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Regular Contributor Chad Felix Greene
It appears a major LGBT advocacy organization, the Human Rights Campaign, is intentionally misrepresenting a now discredited claim that the Trump administration instructed the CDC not to use a series of words important to the Left. As Yuval Levin detailed in an article for National Review titled No, HHS Did Not ‘Ban Words’, the concern began when the Washington Post reported “The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.”
As Levin explains, however, “In other words, what happened regarding these other terms (“transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based”) was not that retrograde Republicans ordered career CDC officials not to use these terms but that career CDC officials assumed retrograde Republicans would be triggered by such words and, in an effort to avoid having such Republicans cut their budgets, reasoned they might be best avoided.”
The Left-wing media leapt to many conclusions ranging from demands of censorship to intentional targeting of LGBT Americans. On December 17th, 2017, the director of the CDC made a clear and public statement denying the assertion there were any banned words or that the Trump administration was interfering with research or reporting. On December 18th, 2017, the Human Rights Campaign tweeted: “After attempting to erase transgender Americans from CDC documents, we're now seeing the Trump-Pence administration refuse to disclose public comments on religious exemptions to #LGBTQ health care coverage.”
Nevertheless, the thought of the CDC refusing to use the word ‘transgender’ sent ripples of worry and anxiety through the LGBT world, mostly validating what the Left already believes about president Trump. The Washington Blade quoted Daniel Bruner, senior director of policy for the D.C.-based Whitman-Walker Clinic, saying, “For the CDC to be told when you’re submitting budget documents, don’t talk about transgender people, or even use the term is potentially horrifying.” The Blade further stated, “In the view of many LGBT advocates, the report reinforced the widely held belief the Trump administration is seeking to eliminate any mention of LGBT people from public life…”
Strangely, the HRC continued its efforts on December 19th, 2017 tweeting the list of words with the headline: HRC Projects CDC’s ‘Banned Words’ Onto Trump Hotel. The linked article contained an image of the phrase ‘We Will Not Be Erased’ projected onto the hotel. The article states, “In conjunction with the enormous light display, HRC has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for any and all records, including communications with the CDC, relating to the banned words from November 2016 onward.”
On the same day they tweeted, “Our message for the Trump-Pence Administration is this: you cannot erase us. We will meet attacks on our community with a resolve to be louder and more visible than ever before.”
The Director of the CDC, as stated, clarified this as a misrepresentation a full two days prior by tweeting: “I want to assure you there are no banned words at CDC. We will continue to talk about all our important public health programs.” And as Levin pointed out, it appears to be nothing more than members within the CDC presuming to know what Republican’s might react to and attempting to protect their budgets accordingly. This does not appear to be based on any evidence other than political prejudice. It is patently absurd to take the assumptions of politically-minded individuals within the CDC and determine it as evidence of motivation from the administration itself.
More baffling is that there is nothing to investigate here. Levin was easily able to verify the details and none of it is particularly nefarious. How could a massive organization representing the LGBT community stage a public protest two days after what they are protesting was proven to never have happened by official sources? From an outside perspective it seems the motivation is either purely blind dedication to a political narrative or intentional deception for the same goals. No honest, respectable organization would so blatantly deceive the public over something so easy to prove incorrect.
Unfortunately, the troubling truth is this organization is catering to an audience eager for protesting what they are utterly determined to believe is an oppressive government bent on their destruction. President Trump is arguably the most pro-gay president to ever walk into office and despite the hair-on-fire panic over his Vice Presidential choice, there is absolutely no indication his administration has any anti-LGBT goals in mind. The audacity to demand ‘We Will Not Be Erased’ has the same nonsensical pattern as the ‘You Will Not Replace Us!’ chant at the Charlottesville white supremacist rally earlier this year. Both groups seem profoundly lost in their own hallucination of events and are filled with outrage and intense emotion over absolutely nothing.
When ideological groups begin gathering to chant in defiance of their existence being threatened by an imaginary force, it becomes greatly concerning. What we see here is a series of confirmation bias events that appear to demonstrate a pattern. The HRC sites several Trump administration actions that provide evidence of this attempted ‘erasure’ of the LGBT community. They began in January of this year when they panicked over Trump ‘removing’ pages from the official White House website that included the words ‘LGBT.’ This, of course, was merely a transition from one presidency to another and Trump did not ‘remove’ anything. The next panic was over the accusation Trump ‘removed’ LGBT from the upcoming 2020 census report, a claim quickly proven false as sexual orientation and gender identity were not asked on the 2010 Obama-approved report previously.
More recently the HRC claimed the “…Trump-Pence administration refuse to disclose public comments on religious exemptions to #LGBTQ health care coverage.” This claim appears to be nothing more than speculation as the comments provided were selected to present a positive light on the proposal. However, it assumes religious exemptions would somehow impact LGBTQ healthcare. Beyond refusing to perform transgender surgeries, there is no currently demanded religious objection to providing the same care to LGBTQ individuals as everyone else. There is nothing for the Trump administration to disclose, which is likely why nothing was.
Lastly, on December 18th, 2017 the HRC tweeted several times in regard to President Trump’s National Security speech demanding to know why LGBTQ issues were not specifically addressed. They stated, “As #LGBTQ people are under attack in Chechnya, Egypt, and elsewhere, this National Security Strategy doesn't even acknowledge LGBTQ people and the threats that they face.” Strangely, the Left appears to now be highly concerned about the treatment of LGBT people in Islamic countries and controlled areas, something President Obama never addressed and which they never demanded previously. The primary theme of President Trump’s security speech was security in the United States. LGBT do not face any significant threats in the United States.
What the LGBT Left has done is collect the above examples and pieced them together into a narrative which confirms their belief in an intentionally anti-LGBT administration. The latest outrage, despite being disproven, fuels this fire. They react to the lack of evidence, or in this case the refutation of their claims, by concluding that the disproved narrative is, in fact, true enough for their current emotional outrage. If challenged they will simply ignore the claims or create further narratives of conspiracy or media deception etc. to maintain the view. They simply do not care that it is false.
It is profoundly disturbing that an organization of this size and influence, however, would be so willing to participate in such dramatic deception. It legitimately appears that the HRC is dedicated to pushing a narrative of an oppressive and dangerous anti-LGBT Trump administration by any means necessary. Sadly, the majority of LGBT individuals will accept it as true because it already fits what they believe must be true. Has the LGBT movement fallen so far that they must fabricate outrage in order to stay relevant? Is this what LGBT individuals want in representation and advocacy? From a purely objective point of view, these types of stunts only discredit and hurt the movement as a whole.
We must never cease in calling out deception and demanding truth from our media. Powerful voices are openly deceiving millions of people with grand acts of propaganda and theatrics and the simple truth that none of it is real does not matter. The only weapon we have against this type of campaign is repeatedly shouting out the truth and exposing the lies. To stay quiet and recognize defeat in the face of a remarkably dedicated and overpowering enemy is simply not an option.
For more from Chad, visit chadfelixgreene.com and follow him on Twitter @chadfelixg.