MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid Went On A Bizarre Transphobic Tirade Against Chelsea Manning Last Night


For all their cagey and self-proclaimed sympathy after decades of neglect, DADT and DOMA, it’s truly a wonder that liberals have been able to fashion themselves into die-hard friends of the LGBTQ community almost overnight. (Of course, that’s not what really happened, liberals only truly went to bat for LGBTQ folks after two things occurred: (1) some well-heeled members of the community turned themselves into gay ATMs for the Democratic Party and then threatened to pull the plug; (2) President Obama was relentlessly mocked by activists for opposing marriage equality.)

Enter: MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid, Democratic pundit, host of AM Joy and all-around bloviator on things she probably shouldn’t.

Last night, in a string of tweets —  that for some reason have yet to be deleted — Reid decided to use Chelsea Manning as a foil to make some sort of point about President Donald Trump‘s proposed transgender military ban.

Her first salvo was classic concern trolling. Reid pretended to care about an unnamed CNN guest using Chelsea Manning as an excuse to support the ban. Then it got ugly–and how–quick.

Let’s dissect this without mincing words.

Joy-Ann Reid is using gender dysphoria as a pathology to account for Chelsea Manning’s principled and heroic actions.

Reid suggests Manning would have been “less volatile and vulnerable” if she’d had earlier access to reassignment surgery. By this, Reid means maybe Manning would have been okay with the brutality of the U.S. military’s operations in Iraq. That’s gross and insulting. Manning’s agency is removed, U.S. crimes are excused, and Manning’s desire to live her life as she sees fit is turned into some kind of illness.

Sensing that her horrific point hadn’t been made quite clear enough, Reid dug in. Here’s another shot:

Of course, no decent person would follow up the above statement with a sentence that begins with the word “but”, but, well…here’s the chaser:

Here, Reid is peddling whole-cloth-created (and non-existent as a matter of record) sympathy for how Manning was treated by the U.S. military. Recall, Manning’s treatment while under custody was formally described by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture as “cruel, inhuman and degrading.”  That same report asserted Manning’s treatment under the Obama administration may have even risen to the level of torture itself. The report was issued in 2012.

Around the same time Manning was being almost-maybe tortured, Reid attacked her. The liberal favorite dead-gendered Manning and first articulated the argument rehashed last night, describing her as a “a guy seeking anarchy as a salve for his own personal, psychological torment” because of her gender dysphoria and sexuality. In that same blog post, Reid characterized Manning’s turmoil as “TMI”.

So, in one sense, none of this is new. Joy-Ann Reid has been an open, Manning-hating transphobic bigot for awhile. She’s just now awkwardly attempting to spin her transphobia into some sort of Twitter win against the Trump administration. So, yeah, go ahead and count longtime observers as entirely not surprised.

But Reid’s decision to weaponize Chelsea Manning–a person she once thoroughly demonized–by turning Manning’s desire to transition into some kind of sickness that made her deliver evidence of war crimes and other unseemly behavior by the U.S. government over to Wikileaks is sad and pathetic even by her own standards.

Respect-your-betters liberal paternalism knows no bounds. At long last, chattering class libs will be prying shards of human bones from their teeth as they lecture others on dignity and restraint. Joy-Ann Reid is only symptomatic of this trend generally and liberal transphobia in particular, of course, and shouldn’t merely apologize: she should delete her account.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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