'Manufacturing hysteria’: Activist who weaponized CRT tells conservatives to make drag queens ‘more lurid’
Christopher Rufo, the far right activist who intentionally turned a college-level school of thought to examine social structures for systemic racism into a fear-mongering right-wing nationwide panic, is now focusing his attacks on LGBTQ people, by effectively weaponizing transgender identity.
Rufo, a senior fellow at the right-wing Manhattan Institute, is the man behind the right’s false panic and fury over CRT, Critical Race Theory. He’s bragged he wants to “have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory,’” and “put all of the various cultural insanities under that brand category.”
Now he’s applying that model to attack the LGBTQ community – especially transgender people and drag queens.
Rufo wants the right to turn a commonly used phrase, “drag queen,” one that many people both gay and straight use to refer to themselves, into something “more lurid” and sexual.
“Conservatives should start using the phrase ‘trans stripper’ in lieu of ‘drag queen,'” Rufo said openly Friday on Twitter, despite drag queens not generally being transgender. “It has a more lurid set of connotations and shifts the debate to sexualization.”
Who would you vote for in 2024
Who would you vote for in 2024 www.alternet.org
AlterNet, America's oldest independent progressive news site, is conducting a series of national online polls about who readers would vote for in 2024.
He thinks the 1.6 million people across America who identify as transgender should be victims of his weaponization of their very being.
Rufo knows what he’s doing is twisting language into an attack, and admits that when he uses the word “trans” people think “transgender,” but he outright states: “we can say that ‘trans’ is a stand-in for ‘transvestite,'” which is a word not commonly used in decades.
\u201c"Drag queens in schools" invites a debate; "trans strippers in schools" anchors an unstoppable argument. \n\nLet the Left try to nitpick the phrase: we can say that "trans" is a stand-in for "transvestite" and we can show videos that are undeniably strip shows.\u201d— Christopher F. Rufo \u2694\ufe0f (@Christopher F. Rufo \u2694\ufe0f) 1655476864
And then he dares the majority of Americans who do not have an issue with transgender people to “engage in language games,” which is exactly what he is doing.
\u201c"Trans strippers in schools" is a powerful frame to this debate and, if the Left chooses to engage in language games on that phrase, they will find themselves defending concepts and words that are deeply disturbing to most people. Let them get stuck in the linguistic mud.\u201d— Christopher F. Rufo \u2694\ufe0f (@Christopher F. Rufo \u2694\ufe0f) 1655476864
He even gives away his secret formula, while claiming the left is “very good” at this:
“The trick is to shift the language in a way that is factually accurate and has a plausible claim to neutrality, but attaches a new set of connotations to the concept that shifts the debate in your favor.”
Yale professor Jason Stanley, author of the books “How Propaganda Works” and “How Fascism Works”:
\u201cRufo is also willing to cross moral lines that no US propagandist in recent times has been willing to cross, and this ruthlessness is also key to his particular genius.\u201d— Jason Stanley (@Jason Stanley) 1655484279
Pushback has been quick. Some are mocking Rufo and others making stronger criticisms, with a frequent theme that seems to be accusing him of telling people to lie:
\u201cjust openly telling the right they should lie in order to manufacture hysteria\u201d— Current Affairs (@Current Affairs) 1655495732
\u201cSomewhat impressed by how open he is that outright lies and deception are among their most powerful tactics.\u201d— Sturgeon's Law (@Sturgeon's Law) 1655493535
\u201cRufo, who before he pivoted to being a paid shill for racism and queer bashing was a paid shill for creationism, openly admits to lying and propagandizing to stoke fear and violence.\n\nWill any of the media that credulously puts him on reconsider? I doubt it!\u201d— "Delta-8 Mom" on TikTok and Instagram (@"Delta-8 Mom" on TikTok and Instagram) 1655488660
\u201cThis is evil shit. This motherfucker is outright evil.\u201d— The Rude Pundit (@The Rude Pundit) 1655494118
\u201cThis is awful and evil. I encourage you to read this entire thread to see they are saying the soft part out loud \u2014 and they don\u2019t care. We are going backwards and it\u2019s scary as hell. I\u2019m proud to know and work w/so many entertainers who are some of the best humans I know. \u2665\ufe0f\u201d— Jason Matheson (@Jason Matheson) 1655494358
- DeSantis joins DeVos in online push for her plan to privatize ... ›
- How Donald Trump became the most powerful religious leader on ... ›
- 'That's how we win': Right-wing activist goads additional attacks on ... ›