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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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When political correctness stifles the reporting of a mass murder

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IT’S only a week since six people – three nine-year-olds and three staff – were shot dead at a school in Nashville, Tennessee, but already the story has all but disappeared from the mainstream media. Some might say this is due to such shootings being tragically routine, but I suspect more subversive motivations may be at work here. As we saw with the 28-year-old ‘child refugee’ who drowned in the Channel a few years back, it’s always telling when the BBC suddenly stop promoting a story they’ve sunk their teeth into. In this case they barely nibbled it, the British coverage of these gruesome killings being remarkably sparse. 

The shooter was a 28-year-old woman named Audrey Hale who identified as a man, and who was a former pupil at the Christian school where she went on her killing spree. Something tells me that had the assailant been a straight, white male and the school been predominantly black or Muslim or Jewish, the story would not have been swept into the archive bin quite so quickly.

Perversely, the story that has run is not about the real and terrible crime but the supposed crime of the Nashville police and the US mainstream news outlets who ‘misgendered’ and ‘deadnamed’ Hale by not referring to her as a man or as a trans man, an accusation which saw the New York Times and CNN issuing all but apologies for ‘failing to use her preferred pronouns’. 

Adding to the horror came a statement, ignored by the BBC, from the Trans Resistance Network which, after brief condolences to the families of the murdered children, mourned at length the death of the murderer. Apparently there were ‘two tragedies in Nashville’, the more important one being that the shooter ‘felt he had no other effective way to be seen than to lash out by taking the life of others, and by consequence, himself’. 

Though the group conceded they did not ‘have access to their inner thoughts and feelings,’ they insisted ‘we do know that life for transgender people is very difficult, and made more difficult in the preceding months by a virtual avalanche of anti-trans legislation, and public callouts by Right Wing personalities . . . for nothing less than the genocidal eradication of trans people from society’. 

In a sinister sign-off, the organisation warned the media to ‘respect the self-identified pronouns of transgender individuals . . . on forward facing sites.’ Not to be thought of as ‘backward’ facing, all BBC articles discussing the story duly took great pains not to ‘misgender’ the killer of six.Indeed, avoiding pronouns altogether, they described her variously as ‘the 28-year-old’, ‘the suspect’, ‘the shooter’ or most often simply as ‘Hale’.

Now, a trans protest, rebranded before these latest dreadful killings from ‘visibility’ to ‘vengeance’ and organised by the Trans Radical Activist Network, is reportedly still planned to go ahead, despite the Nashville tragedy. 

As a medical doctor specialising in psychiatry, I often interact with patients suffering from gender dysphoria. They have a disproportionately high prevalence of correlated mental health and personality disorders, as well as suicide ideation and completion. While I am fully cognisant of their genuine psychological distress, I do not think the current policy of officially sanctioning their delusions is at all helpful.  

To their face I will always use their preferred pronouns out of politeness, but when documenting or discussing them with other professionals in private, I insist on using the pronouns of their biological sex. This often elicits wild-eyed panic on the faces of police officers, so terrified are they to be tarred with the career-ending black mark of transphobia, but with nurses and other doctors I regularly see overwhelming relief to have discovered another human being who hasn’t yet drunk the Kool-Aid.

I’ve always disliked the phrase ‘political correctness gone mad’ because it implies that a little bit of it is a good thing, whereas it is like cyanide: any amount is too much. Indeed, it is a cancer at the very heart of our civilisation, growing and metastasising until all normal functions of life become disrupted. The real division in our society, in this country, in America and across the Western world, is not between the classical left and right, or liberal and conservative, but between political correctness and non-political correctness, i.e. between those who see the world as they would like it to be and those who see it as it is.

Political correctness is polite lying. Saying something you know is not true, or denying something you know is true, for the sake of politeness. It sounds innocent enough, and is for the most part when individual citizens are conversing amongst themselves, but is one of the most malevolent processes imaginable when adopted and enforced by authorities.

It has hamstrung our ability to deal with any of the most important and devastating problems in our society. How can you deal with a problem if you’re not even allowed to discuss it honestly? Freedom of expression has been the West’s greatest weapon for centuries, but now the only speech permitted is that which adopts all the assumptions of the left. It’s like playing tennis against an opponent who sets the rules and can change them at any point.

Thus, for Islamic terrorism, black crime rates, climate apocalypticism, Muslim child sex-slavery gangs, mass immigration, etc, there is the official acceptable position and then the unacceptable ‘extremist’ position, made no less unacceptable or extreme if it is held by the majority of people in the country. There is the opinion of the man in the street who can see what’s going before his very eyes and who understands the problems at hand, and then there is the official lie that none of these problems exist, the liberal delusion which must be adopted if you want any chance of succeeding in public life.

Why do you think the celebrities, politicians and mainstream journalists were all so horrified by the Brexit result or Trump’s election? Because the only people they ever speak to or meet think in exactly same way as they do. This is what is meant by the phrase ‘fish can’t see water’. On the other hand, it is virtually impossible for a non-politically correct person to live in such an echo chamber, for everything one experiences in daily life, from what you see on TV, movies or adverts, to what you read in newspapers or hear politicians speak about in public, is all and always from the perspective of political correctness. And that bias goes bone deep.

That said, I don’t doubt these transgender activists genuinely consider Audrey Hale an unfortunate victim. They saw what they saw because that’s what they wanted to see, what they expected to see. It’s basic human psychology to accommodate new observations into one’s pre-existing model of reality, rather than to adjust that model accordingly. Especially when such a readjustment would require changing one’s most basic assumptions about reality. But that doesn’t mean the rest of society should allow itself be bullied or blackmailed into such a conspiracy of lies.

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