The Daily Fix: Horrifying Attack on Trans Women in Atlanta, VA Chief Steps Down, and Bloomberg Preaches Tolerance at Harvard

All the news that's fit to fix on Friday, May 30.

(Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

TakePart News Editor Shaya Tayefe Mohajer is a journalist who has worked in many corners of the world for major news organizations.

"Stop it."

Those words are heard at least 10 times at the beginning of an onlooker's video that captured a violent attack on two transgender women, Janell Crosby and Tyra Woods, who were riding a crowded Atlanta train last week. One of the women was pinned down and exposed during the melee. She was stripped completely naked by the end of the knock-down, drag-out fight.

In a video posted online (warning: it's graphic), it's unclear who's saying what or how this whole thing started. The video seems to pick up after an initial confrontation. We hear one of the women say they paid $2.50 to ride public transit "just like everyone else" and being mean doesn't "make you more of a man." Then the other woman returns taunts.

"I have a house, a car, everything.... What you got? What you got, bro?" she asked a small group of men.

One man lunged and kicked her, causing a brawl to erupt, with grappling and punching that traveled up and down the train car to hoots and jeers of other passengers. Crosby and Woods were outnumbered, not only by their attackers but by the crowd of people, who just watched and did absolutely nothing to stop the open violence.

Five transit officers responded to the May 20 incident, but no statements were taken and no arrests were made—causing an uproar among local trans activists, Creative Loafing Atlanta reported. Transit authority spokesperson Lyle Harris says the agency is aggressively investigating the case to right that wrong.

The violent incident is just the latest in a long, horrifying series of brutal attacks against transgender women of color, who face the highest rate of homicide when it comes to violent hate crimes against members of the LGBT community.

In a statement activists released on her behalf, Crosby didn't have any answers for why this happened—just a lot of important questions for her attackers and all the people who simply watched.

"What if this were your daughter? Your wife? Your mother? What would you do?" she asked. "Would you still have just stood there and watched it happen? Would you have laughed or run home to put it up on the Internet? Why am I any less human, any less worthy of helping?"

In other news...

  • Veterans Affairs Chief Resigns: Eric Shinseki has stepped down as secretary of veterans affairs in the wake of a scandal around widespread mismanagement leading to complete failure to give members of our armed forces timely medical care. (via The New York Times)
     
  • Pacifism in the Pacific: A sad but beautiful video was posted after hundreds of University of California, Santa Barbara, students took to the waves this week in tribute to the six innocent victims killed in last Friday's bloody rampage in Isla Vista. The mourners held hands in a circle while sitting on their surfboards, tossing flowers, and splashing water for what's known as a paddle-out memorial, a surfing tradition. (via Mother Jones)
     
  • The Most Horrible Story About Women I've Read in a Week of Horrible Stories About Women: Not to compare among the horrors within an entirely evil and broad realm of violent misogyny, but this. (via Al Jazeera)
     
  • How Google's Driverless Cars Are Legal: This report from The Associated Press explains how the tech giant paved the way for its invention before it was even invented.
     
  • Medicare's Transgender Policy: The answer won't automatically be no when it comes to sex reassignment surgeries, federal health officials ruled Friday. (via The Associated Press)
     
  • Bloomberg Preaches Tolerance: New York City's former mayor and media tycoon told Harvard University graduates to ardently defend the rights of others, because intolerance for different religions and political ideas is slowing advancement. (via The Boston Globe

The Daily Fix is your chance to act today to change tomorrow's headlines by taking action on the latest stories. Look for links to petitions, pledges, and other social actions embedded throughout these news items. Tweet your #TheDailyFix ideas to News Editor Shaya Tayefe Mohajer.

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