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Thursday’s tragic events in Charleston, South Carolina – in which white terrorist Dylann Roof murdered nine black citizens in cold blood – have ignited debate from all sides of the political spectrum. But some responses have been more disgusting than others.
While liberals call for restrictions on gun accessability, Fox News pundit Erick Erickson has claimed that the deaths were caused by society’s increasing acceptance of trans people.
Despite the fact that trans people still face discrimination in the workplace, in housing and in medical treatment, Erickson is convinced that their place in society pushed a white supremacist to murder black people.
Bizarrely, Erickson also tried to connect this to America’s problem with mental health treatment. Doubtless, a nation with private healthcare will impact mental health services massively, but to decry Roof as mentally ill absolves him from the premeditated nature of his crimes whilst also painting the mentally ill as violent criminals.
He made transphobic comments about Caitlyn Jenner, claiming a society that declares Jenner normal “cannot have a conversation about mental health or evil because that society no longer distinguishes normal from crazy and evil from good”.
In the past Erickson has made extremely homophobic remarks: from comparing gay rights to Islamic State terrorists and claiming the the US government is spending money on researching ‘fat lesbians’ instead of Ebola.
Though the murders in Charleston have brought racism to the front of the political agenda, it also seems to have brought out the worst opinions from the worst pits of Republican hell.