To he, or not to he? This is the question

by Lev Tsitrin

My kitchen radio is tuned to NPR and from the snippets I heard so far, Nashville school shooting is being treated just like all previous school shootings — as yet another proof of the need for Congress to strengthen gun controls,

Guns are certainly a part of the story — per New York Times “the assailant … had legally purchased seven firearms recently — including the three used in the shooting — and was being treated for an emotional disorder.” “Recently” is a vague term, of course, but if any of those purchases came after the diagnosis, then the safeguards ensuring mental health of the purchaser indeed failed, so it is hard to call the purchases “legal.”

But this isn’t all. “In the aftermath of the shooting, there was confusion about the shooter’s gender identity. Chief Drake said the shooter identified as transgender, and officials used “she” and “her” to refer to the attacker. But according to a social media post and a LinkedIn profile, the shooter appeared to identify as male in recent months.” The word “transgender” is not being used again in the lengthy piece; nor did I hear it on NPR. A dutifully-provided New York Times op-ed masterfully tiptoed around it too, seemingly mentioning it without mentioning it: “The killer … was another in a long line of murderers whose ideologies vary as much as the objects of their violence: Asians, African Americans, Black church attendees, members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community, former classmates, moviegoers, grocery shoppers and Christian school students and staff.” How many words have to be spent to not say anything? And this NPR segment carefully refers to shooter only by name, without any use of “he” or “she” at all.

So why this shyness about transgenderism in the media outlets that are normally not at all shy to loud its virtues? Clearly, the media — the “polite,” mainstream media that is, and not the forthright internet media like NER that does not mince words but calls a spade a spade — feels that the ice is thin, and does not want to stress this aspect of shooter’s identity.

Thinking of “why?” brought me back to my Soviet schooldays. One subject (among many) I absolutely hated was Russian literature — we had to read books that bore me out of my mind (I blush to acknowledge that those were works by Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and the rest — you know the names just as well as I do) and, at the end of some weeks-long discussion in the class, to write an essay — which I hated with absolute passion and avoided doing for as long as I could, eventually writing it, in pain and suffering, in huge letters so as to easier fill the required number of pages. One of those mandatory masterpieces we had to study was “A Rout” by Alexander Fadeyev, a novel about the Russian civil war. The key “teaching moment” we had to discuss was a scene of confiscation by a detachment of armed Bolsheviks of a pig from a peasant family. The family counted on butchering that pig to survive the winter; without the meat, it was doomed to a death by starvation. But revolutionaries needed to eat, too. How to resolve the dilemma? The answer we learned was this: nothing, in itself, is good or bad. The litmus test for morality of an action was, “did that action help the revolution, or not?” Depriving peasant family of sustenance (all the more that the pig they worked hard to raise was their legitimate property) seemed bad, but the confiscation allowed for revolutionary struggle to continue — and this good far outweighed the seeming bad. Yet, that family starved to death, but the sacrifice was not in vain — it brought humanity closer to the glories of Communism. Simply put, the lesson was this: Communist ends justify any thuggish means.

Going back to Nashville shooter’s identity, the “polite” media has to ask itself the very same question — the question of whether stressing it would help, or hurt the righteous cause of progress — which, needless to say, includes transgenderism? Won’t the stressing of shooter’s “he” send a negative message on transgenderism, if not cause outright opprobrium?

The media’s answer seems to be that is would — and I think they are right, to judge by the already-mentioned (and highly recommended) NER piece. And since progressive ends justify disingenuous means, why “he” the shooter?

The story will stay in the news for a few more days — until the victims are laid to rest, if past shootings are any guide. I may still be proven wrong, but I suspect that the transgenderism part of the story will be backpedaled. The progress of progressive revolution requires it — and isn’t progressivism the all-in-all, factual accuracy being of no worth in comparison — no more than a pig taken at gunpoint from a starving family for the sake of glorious triumph of Communism?


2 Responses

  1. Let’s keep our eyes on the ball. How to minimize the murders of innocents by psychotics with one or more murderous and/or suicidal murderous motives?
    Where and when will data detecting psychopathic tendencies be taken seriously?
    Oh! I get it now. No one has yet figured out how to make money by preventing mass murders, especially when the muderer commits suicide preventing possibility of prison profiteering via mulcting of taxpayers to cover prison ‘expenses.’
    What’s missing in timely preventive action following evaluation of bad behavior and publicly expressed vicious ideation?
    Are we moaning and weeping crocodile tears

    waiting for us to become more uncaring and stupid as we essentialy collude with the murderers?

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