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Commentary: Iyanna Dior, Victim of Mob Violence

Many in the media seem to be intentionally framing stories to fuel flames of passion and anger in the black community and LGBT community during the current nationwide protests and riots. Vox reported, A brutal video shows a black trans woman getting beat up by dozens of men as well as Out magazine with the headline, Iyanna Dior, Black Trans Woman, Beat In Viral, Brutal Video. In both reports, the publication refuses to show the video of the incident citing it to be too disturbing, with Out arguing they will not show the video as it “[C]an provoke pain and trauma for other Black folks.”

Out begins their report of the Minneapolis, MN incident stating, “As there are protests nationwide in opposition to systemic, sometimes fatal racism…” whereas Vox concludes their report lamenting, “The attack on Dior is just the latest incident in an epidemic of violence against black trans people, especially women.” Out provides the details of the incident stating, “15 to 30 cisgender assailants, mostly male.” Vox too cites “20 to 30 cisgender men” as the assailants. It would seem that a black transgender woman was targeted and beaten by a group of racist men.

But, as watching the video of the incident demonstrates, all individuals in the video appear to be black men and women and there is no indication the assailants knew of the Dior’s gender identity or biological sex, with one man shouting that “she” was hiding behind the store’s counter. Of course, the sexual and gender identities of everyone else involved are entirely assumed as well. Both articles state that there is no current information about what started the incident or what the motivation was, all that is known is Dior was involved in a fender bender shortly before the video started.

The video shows Dior being assaulted, her head violently slammed onto a metal container outside the gas station and then another man punching her in the face, the mob surrounds her shouting incoherently as a young boy in the background watches. Dior flees and hides behind the store counter as the mob shouts at her to come out for further confrontation before she leaves out the back. The various people, many who appear to have been in the store at the time, as many watched, many cheered on the attackers and others attempted to intervene. Dior posted that she was ok and did suffered only minor injuries, but advocated for “All” black lives to matter in the current Black Lives Matter movement.

Vox went on to cite a recent Florida case involving a transman named Tony McDade, which they describe as being “killed by police.” The Advocate also provided the headline, Black Trans Man Tony McDade Killed by Police in Florida quoting Anna Logan, a student volunteer with Leon High School Students Demand Action saying, “This comes at a time when our country is keenly aware of the frequency of police violence against Black people in America.”

On May 27th, police were called after a deadly stabbing was reported and came upon McDade who matched the description of the suspect. McDade pulled a gun on the officer who shot him in self-defense. McDade was accused of fatally stabbing the man moments before police arrived. Currently, a GoFundMe set up for the family of McDade has raised $124,485, beginning their plea stating “On May 27th, 2020, Tony McDade, a black LGBTQ person, was shot and killed by a Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) officer.”

Of course there is a profound difference between the abuse of force by police officers in the death of George Floyd and the death of McDade which was clearly done in self-defense. But both LGBT and other Leftwing organizations insist on including them together, as The Southern Poverty Law Center did with the words “The killings must stop.” The SPLC argues, “We have seen the impacts of white supremacy’s pervasiveness in law enforcement across the country for centuries and we, as a nation, must come together to dismantle the system of oppression.” Nor is there any indication besides the individuals involved being transgender that anti-LGBT sentiment was involved in any way.

The practice of conflating unrelated stories that provide a useful overall narrative is common from the left and especially LGBT media, but in a time when such stories can directly result in mass destruction, violence and even the deaths of innocent people, a higher level of responsibility in reporting is needed. Both the black and LGBT communities simply do not need to be exploited for these media or grievance organization narratives.

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