The barrage is based on a misguided characterization of “gender-affirming care,” which all these hospitals use. as the Scientific American As recently defined, the term describes a range of medical care ranging from simple recognition of transgender children’s needs and rights to providing hormone treatment, including puberty blockers, and “a specific type of gender change or maintenance.” Supporting the process of gender development rather than directing children through the course. Transgender Presentation. Only a limited number of transgender youth choose surgery, and most do not receive genital reassignment surgery until they are adults.
Boston Children’s Hospital explained that, contrary to the claims of right-wing instigators, it only provides gender-affirming hysterectomies to transgender people age 18 and older. However, it was thwarted by “hostile internet activity, phone calls, and harassing emails including threats of violence towards our clinicians and staff”, culminating in a bomb threat that brought police to the hospital. .
“It’s really crazy. I can’t even imagine being one of my patients,” explained Justin Lee, a craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgeon in Los Angeles who performs gender-affirmation surgeries. The The Washington Post. “I can’t think of any other medical condition that would result in this level of hatred.”
of sub David Gilbert On August 17, a wave of right-wing extremist threats was reported. “Too long for these ‘doctors’ to start running,” wrote a pro-Trump message board participant formerly known as TheDonald. “Ghosts like this don’t deserve to breathe! Crimes against humanity = death,” one Telegram user. “These people are psycopaths [sic] And it should be stopped,” commented another.
As Gingerich reports, Fox News has helped fuel the flood of threats, primarily by endorsing and promoting smear artists on social media and other political figures, including QAnon-loving Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green. Played a central role:
Between August 18, when the network aired its first segment attacking Boston Children’s Hospital, and August 31, when Fox aired its most recent segment attacking Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital, The network aired 7 episodes and spent more than 20 minutes defaming the hospitals. Notably, three Fox prime-time shows featuring the attacks are among the nation’s top 10 most-watched cable news programs — Tucker Carlson Tonight, The Ingraham Angle, and Jesse Waters Primetime.
Carlson’s program has been leading the pitchfork parade. Vice a day later Reported On the wave of threats, Carlson hosted a segment in which she called gender-affirmation “child sexual abuse.” This included Canadian anti-trans extremist Chris Alston, who called it “the biggest child abuse scandal in the history of modern medicine”.
Green also appeared as part of the discussion, discussing her proposal for national legislation to outlaw gender-affirming care. He said the practice was “really an attack, and it’s child abuse,” adding: “This practice should never happen. It’s disgusting and horrible. It’s a shame for our country.”
Gender-affirming care, she claimed, “is really genital mutilation, it’s puberty blockers that lead to chemical castration, teenage girls actually have their breasts cut off, teenage boys are cut. needs to be illegal, and I’m going to introduce a bill, called the Protect Children’s Innocence Act, and that would make it a law that would make it a class C for anyone involved in so-called ‘gender-affirmation’. shall be an offense of. care.'”
On August 30, Carlson invited LibsOfTikTok proprietor Chaya Rychick to his show after Boston Children’s received a bomb threat to counter the growing narrative about violence. She claimed that Rychick had evidence of nefarious intent by calling two care providers at Children’s National Hospital in D.C. and claiming (dubiously) that she had a 16-year-old daughter and was wondering if she could get a hysterectomy. Yes, then it was being said. she could
“Yeah, biting the kids,” Carlson said. “They accepted it, right out.” He claimed that Children’s National was “cutting down young people, minors, for any legitimate purpose,” and also said that Raichick, whose tweets were removed, was “committed to real journalism.”
Children’s National Spokesperson explained The The Washington Post that none of the people Raichick spoke to were able to give an accurate answer, and that it does not perform hysterectomies on women under the age of 18.
The following night, Carlson continued the narrative, saying: “Most people trust children’s hospitals completely. They didn’t know the details — but thanks to the Internet, we do now.” He claimed that “some of these hospitals are doing horrible experiments on children,” including “things you’d think would be crimes. , but these apparently are not and are ongoing in children’s hospitals in the United States.”
He then invited right-wing propagandist Chris Ruffo—the progenitor of the bogus “critical race theory” hysteria—on his show to further explore the claims. Ruffo falsely claimed that Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago was promoting “‘trans-friendly’ sex toys for children,” citing a resource document designed for teachers.
Gingerich found that while Fox covered the threats only as a springboard to attack hospitals, both CNN and MSNBC covered them exclusively—but with relatively little airtime on the story (five minutes and 13 minutes) spent.
This is how stochastic terrorism—also known as “scripted violence”—always works: create messages that target or threaten a particular “enemy” with extreme demonization and dehumanization, then deny the consequences. When your audience acts on them in a violent and threatening manner. fashion
As Chip Burlett points out in his article on scripted violence:
The potential for violence in society increases when the mass media carries rhetoric from high profile and respected figures who scapegoat the ‘other’. This dangerous ‘constitutional rhetoric’ can create a real constituency of individuals who feel threatened or displaced. Or to put it another way, when metaphorical fecal matter hits the verbal blades of a radical demagogue’s sermons, bad things happen.
The resulting violence may incite a mob, a mass movement, a war, or an individual actor. Individual actors who engage in violence can emerge in three ways. They may be tasked with violence by existing organizational leadership; They may be members or partners in an existing organization, yet decide to work on their own; Or they may be unconnected to an existing organization and operate on their own. According to the US government’s definition, a ‘lone wolf’ is a person who engages in political violence and is not known to have current or past ties to an organization under surveillance by law enforcement agencies as potential lawbreakers. A perpetrator of violence may expect or even welcome martyrdom, or plan a successful escape to become a political soldier in an anticipated rebellion. Either way, hopefully ‘a little spark can start a prairie fire’. Revolution rarely results, but violence and death remain as a legacy.
We saw this in action recently, when right-wing social media-fueled anti-LGBTQ “groomer” hysteria led right-wing extremists to threaten a Pride event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and more recently in Boise. flogged for As the Daily Kos Hunter says, the right is fomenting fascist violence against transgender Americans, and it’s working.