; it’s the stupidity.