TRANSCRIPT: MSNBC Club Q interview with Imara Jones

Imara Jones was on MSNBC’s Yasmin Vossoughian Reports on November 26, 2022, to discuss how the #ClubQ attack is a natural consequence of mounting and coordinated anti-LGBT+—specifically anti-trans—hate in America. And it needs to stop. We added captions and created a transcript for accessibility—watch and let us know what you think.

From this MSNBC interview with Imara Jones we generated a transcript for accessibility, read it below.

Transcript of MSNBC interview with Imara Jones

Yasmin Vossoughian: All right, so these repeated attacks right, on the LGBTQ community are coming at an incredibly gay and trans communities, as well as really legislation targeting them as well. That’ been skyrocketing in recent years. 2021 saw an unprecedented 47 transgender homicides, the most on record in a single year. All while anti-LGBTQ bills proposed by lawmakers rising from 41 just four years ago to over 300 so far in 2022. I want to bring in Imara Jones, founder and creator of TransLash Media, and one of the leading voices on this issue. Imara, thanks for joining us on this. We appreciate it. What is your sense when it comes to these repeated attacks on the LGBTQ community, both in violent physical ways and legislatively as well? Do you feel as if your community is under attack?

Imara Jones: Well, thank you so much for having me. Of course, I think we all Is that it was under very different circumstances. I think the way that I feel is that sadly these attacks are sad and angering but not a surprise. When you look at the entire ecosystem of hate that has been at full tilt very much so since 2016, you know, ever since Donald Trump both announced his presidency and then became president, we’ve had record breaking years of violence against LGBTQ people. We’ve had record breaking years of murders year on year, most of those borne by Black trans women. But alongside of all of that, and fueling all of that, is the 300 anti-LGBTQ bills that you spoke about half of which are actually anti-trans bills. And we have seen the increase of violence go hand-in-hand with the change and the political landscape and the political rhetoric, the laws passed against our community, as well as the entire media ecosystem that is fueling it all in the Christian Nationalist Movement and in the right wing.

And so, all of this works together in such a way that me and the team of journalists that I work with at TransLash, came up with the term, the anti-trans hate machine—because it’s literally the only way that you can understand. And we know from history, that when you marginalize, isolate, and dehumanize a community, that violence comes first as individual acts, and then mass attacks and violence. And we see that from the experience of AfricanAmericans in this country. We, of course, know that from the experience of Jews in the 1930s in Germany, and we can see it more recently with the Rohingya in Burma. And so, this is the result of the climate that we have built and sadly, it may just be the beginning.

Yasmin Vossoughian: So so what do you do, right? Because you bring up such a good point, it’s something that I really wanted to get into because you look at what’s happening on a local level, on a national level as well. Right, you see what’s happening locally, especially in school boards, right? Looking to ban and or outright banning books that address issues within the LGBTQ community. You see that on a local level. On a more national scare scale, You see legislative action as you just mentioned and then of course, you have the right wing media, right? Things that are being said, even after the shooting in Colorado and right-wing media, that would essentially target the LGBTQ community. How much do you feel as if these things are contributing to this current atmosphere and what needs to be done?

Imara Jones: Well, we know that violence takes place when it’s targeted against a community as the result of a permission structure. And that permission structure takes the place in terms of laws, It takes place in terms of media, it takes place in terms of what people are seeing and hearing in the communities around them. And we know that the United States by default, sadly, is a transphobia—is a transphobic country and what we’re seeing is transphobia being weaponized for political ends and I want to be clear that all of the elements that you just laid out are not the result of sort of a natural process of a debate about whether or not trans people have human rights.

It is the result of a political agenda where people believe that targeting our community with isolated incidents of violence is not a price that’s too high to pay in terms of advancing the views that they have about us and the country that they want to live in. So none of this is an accident. You know, I think that one of the most important things is that we have to begin to change that permission structure. We have to declare that LGBTQ people in the United States have equal rights and according to the laws right now, we do not and that has to change.

Yasmin Vossoughian:; Imara Jones, thank you so much for joining us on this incredibly important topic right now we appreciate you.

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