By: Ian Ocx, Red Phoenix Correspondent Texas.
On November 21st the LGBTQIA+ community in Colorado Springs came together to celebrate the victories the transgender and gender-nonconforming community has won over the years, and to honor those who have been lost, at a Trans Day of Remembrance event at Club Q. Sadly, the LGBTQIA+ community of Colorado Springs and the world experienced even more loss when Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, entered the club with an “AR-style rifle” and a handgun. Aldrich murdered five people and wounded nineteen others in what the bourgeois press is calling a “bias-motivated crime” instead of what the working class and its LGBTQIA+ members know it to be: another senseless hate crime and violent attack on the LGBTQIA+ community by means of the prevalent All-American mass shooting.
These attacks do not – as the capitalists and their representatives in the liberal bourgeois news media want us to believe – fall from the sky or come from only the deranged minds of troubled individuals. These violent and deadly attacks emerge from systemic issues, problems, and contradictions within our societies. In this case, like many others, this act of anti-LGBTQIA+ violence comes from an increasingly reactionary political segment of the American population that was and still is roused and “radicalized” by former President Donald Trump and his far-right ideology and rhetoric. As these reactionaries continue to feel emboldened in their hateful worldviews they need to find a never-ending supply of targets to blame for the problems they think exist within US society and culture. The problems that the right-wing claim are destroying society are not based in material reality (class struggle, poverty, environmental/ecological destruction, healthcare denial) but are instead based in idealism (emotions and feelings), and usually relate to imagined social orders with no firm or eternal basis in the actual sociological development of humanity.
Under Trump’s presidency all components of the intersectional working class within the US saw an increase in the attacks geared towards them, but these attacks did not end once Trump left office. In many ways they intensified. In recent years the LGBTQIA+ community, especially those who are transgender and gender-noncomforming, has seen an increase in the number of attacks and discriminatory efforts targeted at against them. In 2021 a total of 131 anti-trans laws were put forward into legislative sessions. Many of them failed, but not all. As of October 2022 there have been 155 more attempted anti-trans laws presented throughout various state legislatures within the US. The status of many of these bills is still pending and defeat of all of them is not certain, though we may hope that to be the case. Republican Party officials continue to share their hateful rhetoric while pushing for anti-scientific policies that feed into the festering anti-LGBTQIA+ pustule brewing within the reactionary segments of the American population. Take Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis among others as prime examples.
Violent and brutal attacks carried out by bigots like Aldrich are simply the result of the continued spread of the transphobic fever that is gripping the right-wing and the legislative sections of the bourgeois state apparatus. As these reactionaries feel that their imaginary society is somehow under attack, they engage in acts of violence like the incident at Club Q to “defend” their ignorant idealist views of the world around them. These attacks are also made easier for them to commit by the incredibly loose gun laws within the US, which designate few restrictions on the types of firearms people can acquire and have led to countless mass shootings on American soil.In the wake of the mass murder that took place in Club Q that claimed the lives of Raymond Green Vance (he/him), Kelly Loving (she/her), Daniel Aston (he/him), Derrick Rump (he/him), and Ashley Paugh (she/her), all progressive and revolutionary organizations and individuals must organize within our own communities and fight like hell to make sure no one else in the LGBTQIA+ community loses their life for simply existing, for being who they are, and for not fitting into an imaginary societal order so enforced by reactionaries. The LGBTQIA+ community needs solidarity and support. We need friends and allies in every progressive segment of the working class and of the working class movement itself. This solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community is vital in the struggle against the reactionaries who threaten the safety of us all. This struggle will involve many challenges and will need to be fought on multiple fronts. The ruling class fights to maintain an oppressive system that keeps the masses cannibalizing themselves in a multitude of ways by focusing on differences between us. We fight this with UNITY among the workers and oppressed. The victory of reaction cannot be allowed. The victory of reaction will perpetuate these targeted killings. Historical and ongoing current events prove this to be true.