Curt Schilling, an ESPN baseball analyst, was fired from his position after posting transphobic memes and comments to his Facebook page. The meme in question conflated transgender individuals using their preferred bathroom, to paedophiles preying on young girls in toilets. This is just the latest in Schilling’s public bouts of ill informed hate speech after sharing memes comparing Muslims to the Nazis last August.
Rather than try and understand why ESPN may have seen fit to fire him, Schilling doubled down in a blog post calling his detractors people “just dying to be offended”. He goes on further to say “You frauds…are screaming for ‘tolerance’ and ‘acceptance’ while you refuse to do and be either.”
This tends to be how situations such as these play out; conservatives make their ignorant opinions public and cry at the backlash they receive, stating that liberals and progressives are not being tolerant of their bigotry. Highlighting it as bigotry doesn’t make us intolerant; denying transgender individuals their own existence is intolerant. Not being able to accept that millions of people don’t identify with the gender they were given at birth is intolerant, and comparing them to paedophiles is beyond the pale.
Schilling felt driven to voice his opinion after Republican lawmakers in North Carolina called an emergency special session. Its goal was to block a local ordinance, which protected those in the LGBT community from discrimination, from going into effect. The ordinance explicitly protected individuals to use the bathroom of the gender they identified with.
Flying in the face of the small government that Republican’s pretend to champion, they superseded the local ordinance with a state-wide bill that has no protections for those in the LGBT community and explicitly stops local ordinances being passed by local governments to extend rights to them. It also prevents schools from allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.
Unfortunately, the truth is that this bill has damaging implications; LGBT employees now have no workplace protections. This means that employers in the state can terminate someone’s employment over the fact they love the ‘wrong’ people, or identify with the ‘wrong’ gender. Private businesses and publicly funded services in the state can refuse service or entry based upon sexuality and gender. The bill also condones discrimination for housing, welfare and adoptive rights against LGBT individuals.
While sentiments like ‘no blacks, no dogs, no Irish’ may seem like a thing of the past, in reality the conservatives find new groups to crush out of ignorance, hate and bigotry.
Curt Schilling’s recent posts are a mascot for this school of regressive thinking.
If left unchecked, conservative ideology will turn the land of the free into anything but.