Thursday, March 31, 2022

From 'recruiting' to 'grooming' - how the right has continues to smear LGBTQ people as child predators

The old has become new again. And in this case, that is unfortunate for LGBTQ people.

Media Matters breaks down how the right is reframing the old lie that LGBTQ people are trying to 'recruit' children. Only now, they say we are 'grooming' children.  The entire piece deserves a read but below is an excerpt.

It has been 45 years since voters in Dade County, Florida, voted to strip nondiscrimination protections from LGBTQ people after a campaign by singer Anita Bryant called “Save our Children,” yet the myth that LGBTQ people put children in danger has pervaded since then, with a frightening recent escalation. Right-wing media are intensifying a years-long push to falsely accuse LGBTQ people – along with major corporations like Disney that oppose Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” bill – of “grooming” children to be gay or trans, or promoting sexual activity. 

While accusations that the public existence of LGBTQ people somehow poses a sexual threat to minors have a long and ugly history, the recent wave of attacks reached a fever pitch with the passage of HB 1557, the “Don’t Say Gay” or trans bill in Florida. The bill bans discussion of sexuality or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, though its vague wording could be used to prevent such discussions at any grade level. DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw tweeted on March 4 that “the bill that liberals inaccurately call ‘Don’t Say Gay’ would be more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill,” going on to accuse opponents of grooming 4- to 8-year-olds: 

 . . . right-wing media promptly took Pushaw’s messaging advice. The next day, a headline in The Post Millennial proclaimed that “Florida's anti-groomer law protects kids and parents from activist educators.” On March 9, the chyron on Fox News’ The Ingraham Hour falsely stated that “Liberals are sexually grooming elementary students.”

 . . .And after a leaked video surfaced in which a Disney executive talked about having more LGBTQ storylines in the company’s material, right-wing media figures on Fox and elsewhere all jumped on the argument that this represented the grooming of children for sexual activity; Carlson even claimed that Disney was acting like a “sex offender.”  

  . . .The language these media figures and outlets are using to attack LGBTQ people and conflate them with dangerous pedophiles matches the rhetoric used nearly five decades ago in Bryant’s Save Our Children campaign, a six-month tour of hate that led voters in Dade County to repeal one of the first ordinances in the country that prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation. Bryant claimed, falsely, that gays and lesbians were “trying to recruit our children into homosexuality.” As Zack Ford wrote in Xtra, “The nefarious tropes of the 1970s and ’80s never actually went away.” .

'Fox News smears Disney for its opposition to 'Don't Say Gay' bill' & other Thur midday news briefs

Fox News picks up video from CRT alarmist to claim Disney is sexualizing children​ - Yep. It's been a war on Disney led by Fox News ever since the company announced it would work to repeat Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill. 

Cases in point:

One sided pablum by a bunch of propaganda slop artists 

In other news:

Buttigieg Slams Rep. Greene's Taunt to 'Stay Out of Girls' Bathrooms' - Speaking of madness