Texas Attorney General seeks to protect citizens from non-existent danger in Target bathrooms
It’s understandable, I guess, when everyday citizens, who maybe haven’t had a lot of contact with diversity, and the LGBT community, and transgender people in general, and also maybe don’t have a lot of compassion and empathy for anyone with a different lifestyle, to get a little nervous about Target’s new bathroom policies.
According to Fox News, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a letter to the chairman of the Target Corporation. It reads, “As chief lawyer and law enforcement officer for the State of Texas, I ask that you provide the full text of Target’s safety policies regarding the protection of women and children from those who would use the cover of Target’s restroom policy for nefarious purposes.”
Obviously none of this is truly understandable, because all the department store’s policy does is attempt to treat transgender people with dignity, enabling them to use the bathroom that is consistent with their gender identity. Plus, it’s also strange that he doesn’t seem concerned at all about boys, as if we haven’t learned from the Catholic Church scandal that boys are equally at risk from sexual predators. (Not in department store bathrooms, of course, because give me a break, but just in general.)
You’d think an evangelical Christian like Attorney General Paxton would want to protect everyone. Including little boys in the men’s room, who’ve been “at risk” all along with men having access to them. Apparently he’s only worried about women, and clearly he doesn’t know much about the community he’s discriminating against. And that’s the least understandable aspect of this mess: that the person getting nervous, and acting on his ignorance and paranoia, is a public official. You’d hope someone in his position would be more informed.
But no, it would seem that the Lone Star state’s attorney general doesn’t see Target’s policy as one of inclusivity, but instead, sees it as a way for sexual predators to find their way into the bathroom with their prey. Because that’s what most criminals do, they wait and wait and wait before they act, biding their time until new laws are enacted – like laws that let them enter easily accessible bathrooms – so that they can finally use them as an excuse to break even bigger ones – like sexually assaulting people.
It’s human nature for people are afraid of what they don’t understand. Obviously, once you’ve met a transgender person, it doesn’t take long to realize that hey, guess what, they’re human beings too! But many people may never have that chance to discover the reality behind the paranoia, especially people living in an expansive, largely rural state like Texas.
The bigger problem is when people in positions of authority and influence fan the flames of that ignorance, and boost that fear, by doing things like what Texas’ AG has done. He should be stepping up and educating Texans about the transgender community, reassuring them that they have nothing to fear, that people are people, and everyone should relax.
Of course, not everyone agrees. Fox News host Todd Starnes says, “Citizens should take comfort in knowing Attorney General Ken Paxton will do whatever it takes to protect women and children in the Lone Star State.”
Because protecting people from their own ignorance is more important than, I dunno, educating them and allowing a growing contingent of American citizens the same rights as everyone else?
God bless America.