Monthly Archives: August 2011
Chrissy Polis, a 22-year-old transgender woman, decided to go to McDonald’s one night. Following Chrissy’s use of the ladies’ restroom, McDonald’s employees looked on amused she was repeatedly kicked in the back, face and head, pummeled with fists, spat upon, had her hair pulled and her earrings torn out. These heinous abuses were doled out by two teenage girls, one 14 and one 18. One good Samaritan, an older woman, attempted to intervene and demanded that the assailants “get off of her,” but she herself was struck in the face. The seemingly-endless, three-minute long beating was recorded by a McDonald’s employee, Vernon Hackett (who has since been fired), while the other employees watched, laughed and rooted for the abusers. The assault ended only after Chrissy suffered a seizure near the front door. Seeing this, the employee who’d been recording the crime actually encouraged the criminals to leave immediately since the victim was bleeding and the police would be on their way. Yeah… wouldn’t want anyone to get arrested for brutally assaulting a helpless victim or anything.
So why did this happen? According to various news sources, including the Huffington Post, it had to do with Chrissy’s attempt to use the women’s restroom.
Polis told the newspaper that after she used the restroom, “They said, ‘That’s a dude, that’s a dude and she’s in the female bathroom.'”
Does it matter what it’s about? Well, WMAL Radio Host Chris Plante had plenty to say on the matter. He blathers on about the nature of transexuality and complains grievously about the term’s flexibility. He has a big problem with the idea that this incident is considered a hate crime since, in his astonishingly-enlightened mind he believes that if this were “simply a matter of” two black girls destroying a white girl, the incident would not be labelled as such. His mind-broadening commentary of course being due to his extensive life experience as a transgender, African-American female… oh, wait… he’s cissexual, white and male. One YouTube commenter, Nirvanfan4ever, prefers to refer to Mr. Plante as a “fucktard,” and I don’t think it’s really my place to disagree with him.
Worse still is yet another well-informed intellectual who calls himself RedBaiter, who begins his article regarding the tragedy as follows:
Nothing excuses the behaviour of the animals responsible for the McDonald’s beating, however it is necessary to dispel the widely held misconception that the victim was a white girl. The victim has been identified as Christopher Lee Polis and a male of Arab or Indian descent who dressed as a woman. Its debatable that such a person has any real right to enter a women’s toilet [emphasis mine].
Chrissy is, in fact, half white and half something else. Why this is relevant to whether or not she should use a toilet… I can’t quite figure that one out. But some people will attack from any angle they can muster when it comes to GLBTQ injustices.
And, yes… it does matter what it’s about. When the level of violence exacted at an individual is escalated to the point of potentially fatal actions due to their personal identity, it DOES MATTER, and it MUST BE RECOGNIZED AND PUNISHED AS EXACTLY THAT. Some people contend that “all crime is ‘hate crime'” since a person would not commit a crime against someone they were fond of. This is missing the point. Identifying an act of violence as a “hate crime” is important because there is an extra element at play here. An element which has NO place in civilized society. This element is the act of the “-ism.” Scholars refer to it as “othering.” When you “other” a group, you dehumanize them and find ways to justify violence and other injustices committed against them. This is no simple error in judgment and it is unacceptable in a society which purports to value equality. Had it been two black girls thrashing some white girl due to her skin color, it would most definitely be a hate crime as well. (Not to mention, Plante’s example proves his egregious underestimation of the eagerness with which the legal system prosecutes African-Americans in general.)
Click here to watch the beating. >>CAUTION: IT IS NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH… YOU MAY WANT TO HAVE A PAPER BAG HANDY. AND A VALIUM.
Unfortunately, there has been longterm fallout; since the incident, Chrissy has been concerned about the result of this unwanted publicity. She lives in a smaller town and is concerned about obtaining employment and living a normal life. She, in fact, has been hesitant to leave her house altogether due to the mental trauma she has suffered from this brutal incident. She spoke out about the injustices served and the unnecessary fearfulness that transgender individuals experience every day in an interview with the Baltimore Sun.
What the FUCK is wrong with people?
Transgenderism. I am only recently learning the ins and outs of how the terminology is perceived in the trans/queer community and attempting to educate myself on protocol. As with any group, there are diverse preferences in how individuals prefer to be viewed and treated, but one thing I’m pretty sure about: TRANSGENDER PEOPLE ARE HUMAN BEINGS AND DESERVE TO BE TREATED LIKE HUMAN BEINGS. Is that a concise enough definition for you, Plante?
Or, here’s a tip: stop trying to stuff everyone into a category. There are too many of us and there are endless variations of individuals. It’s a futile project at best… and a terrifyingly harmful one with dire consequences at worst.
And here’s the 18 year old ****’s mugshot:
Teonna Monae Brown, 18 years old,
One of the assailants who administered a brutal beating to Chrissy Polis…
at the McDonald’s located at 6315 Kenwood Avenue… has done it before. At the same McDonald’s…
To a mother and her children. Read more on this at TSG.