Culture Feature

The Gravel Institute Is the Left's (Perfect) Response to PragerU

It's the highest-stakes battle between two old white men since every war ever.

Update 6/27/2021: It was announced on Sunday that former Senator Mike Gravel had passed away of Myeloma at the age of 91 in his Seaside, Califronia home.

This is a story of two old white men who became online symbols of political movements — in one case intentionally, in the other...less so.

On the one hand we have Dennis Prager, a talk-radio host in his early 70s who promotes a far-Right political ideology. A Jewish man from Brooklyn, Prager has long aligned himself with America's Christian-Right, going so far as to say — in response to then newly-elected Muslim congressman Keith Ellison swearing in on the Quran — that "America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress."

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Dave Chappelle

Photo by Gemunu Amarasinghe-AP-Shutterstock

8:46—Dave Chappelle's newest special, surprise dropped on Youtube in the wee hours of the morning—isn't comedy.

The official caption below the video reads: "From Dave: Normally I wouldn't show you something so unrefined, I hope you understand," followed by a link to the Equal Justice Initiative.

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Unpacking Mario Lopez's Transphobic Propaganda

Mario Lopez has some bad takes on transgender identity.

Candace Owens and Mario Lopez, Candace Owens Show

Apparently, Saved by the Bell's Mario Lopez has some opinions on parents who support their transgender kids. He should probably keep them to himself, though.

"...If you're 3 years old and you're saying you're feeling a certain way or you think you're a boy or a girl or whatever the case may be, I just think it's dangerous as a parent to make this determination then, well, OK, then you're going to a boy or a girl..." Lopez said on Candace Owen's conservative talk show. This talking point—along with many other common transphobic arguments—is disinformation at best and propaganda at worst.

The notion of transgender identity is incredibly contentious for many people. They don't understand the psychology behind transgender identity or the fact that transitioning (accompanied with proper medical/psychiatric oversight) is oftentimes the only "cure" for gender dysphoria. These same people probably wouldn't have a problem with someone taking medication to combat depression, so perhaps their pushback against proper medical solutions to gender dysphoria simply stems from ignorance.

First of all, no child, not a single one, is transitioning without intense medical scrutiny. When a transgender youth transitions, they do so under the supervision of and in conjunction with doctors and psychiatric professionals who have confirmed their gender dysphoria and deemed transitioning the best course of action for their future best interest. The decision comes down to the child's own wishes and the advice of multiple experts, not the parent's "determination."

There is no such thing as a parent pushing transgender identity on a child. When a child says they are a different gender than the one they were biologically assigned, a parent either accepts it or they do not. If the parent does not accept their child's identity, the child grows up with a higher risk of depression, suicide, and myriad other issues.

In contrast, accepting a child's gender identity allows them to grow up in a safe environment with a proper support network and ultimately find the best path for their happiest future. If it really is "just a phase" (and it's probably not), they'll realize that on their own terms, whether they're supported or not. In other words, parents supporting their child's gender identity can only help.

Moreover, by the earliest age a child can legally start to medically transition (14), their gender identity is already clearly established. Their being a "child" does not mean they don't understand their own gender identity, and transitioning is much easier before puberty than afterwards. That's what puberty blockers are for, and there is a big difference between taking puberty blockers and taking hormones to actually begin transitioning.

As their name suggests, puberty blockers stave off puberty. This allows transgender children around two extra years to solidify their own identity and, if they so choose, ultimately have an easier time transitioning. The effects of puberty blockers are reversible at any time. As soon as the child stops taking them, puberty will start back up––just a little bit later than their peers. And while potential negative side-effects are still being studied, most medical experts agree that puberty blockers are safe.

If a child begins to medically transition at age 14, they have likely already been on puberty blockers for two years. That's two full years to actively solidify their decision under the watchful eye of medical professionals. To suggest that "children shouldn't be transitioning" is to reject science, psychology, and fact––it is an assertion that you know more than experts, and it is based entirely on ignorance, "feelings," or worse.

A lot of people who vocally push against pro-transgender causes are not coming from a place of good intent. They don't actually care what is or is not in transgender people's best interests. They don't try to understand the science (if they did, they'd understand that parental support of transgender youth is overwhelmingly supported by the medical community). Some of them don't even recognize transgender identity as "real."

What Mario Lopez said on Candace Owen's hate-mongering show isn't just a bad take; it's a dangerous one. Parents supporting the gender identity of their children is the single-best support network for transgender kids. As one mother of a transgender daughter told NBC, "I would rather have a trans daughter than a dead son."

Lopez has apologized for his comments, so let's hope he and others can take this as an opportunity to educate themselves before speaking about something they don't understand.


Kanye Designs Clothes for Conservatives in "Blexit" Campaign

Kanye West and Candace Owens join forces to attack the Democratic Party in the name of...themselves.

Kanye West on stage

Photo by Everett Collection (Shutterstock)

Once again, Kanye West's clothing designs come with a complimentary political tirade.

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Kanye’s "Sorry" About His Statement on Slavery

Apologizes for Commenting "Slavery is a Choice" on TMZ

Back in May, Kanye West made an appearance on TMZ.

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Kanye Calls Slavery “A Choice” – Major Backlash Ensues

The team at TMZ was in a tizzy.

On Tuesday, May 1, Kanye West graced the TMZ newsroom with his presence to rant, rave, and (some would say) misbehave.

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