Monday, August 28, 2017

Tucker Carlson rationalizes abuse of the elderly in attack on pro-transgender bill

I had to post a follow-up to my last post because this right here  pisses me off.

To recap, the conservative right is all upset over a California bill,  SB-219, which would protect elderly transgender residents of long term care facilities from potential verbal abuse from health care workers,

They don't like the fact that the bill lists deliberately and willfully misgendering the transgender resident as abuse. Members of the conservative right, such as Fox News personality Tucker Carlson (seen here in an exchange with strategist Robin Biro), claim that this is an assault on free speech:

So I guess in Tucker Carlson's world, a healthcare worker verbally abusing any elderly resident of a long term care facility should be protected under free speech. Or do scurrilous arguments about "free speech" only count when it comes to the transgender elderly?

Carlson has the temerity to use himself as an example in the clip, talking about how he is not hurt by words. How in the world can he compare himself to an elderly patient who could be possibly battling other illnesses, mental and physical? Or feels trapped in the facility with no where to go? And no one to turn to?

According to, verbal abuse is one of the most common forms of abuse suffered by the elderly:

Verbal abuse often occurs in nursing homes, and at least one in ten nursing home residents have experienced neglect and abuse. When an elderly person first moves to a nursing home, they may feel emotionally vulnerable because it is a big transition. In these moments, verbal abuse can be most destructive to their health and as harmful as physical abuse. When a nursing staff member makes a statement that causes the resident to feel emotional pain, distress, or fear, it is an act of verbal abuse. Because staff has authority and power over the patient, the patient may not know how to respond or report the verbal abuse. Though staff members are in a position where they can regularly abuse patients verbally, a large amount of verbal abuse is also inflicted by other residents and visiting family members. Some types of verbal abuse include:  
Yelling, screaming, and shouting  
Threatening and intimidation  
Insulting and name calling  
Blaming and scapegoating  
Talking to the patient like they are a child  
Scolding and criticizing 

 And the effects of this abuse is real and deadly:

Verbal abuse can be devastating to patients and cause long lasting emotional and psychological damage. If a patient is suffering from dementia or other cognitive diseases, these attacks can be even harder to understand. When patients first enter a nursing home, they often feel more emotionally vulnerable, and the abuse by staff exacerbates this. Extreme emotional distress can eventually lead to health problems as the stress can weaken the patient’s immune system and make them more vulnerable to infection.

Verbal abuse of the elderly is wrong, no matter how you try to phrase it. and no matter who it happens to.  It's a terrible issue which should be taken seriously and should be discussed seriously.

Instead, Carlson exploits it as a sad inconvenience in his war against the so-called left.

At the end of the day, the bill Carlson attacks dos not criminalize speech. But he, Tucker Carlson, is rationalizing the abuse of the elderly.

Sad. How in the hell can he call himself a journalist?


Bose said...

Thanks for pointing this interview out, Alvin...

It is hard to comprehend the lack of empathy on Mr. Carlson's part. Indeed, a senior being berated or called names of whatever flavor is being abused unjustly.

The fact that it is already illegal in Cali for healthcare workers to verbally abuse their clients, at least when it comes to biases no one accepts, doesn't mean that abusive minimum-wage caregivers are being rounded up at gunpoint and hauled off to prison for their "speech."

It means that competent facilities are redirecting and retraining those employees, and if/when that doesn't lead to better care, the incompetents are being shown the door.


(following you daily since 2006-ish -- where does the time go? -- thanks for all your good work.)

BlackTsunami said...

Thank you, Bose 😊