Less than a week after her murder, Ruby Ordenana, a Latina transgender woman, was called a “psychopath” and a “freak” by a nationally syndicated radio host in the United States.
Michael Savage. went on to link the victim and transgender people generally with the Columbine massacre, saying “kids shoot each other there with black raincoats.”
Columbine in Colorado was the scene of a 1999 school shooting in which 13 people were killed.
The town is near the Biber sexual reassignment surgery clinic.
The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition today denounced the radio host’s remarks.
“Virtually the only national commentary on the hate crime slaying of a Latina transgender youth has been Mr. Savage’s name-calling and vituperation,” said GenderPAC Executive Director, Riki Wilchins.
“It’s sad that this hateful rhetoric has been one of the only responses of the national media to the death of yet another young victim targeted because of their gender identity.”
Savage’s remarks were made in the wake of local media coverage of the grisly murder of Ruby Ordenana, a 27-year-old Latina transgender woman.
She was found strangled with knife-like cuts and scars on her arms in the early morning hours of March 16th in San Francisco’s Mission District.
Ordenana is the most recent victim of an epidemic of gender-based violence that has claimed the lives of more than 50 young people since 1995.
According to GenderPAC’s 2006 human rights report, “50 Under 30: Masculinity and the War on America’s Youth,” 85% of the victims were Black or Latina, while 88% were transgender or gay.
One-third were teenagers. Most assailants were never arrested or charged, and authorities categorised few of these hyper-violent assaults as hate crimes.
“Words have effects: you can draw a straight-line from this kind of hateful and violent rhetoric toward gender non-conforming Americans to the fatal assaults that continue to claim their lives,” commented Wilchins.
“Historically another young person is murdered every 3 months; sadly, Mr. Savage can expect at least three more opportunities this year to hone his act at the expense of another young victim.”
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