If you spend any time on the internet at all (which I’m assuming you do, since you’re reading this article) you’re probably aware of Godwin’s law—if not by name, than by concept. The “law” states that any argument on the internet will eventually lead to someone being compared to Adolf Hitler. Most of the time, comparing a person to Adolf Hitler is immature at best, and scathingly insensitive at worst. But in this case, I think a comparison to Hitler is solidly justified. On Monday, Todd Kincannon, a former South Carolina GOP executive, unleashed a series of tweets saying that he’d like to “round up” transgender people and place them into concentration camps.
On Monday, Todd Kincannon tweeted, “There are people who respect transgender rights. And there are people who think you should all be put in a camp. That’s me.”
I somehow suspect that Mr. Kincannon isn’t referring to summer camps where we’ll get to toast marshmallows and sing “Kumbaya.” The camp he’s imagining probably looks more like Auschwitz than Camp Anawanna. But just in case transgender people and their allies aren’t too eager about being tortured and starved, there’s an alternative. Todd Kincannon later conceded that, if concentration camps aren’t going to work, “mental institutions will do just fine”
“I have plenty of compassion for trannies,” he said satirically, using a highly charged and offensive transphobic slur, “They should all be locked up in mental institutions and their care paid for by the state.”
Compassionate indeed. In response to the understandable amount of backlash from the transgender community and its allies, Todd Kincannon continued raising the bar and making sure his tweets grew more and more offensive.
“The trannies are still mad!” he hooted to the Twitterverse on Tuesday. He followed this by suggesting that many of the people, including celebrities, who called him out for his blatant transphobia, were “trannies” themselves.
In continued defense of his tweets, Kincannon explained that his hate is founded because “trannyism” is chosen, unlike ethnicity and homosexuality:
“Jews, brown people, and gays are born that way. It’s ok to hate trannies because they choose trannyism. Just like Muslims.”
Because no right-wing outburst of bile and hatred is complete without adding a dash of Islamophobia, right? He just had to make sure he added another group of highly marginalized people to his hate-list, in case he hadn’t already offended enough people. The argument that “trannyism” is chosen is so blatantly false—why would anyone choose something so highly stigmatized, placing themselves at an extremely high risk of discrimination and hate crime?—that it doesn’t even deserve to be debunked.
When asked to stop using the word “tranny,” Kincannon responded with, “How about “dickchicks”? Or “disgusting goddamn weirdos that all normal people hate who need serious mental health treatment”?”
He continued responding to the outrage, using his oh-so-clever neologism “dickchick.”:
“There is no sane heterosexual or homosexual man who enjoys dickchicks.”
“You freaks are about to legitimately creep me out. Good lord. You look like a nightmare.”
“Gayness is not a mental illness, but wanting to exchange your junk for somebody else’s sure as fuck is. Silence of the Lambs shit”
“My brain functions far better than your disgusting tranny vajayjay.”
When people brought up the extremely high suicide rates of trans people, the GOP figurehead responded with tweets like,
“[My reaction to suicide] depends on who it is that offs themselves. There are plenty of people the world would be better off without.”
“Tell me, if you were a suicidal dickchick, wouldn’t you go to a mental institution instead of arguing with me on Twitter?”
“Even trannies hate trannies. That one who offed itself in Belgium a week or so ago is living (ha!) proof of that.”
I could continue with the hundreds of violently transphobic tweets that Todd Kincannon continued spilling over the course of the last few days, but if you’re interested in reading his hateful tirades, they’re publicly available in their entirety on his Twitter page.
These tweets might seem too twisted and cruel to be real, but, unfortunately, there’s no evidence that Todd Kincannon’s account has been hacked, and he has a history of provocative tweeting. Calling himself the “honey badger” of right-wing extremism, he caused an uproar just a few months ago with insensitive and arguably racist tweets about Trayvon Martin, and refused to apologize for the deep offense he caused.
Fortunately, Todd Kincannon hasn’t held political office in years, but he still has a tremendous influence and tens of thousands of Twitter followers who listen to his opinions—including many GOP members in positions of political power, who have yet to speak up against this jerk. It’s nauseating that someone with such a tremendous influence can spout beliefs that are very literally Nazi-like, and receive no flack at all from other politicians in his party.
Well, transgender people and trans allies, let’s get started packing for camp and make sure this will be better than the last time undesirable people were shipped off like livestock to be sequestered from the rest of society. I’ll bring soy hotdogs and buns. Can one of you guys make sure to bring extra toilet paper, good hiking boots, trail mix, and a few Audubon guides?