A few people have asked me what I think about the brutal attack on a trans woman by two other women at a McDonald’s near Baltimore, Maryland, last week. A McDonald’s employee filmed the attack, and the video is all over the Internet. If you have not yet seen it, beware – it is quite disturbing.
It seems likely that the victim was attacked, at least in part, because she is trans, although she has also told the media that one of the attackers accused her of talking to the attacker’s boyfriend. One of the assailants apparently told police that the attack was “over using a bathroom.”
I’m still not sure, at the time I’m writing this, that we know the whole story. Perhaps more will become apparent, or has in the meantime. But even if the attack was originally motivated by jealousy, it seems to me that the attack continued, and was allowed to continue, on film, with others standing by laughing, because the victim was trans.
I still don’t feel as if I have enough information to comment any further on the attack itself, other than to say that it was horrific and frightening to watch, and that it is not an isolated or uncommon incident. I do have some comments about the aftermath.
1. Although race did not appear to be a primary motivator in this attack, it certainly brought out the racists. Every blog or news site I visited that dealt with the attack was forced to remove comments due to their racist nature (the assailants were black, the victim was white).
Those who made racist comments in response to this attack should remember that the majority of trans people who are brutally assaulted and killed in the United States and around the world are trans women of color. There is no question that racism plays a major role in the attacks of trans women, but not in the way that those making these comments might think. (more…)