Thursday, June 13, 2024

Right Wing Outlets Try to Tie Philly Shooting Suspect to Trans People and BLM

Kimbrady Carriker
Right wing outlets trying to link Philly shooting suspect Kimbrady Carriker to trans community and BLM (Facebook)

*Right wing media outlets are trying to link the suspect in a recent Philadelphia mass shooting to Black Lives Matter activists and the trans community, while ignoring his documented support for Donald Trump and right wing causes, reports Vice.

The suspect, 40-year-old Kimbrady Carriker, allegedly posted two photos to social media in which he appeared to wear a bra, feminine jewelry, and long, dreadlocks. Right-wing media have used these photos to insinuate that Carriker is trans, while not mentioning the multiple far-right posts on his apparent social media platforms.

Vice reported that in May, Carriker shared a post titled: “Who supports Trump in 2024,” which featured an American flag emblazoned with the words ‘God, Guns & Trump.’” The suspect also appeared to post a link to a pro-Trump T-shirt and another to a sweatshirt that reads: “I lubricate my AR-15 with liberal tears.”

Vice reported that this right-wing reaction continues a pattern of conservative outlets either falsely claiming that a mass shooting suspect is trans or using the person’s trans identity as an opportunity to criticize LGBTQ communities in general. The website Media Matters gathered a list of recent headlines about the Philadelphia shooting from right wing outlets to illustrate the point:

Per Media Matters:

• Right-wing tabloid the New York Post headlined its piece “Gunman arrested for Philadelphia mass shooting that left 5 dead is BLM activist who wore women’s clothes: sources.” The article didn’t mention the alleged perpetrator’s pro-Trump posts. [New York Post, 7/4/23]
• The Daily Wire, a hotbed of anti-trans propaganda, relied on the Post’s reporting while making the headline even more provocative: “Philly Alleged Mass Shooter Identified As Cross-Dressing BLM Supporter: Report.” Like the Post, the Daily Wire also excluded any mention of Trump. [The Daily Wire, 7/5/23]
• The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro argued that this shooting would likely be “disappeared by the media” because “the perpetrator is not a white dude who backed Donald Trump.” Shapiro added, “The shooter was a 40-year-old man who is trans, apparently. This person posted two pictures of himself wearing a bra, a women’s top, and earrings with his hair braided long in March.” Shapiro also mentioned the suspect’s support of BLM, adding of the shooting: “We’re not allowed to talk about this anymore.” [The Ben Shapiro Show, 7/5/23]
• Conservative tabloid the Daily Mail trumpeted an “exclusive” in its headline, writing: “Cross-dressing gunman behind July 4 Philly bloodbath that left five dead is BLM supporter who made chilling Facebook posts about ‘black massacres’ and ‘evil spirits.’” The piece didn’t mention the alleged shooter’s posts in support of Trump until the 22nd paragraph. [The Daily Mail, 7/4/23]
• Junk conspiracy theory website The Gateway Pundit’s story was headlined: “Gunman Behind Philly Massacre is BLM Supporter…. and Transgender?” Like other conservative outlets, the Gateway Pundit didn’t include any mention of Trump or the Second Amendment in its article. [The Gateway Pundit, 7/4/23]
• Conservative website The Post Millennial characterized Carriker in its headline as a “BLM Supporter.” Many conservatives on social media went on to share The Post Millennial’s coverage, which also failed to mention any of the alleged perpetrator’s pro-Trump commentary. [The Post Millennial, 7/4/23]

Meanwhile, fact-checkers and researchers have consistently found that right-wing claims of a “clear epidemic” of trans people committing violence are 100 percent false, and that trans people are four times more likely than cisgender people to be the victims of violent crimes.

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