Rantz: After trans school shooter, Amazon sent tasteless ‘solidarity’ email

Mar 30, 2023, 6:00 PM


Screenshot of security footage released by Nashville police of school shooter Audrey Hale. (Nashville Police Department)

(Nashville Police Department)

One day after a transgender-identified shooter murdered three children and three staff at a Christian school in Nashville, Amazon leadership told employees it stands with the transgender community. It appears the initial message is, at least in part, a response to the mass murder, implying the trans community has been victimized, not the Christians who were murdered.

Candi Castleberry, Amazon’s Vice President of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, posted on an internal page a message titled, “Amazon remains in solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ employees, customers, and communities.” She addressed the note to “LGBTQIA+ employees and allies” and expressed her “support and solidarity during this period of apprehension and uncertainty.”

The DEI head complained, “the last several weeks have been challenging, to say the least, as we continue to see disheartening news in the media.” She does not mention anything specific. Media coverage of the shooter’s transgender identity and laws protecting children from surgical interventions related to gender identity have been front and center in the last several weeks. She vowed Amazon would continue to be committed to the LGBTQIA+ community, explicitly citing transgender people.

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In very poor taste

The note’s timing is in poor taste. Showing solidarity with the transgender community — a day after a trans mass murderer killed six Christians — sends the message that Amazon thinks trans people are the real victims.

If that wasn’t the intent, the email copy should have been altered to consider Monday’s events. It’s not like they were unaware of the mass shooting. If they were readying a mass email promoting books about guns and gun rights, they’d likely have postponed the sales pitch out of sensitivity to the victims. If Amazon Prime was set to release a film about a school shooting, it would likely have delayed streaming as other studios have done in response to tragedies.

Perhaps the email was initially intended to speak to Friday’s Transgender Day of Visibility. Attached to Castleberry’s commentary is a lengthy statement from Ashe McGovern, the Head of Global LGBTQIA+ Strategy and Programs. McGovern said he identifies as trans and queer. The email is framed around how Amazon supports transgender employees and the trans community, but nowhere in the message, screenshots of which were provided to The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, does it mention Friday’s transgender-themed day.

Amazon spokespersons ignored multiple email requests for comment to explain the intent of the email, the timing, and if it was intended to send a message connected to the shooting.

Media bias highlighted in wake of shooting

Left-wing media has gone out of its way not to mention the shooter’s gender identity in the way it fixates on identities it does not consider marginalized. It exemplifies an odious left-wing media bias. And when they do mention it, it’s to either justify the violence or complain about misgendering.

NBC News noted the fear that transgender Tennesseans now face after the shooting, eschewing coverage of fear in the Christian community despite them being the community that was the target. MSNBC coverage was framed around how conservative media have noted the shooter’s gender identity, explaining it’s inspired by bigotry. But it’s those very outlets that are responsible for any mention of the shooter’s trans identity by conservative media.

If a white officer shoots a black suspect, even when it’s clear the suspect posed a threat, left-wing media notes the races of all involved. It feeds a media narrative in a post-Black Lives Matter America. They get to claim a white supremacy threat. A transgender shooter does not feed a narrative of interest to left-wing outlets. Marginalized communities, to partisan reporters and producers, should not face media criticism because they are deemed victims of “systems of oppression.” It explains why Chris Hayes on MSNBC made the mass shooting about the white culture around guns.

If a “cis-gendered” white man in a MAGA hat targets transgender victims, coverage is invariably framed about President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and supposedly “anti-trans” laws. It’s why left-wing outlets are trying to justify the Nashville shooting by pointing to laws the Left deems harmful to transgender Americans. ABC News’ Terry Moran explained the shooting in the context of laws around gender identity that the Left does not support. Left-wing media has spent no time wondering if their own rhetoric claiming we’re close to becoming Nazi Germany and that the religious right seeks to erase trans people from existence may have played a role in inspiring the shooter to target a Christian school. But the media was quick to complain about misgendering.

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There’s a nuanced way to discuss the issues

If the shooter’s identity played no role in the shooting, it would behoove the FBI to release the manifesto. The bureau has been unusually slow this time around, raising eyebrows as to why. Given the politicization of law enforcement by the Biden administration, it makes some wonder if they’re trying to postpone releasing information that does not align with a left-wing political agenda. Perhaps it’s to stave off any conflicts during a radical “Transgender Day of Vengeance” set for the weekend.

It’s false to ascribe the violence of the shooter to the entire trans community. If that were happening, Amazon’s general messaging could be appropriate if written in a way that doesn’t ignore the victims of the mass murder. But the media is overwhelmingly ignoring the gender identity to avoid anyone seeing the shooting as connected to being trans or inspired by the media’s fearmongering over legislation. These messages don’t seem especially necessary in the context of the shooting, but if they are, perhaps the messengers can throw a note of support to the real victims of the mass shooting.

This entire conversation would be moot if the media showed an interest in consistency. Unless it’s obvious that a criminal’s identity (whatever it may be) is relevant to the crime, or reasonable to assume it could be, it’s not relevant to immediately report. But if left-wing media adopted this approach, they wouldn’t be able to demonize cops or conservatives. They don’t seem ready to offer objective, fact-based coverage of events yet. And Amazon isn’t particularly interested in offering much more than internal virtue signaling.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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