Stating an accurate historical fact that Chelsea Manning was named Bradley Manning is a firing offense?
Brianna Wu is a Democrat running for Congress in the 8th District of Massachusetts, in a seat currently held by Democrat Stephen Lynch.
Lynch has caused some upset in progressive circles by being too much of a “lunch-bucket” Democrat, as this article in Commonwealth magazine depicts:
NO ONE WOULD question the wisdom of a gambler who put money on US Rep. Stephen Lynch securing another easy win next year. Still, the odds are changing a bit, in part because the demographics of his district are changing and the Democratic Party in Massachusetts is moving away from him to the left….
In February, in fact, he stood up for Trump, telling WBZ NewsRadio that the media has been unfair to the president. Lynch has moved to the left over the years, but he still reflects the conservative Roman Catholic ethos of his upbringing. He rejects his Democratic colleagues’ focus on racial and gender identity politics, their attention to “elitist” issues such as climate change, and their neglect of the type of people who sparked Lynch’s own political rise, the ironworkers and union men he once worked alongside.
“I was an ironworker for 20 years,” he says. “It’s hard to get that out of your system and I don’t want to. I try to spend as much time as I can with blue collar” people….
Lynch is one of three House Democrats still in Congress who voted against Obama’s 2010 health care law. Lynch says he didn’t like the absence of a government-run insurance option, as well as the law’s tax on high-cost, high-quality insurance plans offered by some unions.
Lynch describes himself as personally “pro-life,” even as he says he supports the Roe v. Wade decision.
He derides his party’s focus on climate change, arguing that it has detracted from Democrats’ appeal to Rust Belt voters.
Commonwealth noted the risk to Lynch:
The irony is that Lynch shares the impatience of the Democratic Party’s liberal base, but also seems vulnerable to its rage….
That “rage” factor appears in the form of Wu.
I didn’t know who Wu was until today, when she tweeted the demand that is the subject of this post. Perhaps I didn’t know Wu because I didn’t follow (and still don’t really understand) the Gamer-Gate brouhaha.
The NY Times profiled Wu in March, Brianna Wu Wants to Change the Democrats’ Playbook:
Many people are familiar with you as a prime target of Gamergate, a harassment campaign against women in the video-game community. Considering the flood of abuse you received, why would you decide to do something as high-profile as run for Congress? It’s terrifying, right? The thing Gamergate taught me is that there’s nothing I can’t handle. What is someone going to do: Call me ugly? Threaten to kill me? I already deal with all of that on a daily basis. I realized I needed to do this in a business meeting after election night, where I couldn’t even concentrate because I was so upset. I knew I wouldn’t feel good about just making video games for the next four years.
So Trump’s victory reoriented you? It helped me come to the conclusion that Republicans are very, very effective at getting people to go out there and vote with their emotions. That’s a real failure of the Democratic Party. I look at my own party, and I see that we’ve taken this technocratic, academic, elitist liberal class philosophy as far as it can go, and we got our butts kicked — and I don’t know what else to do other than get involved myself.
Wu told WBUR:
“My frustration with Stephen Lynch has been going on for quite a while. I think most people would agree with me when I say he’s a very very conservative Democrat here in Massachusetts. I personally don’t consider him a Democrat. I look at his background on voting for reproductive health care, I look at some of the bills he tried to pass about LGBT rights, and I personally think Massachusetts can do so much better. I think he doesn’t stand for my values and the values of a lot of people here in our state.
So Wu is challenging Lynch from the left. Big League:
On election night I was at Hillary Clinton headquarters, standing not 30 feet from where I expected her to accept the presidency….
But then, our worst fears came true and Donald Trump was elected president. If this were just another Republican president, someone like Mitt Romney or John McCain – I’d take the loss in stride. But we all know the truth, Donald Trump represents a unique threat to the American system. Not only is he temperamentally unfit to be president, but there are unanswered questions about his ties to Russia and business conflicts of interest.
I have respect for so many of our leaders in our great Democratic party. But, the contentious primary between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton revealed a deep divide that must be reconciled. There is a disconnect between those marginalized and our party leaders who vote too often as moderate Republicans. I personally supported Hillary Clinton in the primary, but today I see the vision of Bernie Sanders for America is one we must bring to pass.
I believe today’s Democratic party is ill-equipped to fight the Trump administration’s assault on women, on people of color, on the poor, and on the LGBT community. We do have true progressives, but too often they don’t have the support of the party establishment.
I’m announcing my candidacy today for the House of Representatives in Massachusetts district 8 to change that. It’s time for a bolder Democratic party.
I stumbled upon Wu’ when someone in my Twitter timeline commented on a tweet of hers concerning an Op-Ed in The NY Times, When Transgender Trumps Treachery. It was an article by Jamie Kirchick taking to task the glorification in the LGBT community of Chelsea Manning:
Celebrating Chelsea Manning just a few years after gay and transgender people were permitted to serve openly in the military discredits the L.G.B.T. cause. Throughout most of the 20th century, homosexuality was associated with treason and used as a basis for purging gay people from government jobs, denying them security clearances and restricting their service in the armed forces. The decision by Ms. Manning’s defense team to argue that untreated gender dysphoria was a factor in her decision to leak classified information unwittingly aids those who say that L.G.B.T. people cannot be trusted in sensitive government jobs. And it dishonors the L.G.B.T. people who have served in the military throughout history without betraying their country….
There are elements of the American left that would celebrate any leaker of government secrets, regardless of their gender identity. But it’s hard to imagine Ms. Manning receiving such a positive reception — never mind a spread in Vogue — if she still identified as Bradley, transgender being the liberal cause du jour. Ms. Manning’s atypical identity adds a frisson of subversion to her already subversive acts. Transgender, it would appear, trumps treachery.
The Kirchik Op-Ed received a lot of attention and praise. But not from Wu. To Wu, Kirchick committed a grievous offense, mentioning Chelsea Manning name when in the military, Bradley Manning. Kirchick doesn’t work for the NY Times, so he can’t be fired, so Wu went after whoever edited the Op-Ed, tweeting:
Hey, @nytimes. You’re disciplining/firing the editor that approved deadnaming @xychelsea, an egregious breach of ethics, right?
Apparently that refers to using the prior name of a transgender person, and it’s beyond horrible according to this HuffPo column, Deadnaming A Trans Person Is Violence — So Why Does The Media Do It Anyway?
Hearing or seeing one’s old name can induce a visceral sense of terror that no matter how much progress one makes in their transition, the person they used to be (or pretended to be) is still there.
Hence the term “deadname”: a name that shall not be spoken, for it invokes a restless spirit. Many trans people will go to great lengths to prevent people from finding out their deadnames, destroying irreplaceable photos and documents in an effort to ensure that who they really are is the only identity most will remember. We may not be able to make our families forget what they used to call us, but we can change how we’re known to the rest of the world.
So how to accurately and factually describe the name of the person who committed an egregious betrayal of our nation. Let’s start with the name of the person at the time the person committed the crime, which was Bradley Manning.
How can stating a fact be a firing offense?
If Brianna Wu thinks a NY Times editor should be disciplined or fired for allowing an Op-Ed columnist to state an accurate historical fact, then Brianna Wu should never come near a position of power.
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