How the Right Wing is Already Using the Berkeley Murder Case Against Trans Folks


On Friday, Right-wing pundit Ann Coulter went to twitter to resolve some long-standing issues she’s been having with liberals.

Now this would seem, on the face of it, like a pretty level-headed remark (except for the gay rights activism part–what?) If you stop at the reference to the kidnapping and beating of a special needs kid last week that has been (falsely) linked to Black Lives Matter activism, it actually sounds like Coulter is making a bit of sense. Thank you, Ann! Could it be that you, too, are going the enlightened way of Glenn Beck?

But then, seconds later:

It was a set up. Coulter was trying to politely and casually link a recent shooting in Berkeley to both Black Lives Matter and the transgender movement. And guess what? She’s definitely not alone.

Over the weekend, a case began to develop around a UC Berkeley student named Pablo Gomez Jr., who was accused of a stabbing and separate homicide on campus last Friday. Here’s the kicker: Pablo Gomez Jr., a friend reported, uses plural pronouns (they/them/their) and is a Chicanx/Latinx major with involvement in the school’s queer community and climate change organization.

In short, this is a killer who, for once, actually seems to have good politics. Gomez is not an angry white man out on a rampage for retribution against all the women who have spurned him. Gomez is not a racist self-appointed neighborhood watch person. Gomez isn’t even a lonely, isolated person on campus. Gomez is an educated, queer person of color who has allegedly committed a crime, and Ann Coulter really wants to rub our faces in it. You know, as if it proves something about liberalism in general.

But it doesn’t. It proves nothing, except that mental health is a problem across the board.

But that inconvenient truth won’t stop right wingers from pointing fingers.

The timing of this latest homicide, coming straight off the heels of last week’s Chicago torture video, is politically problematic. In a perfect world, we’d see Trump supporters and right wingers respond in a way that acknowledges that liberals, reacting to the election with pain, fear, and dread, are beginning to lash out using the only language that the Right seems to understand: The language of violence and fear-mongering.

But of course this won’t be the conclusion Coulter and her gang will draw. They’re probably barely aware of what’s going on in their own outdoors, except in the rare cases when it does involve homicide and torture.

The reality is this: We’re less than two weeks into 2017, and there have already been three murders of trans people in America. The matter isn’t helped by pundits claiming that we’re all emotionally disturbed murders-in-the-making. We have Brian De Palma films for that.

The point is, we don’t need to wait for the inevitable violent repercussions of the Berkeley homicide to trickle down in order to be classified as endangered. As trans and non-binary people, we already are that by default. We can be certain the murders of Sean Hake, Mesha Campbell, and Jamie Wounded Arrow won’t be the last of the year. Trans and non-binary people will continue to get murdered, and get blamed for their own murders. And you can bet that Ann Coulter won’t bother herself with the details of those murders, or why they keep happening. She’s made a career of stitching together loose, conveniently circumstantial facts that prove liberalism is the cancer of the modern world, and she’s not about to stop any time soon.


About The Author

Henry Giardina is FourTwoNine's Senior Editor

  • Ajax Martin

    Just heard about this. Why is it that gay men have this thing against women? Unfortunately, this is not atypical.

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