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On This Year's Trans Day Of Remembrance
Trans People Are Still Being Killed Due To Other Mitigating Factors
I’d like you to meet DéVonnie J’Rae Johnson.
DéVonnie J’Rae Johnson, a 28-year-old, reportedly homeless, Black transgender individual, was shot and killed by a Ralphs store security guard on August 7, 2023.
According to the initial police report:
Officers responded to an Assault with a Deadly Weapon in progress at a grocery store near the 5400 block of Hollywood Boulevard. When officers arrived, they were summoned by a uniformed security guard who was performing first aid on a shooting victim. The security guard informed officers that he shot the individual as the result of an armed confrontation. The wounded individual had armed themselves with a screwdriver and attempted to assault him.
Additional reports also said Johnson confronted the guard with a fire extinguisher prior to the screwdriver.
The security guard has not been detained or charged. Also, there is no reporting of whether or not Johnson's race or gender was a factor in the incident.
While it is true that trans people face challenges, it is also true that they are not immune from the consequences of their actions. In that regard, trans people are just like everyone else.
Activists often ignore the specifics of a death in order to politicize it and propel their cause. This is a dangerous and harmful practice, as it can lead to division, misinformation, and even violence.
When activists portray one group of people as victims and another group of people as villains, it can create a climate of hostility and mistrust. This can lead to violence and other forms of social unrest.
When activists ignore the facts of a case and focus on their own narrative, they can easily spread false information. This can lead people to have bad feelings, or make bad decisions, such as protesting or rioting without knowing the full story.
The Advocate, an American LGBT magazine headline read; Another transgender American has died by violence, at least the 16th this year.
Politicization of death is often used as a form of gaslighting. It involves using the death of a person or group of people to advance a political agenda, often by distorting or misrepresenting the facts. This can be done in a number of ways, such as:
Exaggerating the number of deaths or the severity of the circumstances surrounding them
Blaming a particular group or individual for the deaths, even if there is no evidence to support this claim
Using the deaths to justify certain policies or actions
The human rights campaigns citing their own tracking on violence leading to fatalities of transgender individuals does not specify that their gender identity played any role in those deaths.
In fact, a lot of times, gender has nothing to do with it.
When transwomen do actually get killed there’s often a distortion that occurs in the media that often presumes that it was their transgender status that was solely the motivation for their murder and tries to falsely suggest that transgendered people, particularly transwomen, are murdered at a rate well above the national average.
In 2016 a total of 17,250 murders took place out of which 22 of these murder victims were transgender and few, if any of these cases, can be attributed to their transgender status.
Of the 22 murders committed against transgendered people, most of them can be attributed to their partners while the rest can be attributed to prostitution (in and of itself a dangerous profession).
In most cases, drugs were involved and were a mitigating factor.
In 2018, 26 transgendered people were reported murdered but this is nowhere near the claim that transgendered people are murdered at rates higher than anyone else as it represents less than 1/6th of 1% of the total.
And the same number of transgendered people have been murdered this year as well - all of 26, thus denoting the number of trans people being murdered hasn’t gone up in the last five years. You’d think if this was an epidemic of murders against trans people, we’d see more of this happening.
There was a total of 21,156 reported homicide cases in the U.S. in 2022. When looking at murder victims by gender and ethnicity, the vast majority were male, while just over half of victims were African American. In addition, homicide victims in the United States were found most likely to be between the ages of 20 and 34 years old, with the majority of victims aged between 17 to 54 years old.
Are there more murders in the United States at all?
In short, no – since the 1990s the number of murders in the U.S. has decreased significantly. In 1990, the murder rate per 100,000 people stood at 9.4; and stood at 6.3 in 2022. It should be noted though that number of homicides increased slightly from 2014 to 2017, although figures declined again in 2018 and 2019, before ticking up again in 2020 and 2021. Despite this decline, when viewed in international comparison the U.S. murder rate is still notably high. For example, the Canadian homicide rate stood at 2.06 in 2021, while the homicide rate in England and Wales was even lower.
California still leads the nation in homicide deaths (2197) followed by Texas (2020) and Illinois (881).