Sunday, June 25, 2023


Jim: Roundtable time again. And a lot to cover.  Remember our e-mail address is and we can also be reached via  Participating in our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report;  Wally of The Daily Jot;  Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.

 Jim (Con't): So news roundtable and Dona, Ty, Jess and I selected items.  Tatyana Tandanpolie (SALON) reported

House Republicans are growing tired of their right-wing colleagues' attempts to impeach President Joe Biden and investigate his family after Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., filed a privileged motion Tuesday on articles of impeachment she introduced against the president.
Boebert surprised many of her colleagues on the floor when she filed the motion, which would force a vote to impeach Biden as early as this week. The articles relate to Biden's handling of the U.S.-Mexico border and allege his dereliction of duty and abuse of power. 
The hardline conservative's critics have called her move premature and assert that it will harm the ongoing Republican investigation into the Biden family's alleged international financial schemes and undermine future attempts at impeachment, The Hill reports.

Jim: Thoughts?

Wally: Should Elaine have first go since she covers this?  

Jim: Good point.  Elaine covers Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert at her site regularly.  Elaine, any thoughts?

Elaine: Sure.  I think the article outlines a real concern on the part of Republicans.  Lauren is raising the stakes and it could be very disappointing if she's screwed up.  In addition, a screw up on this could also exhaust the patience of the American public.  Let's say there was reason to pursue an impeachment against Joe Biden -- I'm not saying there is -- Lauren doing this on her own without guidance from House leadership increases the likelihood that she will fail. If she does fail, she's exhausted America's patience and also created -- via failure -- that there's nothing to impeach him for or her attempt would have been successful.  Therefore, a second attempt by the House Republicans would be a bigger struggle because most Americans would be like, "Wait, didn't they just try this?  And didn't it fail?  Aren't there issues that they need to be focused on, real ones?"

Wally: Okay, I'll just add that I agree with Elaine and not only would it try America's patience it could harm Republicans in the 2024 elections.  She was an idiot to do this on her own and go 'rogue.'

Betty: And thank you, Jesus, for making Lauren an idiot.

Jim: Because?

Betty: I'm all for anything that helps the Republicans lose control of the House.  In fact, I hope they all, every single one of them, each week, week after week, bring impeachment charges against Joe.  The American people will turn on them.  Thank you, Jesus, for making Lauren so deeply, deeply stupid.

Dona: Next item is also about Republicans. Alex Griffing (MEDIAITE) reports that Chris Christie, one-time governor of New Jersey now seeking the Republican Party's presidential nomination had some remarks to make on TV last week:

“Brian, you know, I just don’t want to see our government getting more and more intrusive in everybody’s life, getting bigger,” Christie replied, adding:

I don’t think anything can replace parents when you’re talking about major decisions that are needs to be made by our children. And I will tell you this. I want all parents out there to think about something. How many other decisions do you want the government making for you in your home regarding your kids? I don’t want any of those decisions made by the government. Parents are the ones who love their children the most, who care about their children the most, who understand their children the most. And parents should be the ones making these decisions.

“So if a 14-year-old comes home and says, I really want to start switching genders, that’s the parent’s decision?” Kilmeade asked.

“I’ll tell you, it’s more of a parent’s decision than it’s a governor’s decision, for goodness sakes, Brian, you really think that Sarah Huckabee Sanders should be making this decision for children in Arkansas?” Christie insisted.

“I love Sarah. I think she’s a great person and a really good governor. But I don’t think she would ever allow the government to substitute her judgment as a mother for their judgment. And that’s what I’m saying. I would want any government official coming in and telling me what decisions I could help my child through and how I should do it. And I want those decisions to be made by parents, not by the government,” Christie concluded.

Dona (Con't): Thoughts?

Ruth: It is only one issue but he is the only one in the race for the GOP's nomination who has gotten it right so far.  That is the perfect answer.  It is no one's business but the parents or guardians.  I find nothing to nitpick regarding that.  C.I.'s made that point, Chris Hayes has made that point and, in the Senate hearing that C.I. covered last week, a US senator made that point.

Dona: C.I.?

C.I.: It was one of Delaware's senators, Senator Chris Coons.  He's quoted in Friday's snapshot but I will pull the comments he made to a witness.  He stated:
Mr. Sharp, if I might, in your written testimony, you criticize schools for trying to replace parents as the ultimate determents of what's best for their children when it comes to things like teaching about LGBTQ rights and issues but, if I understand you correctly from your spoken testimony, you also think parents should be barred from making medical care decisions about their own children in the case of gender affirming care as described by Dr Lopez. Which one is it? Are parents in charge of what's in the best interests of their children or not?

C.I. (Con't): We're not wasting time on the lies Sharp tried to offer.

Ruth:  Good for the senator.  I do not see how that statement or position -- or former Governor Chris Christie's statements -- are controversial.  They go straight to the heart of what we have always believed in this country when it comes to the rights of parents.

Marcia: I support that.  Who is the government to come and tell you what kind of medical treatment your child can have?  The Republicans arguing for that -- Ron DeSantis, Nikki Hayley and other losers -- are arguing for eroding the legal rights of parents.  Shame on them.  

Dona: On the topic of trans issues, C.I.'s repeatedly made a point that Senator Dick Durbin made in last week's hearing.  You can see Friday's snapshot.  But I wanted to comment because I repeatedly found stories online while looking and would think, "This is big." And then I would see that it wasn't the US.  Ava, I'm going to toss to you because I know you were at the hearing with C.I. as well.  Could you talk about the location of so many stories for FOX "NEWS"?

Ava: Sure.  As C.I. has pointed out, the country is trying to navigate trans rights.  The hate merchants have gone after trans people in an attempt to take down LGBTQ+ period.  They can't go after gay men, for example, because they've played that card one time to many and it doesn't work anymore.  

Isaiah: Ava, can I jump in for a second?

Ava: Sure.

Isaiah: I'm sorry.  I just want to first note that when C.I. started pointing this out, I'd read along and nod.  Might have thought "Interesting."  But all these months later?  I mean, talk about crystal ball time.  And that's good because I'm about to talk about Krystal Ball.  But all the things C.I. was warning about and seeing?  They were just emerging and if you go back now, you get how it was taking place and how a lot of us were missing it.  So an example of what Ava's saying. Remember when MonkeyPox was first popping up?  On that hideous garage dump BREAKING POINTS, Saagar twice tried to use it to target and attack gay men.  And I remember C.I. calling that out in real time as it happened.  And that goes to what Ava's talking about.  It wasn't working, it wasn't taking hold.  He and others tried to do it, try to whip up hysteria and hatred towards gay men.  And it was people -- not just C.I. but certainly C.I. in this community -- who stood up to these people that stopped them and made them realize, we need a new target.  Ava?

Ava: Good points, thank you, Isaiah.  So Joe pointed out as Vice President that WILL & GRACE had helped put a  face on gay rights.  And it did as did the fact that so many brave people had come out to their friends and families and it was harder and harder to find a person who didn't know a gay person.  They were no longer the monsters that liars like Anita Hill painted them as, they were people you knew.  And it wasn't going to work on gay men.  So they turned it to transgender people and made them the focus.  FOX "NEWS" has been one of the most explicit examples of this.  And if you cover the US transgender news, time and again, the news here is the violence that so many African-American trans women are targeted with.  Over and over.  So what FOX "NEWS" does is try to grab stories that have nothing to do with tis country or with our laws or our system of government or anything and put them on as "IT'S A-HAPPENING!  BE SCARED!"  Which is how you get that freak -- the White British man who spent a fortune trying to make himself look Asian -- specifically like the K-Pop star he was worshiping -- worshiping like a god -- who then, for a few months, decided he was trans and then, a few months later decided he wasn't.  This freak tells lies all the time and gets media attention for it. And FOX "NEWS" brings him on to lie and scare America.  He doesn't live in the US, he's got nothing to do with us and for all his whining he didn't have surgery and he wasn't a child or a teenager.  So in the hearing, Dick Durbin called the nonsense of trying to pretend like we ere England or whatever else country to frighten and alarm America wasn't right.  That they were Europe and we were America.

Dona: Right, I'm going to quote some of that:

Durbin made a point to note that when a Supreme Court nominee appears before the Judiciary Committee, they will always be asked about what laws would influence them the most ("whether or not they're going to be influenced by foreign laws") and that the answer the Committee always wants, expects and receives is "US law."  

Chair Dick Durbin:  The answer they're waiting for is, "I stick with America."  And now we have references to Europe as the standard-bearer in terms of where America should go for it's future.  Secondly, if we're called an outlier in that headline [that a Republican wanted noted], guilty as charged.  America's always been an outlier. A written Constitution for over two hundred years.  A Bill of Rights that people can depend upon. We are outliers.  No one in Europe can make the same claim.  So I would just start with the premise, I love Europe, I love Europeans, but we're Americans.  And when it comes to the decisions as basic as the rights of our individual citizens and freedoms, I think we've got a pretty good starting point with the Constitution and Bill of Rights. 

Ava: And he's right.  And we all need to see what's going on.  And I'll echo Isaiah absolutely -- it was C.I.  She and I started calling it out in pieces we were doing here.  But she'd already seen it and already started calling it out at THE COMMON ILLS.  She was ahead of the curve.

Cedric: I'm jumping in.  And if we're trying to keep track of who is speaking during the roundtable, I'm fine with using every second time I have to speak on this topic.  I know Wally and I and Betty and Ann often work together on a joint-post.  From day one at Wally's site, he's always run everything by C.I.  He uses her as a test audience -- we're trying to write humor posts most of the time.  And she'll laugh or sometimes not and we'll figure out what we did wrong -- if we have the time. Sometimes it's like, "Okay, it's late, that's good enough!"

Wally: Exactly.

Cedric: But if it's one of those times when we're really working it and C.I.'s saying "maybe change that word" and we're brainstorming we'll talk about things going on in the world.  And I bring that up because we get little mini-tutorials as a result.  So we got what C.I. was seeing probably within days after when she first started noticing it.  And Ava just said that "she was ahead of the curve" and Ava's right.  But, here's the thing, even if you weren't ahead of the curve, there's no reason now, today, to not see reality or to refuse to call it out but that is the reality for so many people.  And, sorry to Jess and Ty, don't know what stories they pulled, but I'm more than fine with staying on Dona's topic for the rest of the roundtable.

Jim: Don't know if we've got enough to discuss but, yeah, we'll switch to time.  We usually do a designated time on these roundtables and call it then -- after trying to get everyone to speak.  Our plan for this one was to use a round of questions and then end it.  But, yeah, this is an important topic.  The media isn't covering it -- I'm not talking about you, USA TODAY, for example, I'm talking about 'left' media.  And we can certainly focus on this topic.  

Rebecca: Then let me go because I won't sugar coat or spare any feelings.  I've already Tweeted to, for example, Katie Halper las week telling her that she was letting people down by refusing, month after month, to cover this story.  Let me go because I don't give a damn and I don't give a damn about some YOUTUBErs hurt feelings.  This is about people rights and their very lives and I'm not in the  mood to play.  Katie Halper on THE KATIE HALPER SHOW is a huge disappointment.  This is me speaking no one has to come after and clean up.  She's supposed to be a feminist.  Yet Katie, month after month, brings on more male guests than females.  In two years and counting, I don't remember her every addressing LGBTQ+ issues.  And even when she had the guy from the group The Ballet --

C.I.:  Greg Goldberg.

Rebecca: Thank you.  Even when she had him on as a guest, he's gay, she wasn't addressing LGBTQ+ issues.  I'm tired of it.  Are you left or not?  Are you a feminist or not?  I'm tired of it.  Now with the garbage that is USEFUL IDIOTS, fine.  You've got screwball Aaron Matte -- living through his last 30 minutes of being semi-attractive before he starts looking exactly like his father.  You're not responsible.  But you damn well are responsible for your own, solo show and you're failing.  If  you're not aware, now you are, fix it.  If you are aware?  You've committed a huge betrayal and I don't forgive.  And she's already on thin ice with me because she's Matt Taibbi's former co-host and there's no denying that he's a transphobe.  Translation, you've got a lot to make up for, Katie Halper.

Trina: I support every word that Rebecca just said.  I have a son who's gay.  I'm watching this unfold, these hate merchants, in horror and wondering what the hell happened to our country? We had been moving forward and maturing and now we're left with Ron DeSantis and "Don't Say Gay"?  It's outrageous and it's unacceptable and I don't need some ugly witch named braying, "We can debate whether or not teenage girls should have to share locker rooms with biological males later. If the US continues down this war path, those questions won't matter." F**k you, Anya.

Jim: We farm the audio of this out to HILDA'S MIX so they'll get to hear it but for those reading.  There was just this obvious silence that seemed to hang on for several minutes as we all just absorbed Trina's use of the f-word.  Trina's not Polly Purebread and we've certainly seen her heated before but this was huge time heated.  

Trina: Well it is huge time to me period.  How dare that pompous witch.  Forget teenage, it's rude to all trans people and it's ignoring them all.  But when you think about it and about how at risk trans teenagers are?  I know this witch was mocking the striking writers so I know she's garbage.  But she's also garbage for that nonsense.

Cedric: And, if I may, Trina, what war?  I'm sorry, she acts like she's the only person in the world.  First off, there's no war on Iran right now.  I'm coming back to that.  Second off, US troops are still on the ground in Iraq and in Syria, but she's not talking about that.  She's worried about Ukraine.  I'm to the point that these people are about to lose my support.  I have been against the proxy war from the start.  And -- 

Ann: Don't you dare do Green Party!  I will tackle that.

Cedric: Okay, gotta listen to my wife on that.  She'll grab the Green Party aspect.  But  all of Anya's 'work' on this issue hasn't done a damn thing.  Meanwhile trans people continue to suffer.  And their suffering has to wait per Anya because of her war work.  As Trina said, f**k you. Do we remember when CODEPINK dropped the Iraq War while Bully Boy Bush was in the White House and started their garbage of stop the war on Iran!  There was no war on Iran.  There's still been no war on Iran!  I wonder how many Iraqis are dead today because CODEPINK couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time?  I do know, Anya, if we can only focus on one thing at a time, we should be focusing on Americans being denied rights because that's happening right here in our own country.   Oh, and sky is falling Anya is convinced the world's about to end due to nuclear war at any moment. 

Marcia: As someone who was in school when THE DAY AFTER aired on ABC, I've lived through this before.  I'm not going to be paralyzed by the fear of nuclear war.  I will call out nuclear weapons, I will call out countries that have them, I will argue against nuclear power -- check my face, I'm Black, not White like Katie Halper who, along with Aaron Matte brought on Oliver Stone to pimp nuclear power plants -- but I'm not going to be ruled by fear again.  It's the only emotion Anya has: Fear. 

Stan: Cedric's right, we can do more than one thing at a time.  As an African-American, I don't accept ever telling anyone that now is not the time to discuss their rights and their freedoms.  It would have to be a White woman like Anya who'd make that argument.  Shame on her and anyone who tells someone that now is not the time to talk about their rights.  Shame on them.  People like Anya have a 101 reasons for not addressing issues about liberation and civil rights and 101 of them are garbage and lies.  They're just bigots and they hide behind garbage like that.  Speaking of bigots, the hate merchants of Moms for Liberty got caught quoting Hitler.  Does it get more embarrassing than that?  Sorry, Ann, think I just took it into the political campaigns.

Jim: Ruth?

Ruth: They are a hate group.  And RFK Jr. is about to do a rally with them so I am candidate-less.  As I wrote at my site finally, that is a big deal for me.  I thought he was different from his mother -- Ethel Kennedy is a raging homophobe.  She apparently blames gay men for not being able to turn her homely self into Jackie Kennedy or even Joan Kennedy.  Joan Kennedy had a lot of style, but no one had the style and chic that Jackie Kennedy did.  So Ethel Kennedy's a homophobe who raged against her own granddaughter and refused to attend the same-sex wedding and is she speaking for her son Robert as well.  Sorry.  It is a breaking point for me.  And to add one more thing, I noted Naomi Wolf.  Since I posted on Friday, she has Tweeted about her 'friends' Moms for Liberty.  Bye Naomi.  Did not have to agree with you on everything.  But when you promote a hate group -- a known hate group -- that is out to destroy LGBTQ+ rights, you have betrayed me, my grandson Jayson and yourself because it was not all that long ago that you had a book -- since pulled and pulped -- about attacks on LGBTQ+ people.  So you are dead to me.  Your looney chem-trail nonsense?  I could agree to disagree.  This?  Not playing.

Jim: I think if we stay with politics and campaigns for a minute we can get back to Ann who wants to talk about the Greens.  Or maybe, Ann, can you just grab the lead right now?

Ann: Sure. Who are you going to support this election when it comes to LGBTQ+ issues?  There is only one candidate right now.  Hopefully, others will emerge.  But the only candidate right now is . . . Joe Biden.  When DOBBS destroyed ROE, Clarence Thomas, in his opinion, made clear that birth control and marriage equality were his next targets.  Joe delivered.  Congress has made marriage equality legal, it's no longer just a court ruling.

Jess: "Just a court ruling" because thanks to the crooked Supreme Court, precedent really doesn't exist anymore.

Ann: Right. So Joe delivered it on both issues.  I'm a Green.  I'm not a fan of Joe Biden.  But I'm not going to lie and say he didn't keep his word.  He kept his word.  And I'm glad because I want our children -- Cedric and mine specifically -- to grow up in a world that suffers from too much love, not too much hate.   This is no small thing what Joe did.  He codified marriage equality -- both same sex and interracial.  As a Green, I have no problem pointing out that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama swore in 2008 that his first act as president would be to codify ROE.  Despite 8 years in the White House, he never did that and he never even tried to do it.  If he had done it, ROE would still be the law of the land today.  He made promises and he did not keep them.  Joe kept some promises.  Marianne Williamson?  That kook gets no respect from me when she doesn't do a damn thing to address the war on LGBTQ+ people.  She's a fake and fraud.  She was happy to use gay men with AIDS when she needed to market herself, she was happy to preach and sale snake oil to them.  But if she can't con them and make money off of it, she has no use for them.  And it's a point Trina made at her site in "If I were voting for president today . . . ."

Dona: Let me be on record stating that Marianne is the least appealing candidate in the race currently and, please remember, Ron DeSantis is in the race as well.  But Marianne tries to act so concerned and caring yet she refuses to address this topic.  She's forever saying now and during her last run that the country needs healing and she can do it.  This from the woman turning LGBTQ+ rights into the elephant in the room that must not be spoken of.

Jess: Mark Cornel West down as one of the many fake asses as well.  He can offer generalities and even say the word "gay."  But that's about it.  And he wants to be the Green Party nominee.

Ann: That crusty lipped clown needs to sit his tired ass down and shut his mouth.  I'm not voting for him.  If we don't have a qualified Green candidate who addresses issues including but not limited to: The environment, reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, fixing our schools not with more useless tests but with real investment into the sciences, etc, I'm just not interested in voting Green and I won't.  Jess, you're a Green.

Jess: Yeah, I'm not voting for Cornel.  I don't need lectures from a clown face fool going around saying "____'s on a crack pipe."  That's his whole shtick: "on a crack pipe, on a crack pipe, on a crack pipe."  Shut up old man.  Our party deserves better than you and we damn well better have some serious candidates running for the nomination.  

Cedric: Sorry for piping in but I told you this is a topic I can stay on.  First off, as Ann said, Joe Biden has worked on this issue and does deserve credit.  And I don't say that just because she's my wife. 

Ann: You say it because you're a Democrat.

Cedric: Maybe.  But Joe has delivered.  Everyone else who should be supporting it?  They're running from it.  Like this is 1978 or something.  It's shameful and embarrassing.  The other side, they're not running from it, they're demonizing LGBTQ+ people.  And I don't support them and I don't support the cowards who stay silent.  Ann and my church?  They're addressing it.  Our preacher has been following C.I.'s coverage for months now.  And he's been bringing it up in services and how we need to realize that we are only strong when we stand together.  My church is all the way in on LGBTQ+ rights and I hope that will be the case for many other Black churches because (a) we're talking basic rights, (b) no one knows better than us the struggle for freedom, (c) when we lift up others, we lift up ourselves, (d) as Ava pointed out earlier, transgender people are being targeted and African-American trans women are especially being targeted.  This is not an abstract issue, it's one that requires real work and real attention.  Cornel does not appear to posses the skills or knowledge to lead on this issue.  Possibly that's because he's a Baptist  -- not a faith known for uplifting anyone but straight Christians and only wanting to listen to male straight Christians.

Betty: He's Baptist?  Oh, Lord, we are in trouble.  And let's talk historical in the Black community.  We have turned our back on our LGBTQ+ brethren way too many times.  I have an older brother who is gay and the church was not nice to him -- nor the congregation itself -- when I was growing up.  That has thankfully changed in the Atlanta church I grew up in.  But for years and years, we turned our backs and we also forced them to live in the closet.  We all knew our churches were built on our choirs and we all knew a gay choir director or two.  But we forced them to live in silence or to live in pretense.  We refused to honor their truths and their experiences.  And we were far less progressive on that issue than White churches or mixed churches.  We have a debt we need to pay and we have sins of intolerance that we need forgiveness for.  The only way forward is to say "Enough" and to dig in and say, "No, you're not treating anyone in this country as less than because of whom they love."  And Cornel has not led on this and is currently not trying to lead on this so I don't think he can lead on it.  In which case, sit your butt down because we don't need you and we don't need your endless speechifying that, in the end, adds up to a ton of words that say nothing at all.

Jess: I want Ty to speak and I want to point out something.  We've got Marcia who is a lesbian, we've got Ruth who has a gay grandson, we've got Trina who has a gay son -- who is also Mike's brother, we've got someone who has a brother who is going to be coming out next week to his family but has already come out to their relative participating in this roundtable.  These are not abstracts or pie in the skies, these are people we know and love.  And we're not going to let Moms for Liberty or Ron DeSantis or crazy Naomi Klein or ruthless Robert F. Kennedy Jr. railroad our loved ones.  You hate merchants started a battle and you'll live to regret it because you won't win this.  Tulsi Gabbard, you ugly, hateful idiot, we will never choose you and your hate over our own friends and family.  You lost the minute you started this war. 

Ty: DOBBS was such a wake up call.  Abortion rights?  Settled law and the majority of Americans supported it.  That did not stop the crooked judges of the Supreme Court from destroying it.  It was a shock or, as C.I. said in real time, "a gut punch."  It was not the world I had grown up in.  And this world of hate that Tulsi, Ron, John Stauber, Miss Glenneth Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Max Blumenthal and his ugly wife, Jonathan Turley, Marjorie Taylor Greene and others are determined to live in is not the world that I believe in.  Jess, is right, they are not going to win. We will not let them.  I'm married now because my boyfriend and I had to worry that we might lose the right.  I mean we love each other and have lived with each other for years but we rushed to get married before the hate merchants overturned that.  I don't know this world and I don't know this hate.  This is not who we are nor is it who we are supposed to be.  Marcia, do you want to speak in terms of your own life?  I know you spoke earlier but just wondering.

Marcia: Sure.  I'm married to.  I noted that at my website.  And I'm tying posts and sometimes I'll say "girlfriend." And anyone e-mailing me to gripe, please know that she tears me a new one more than any of you ever could.  "I'm just your girlfriend, oh, okay.  Guess I dreamed up that wedding that we invited 100 people to." She makes me laugh. Always.  And she's wonderful and she's great.  But, like Ty, I'm kind of like, okay, that was the nudge I needed to make it legal, DOBBs and the threat that we could lose the right to marry.  My life has been a story of progression, the world has moved forward repeatedly and gotten better in so many ways.  And then this comes up, this wave of hate merchants.  You have to wonder just how long Jonathan Turley has been plotting to destroy America?  I hope every student that has him reports his homophobia, his transphobia, his refusal to make needed disclosures, all of it.  I will celebrate as each of these homophobes goes up in flames.  And, let me note, Ty and his boyfriend have been together for 17 years even though they've only been married for two.  

Ty: That's not right, is it?  Yeah, I guess it is.  We got together in college.  Oh my goodness.  Yeah, our life is entwined, our life is together.  I'm very lucky and very fortunate.  17 years.  Wow.

Kat: Jim passed me a note which reads, "According to Dona, we need to wrap up and you and Mike haven't spoken yet."  Mike, could you speak first while I try to think of something that hasn't already been brought up?

Mike: Sure.  Well my brother is gay.  Trina's my mom -- hi, Mom.

Trina: Hi.

Mike: I'm one of 8 children.  I have a younger sister but the other six -- my brothers and sisters -- are all older.  I don't think my brother came out to me.  I think I was either too young or it happened before I was born.  I just know that it was who he was for as far back as I can remember him.  It was not an issue in our family -- that's the eight of us and our folks and that's also my cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc.  It was normal and no different than one of my brothers who is involved with women.  If my brother was dating with a guy or living with a guy, that guy was a part of our lives the way any girlfriend would have been.  That said, in the outside world, outside of our family and outside of the block we lived on, it could be a big deal.  I grew up with it and it never made sense to me that this was somehow a big deal.  It's my brother and who he was.  And no one was picking on other boys because they liked girls so where did these people get off picking on my brother for liking guys?  I didn't have to ever come to an awareness because it was always part of my life and I don't understand why anyone thinks they can look down on or take away the rights of LGBTQ+ people.  I can't understand hate merchants.  I think someone like Jonathan Turley has to have a really sick mind and really awful life to dedicate so much time to trying to destroy the rights of trans people.  And we got far off Rebecca's topic of the people who are silent on this issue.

Kat: Thank you!  That's what I'll talk about.  Rebecca noted how disappointing Katie Halper's silence has been.  So many have been silent.  BLACK POWER MEDIA hasn't been silent and I applaud them for that.  Amy Goodman, who I've had issues with before, is someone else who has really stepped up and covered these issues as we've seen just how hateful these people can be.  Karen Hunter has stood strong.  O has as well.  I applaud those people and their programs.  I applaud everyone at QUEER NEWS TONIGHT because this is their life, they're putting this out there knowing there could very well be a target on their backs.  And I'm appalled, like Rebecca, by the Glenneth Greenwalds who are part of those attacking trans people.  It's disgusting.  And they've formed their own little bubble which is why Katie Halper needs to make clear where she stands on this.  All around her, you will find one transphobe after another.  So is that who she is?  We have a right to know.  And if it's not who she is, she needs to speak up. Silence is not helping anyone.  Also, f**k Naomi Wolf.  Crazy b**ch has spewed too much crazy and supporting and defending Moms For Liberty really is the last straw.

Jim: Thank you.  Do we have some summing up or some way to end?  Dona's pointing at C.I.

C.I.: Me? Give me a second.

Jim: Ava and C.I. take notes during these roundtables.

C.I.: Yep.  Okay.  The hate merchants zoomed in on trans people.  Because they are less well known.  And so if you're discouraged right now, I understand and I think we all do.  But it's a learning process.  People are basically good and believe in equality.  Someone who might have been a transphobe six months ago, for example, might now have been exposed to something beyond hateful stereotypes.  We all grow.  I'll speak for me.  Ava and I wrote a piece about the Academy Awards and reducing performers to one award for Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor and doing away with the actress categories.  Some misunderstood that article and that's fine. Our issue, read it, was that a Tom Hanks, for example, doesn't deliver an award worthy performance.  Men have been able to be blanks and cyphers that we the audience project onto.  They're not acting.  Marlon Brando, yes, he's acting.  Dustin Hoffman, yes.  But far too many of them are doing nothing and we pretend otherwise.  No actress gets to coast into an award.  Actresses have to work their asses off.  We said in the piece that if a performer identified as female, that's the category that they belonged it.  For example, Linda Hunt was amazing playing the man in THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY.  If she had identified as male -- she doesn't -- then put her in the male category.  We were fine with that.  I think where some are confused it was that we also said we didn't know with regards to non-binary.  As we've seen Riley Gaines work overtime to destroy trans persons, we know.  Reduce it to one category.  We stand by the fact that actresses, year after year, have given the strongest performances.  But we're not here to hate or harm.  And, in fact, when an Angela Bassett loses out to a Tom Hanks, it will just make it even more clear how biased the system is.  Again, we're all learning as a society.  It's going to get better but I don't know when.




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