By: Gene Patrick
May 17th marked the unceremonious release of whistle-blower and American hero Chelsea Manning from military prison, over seven years into her draconian 35 year sentence. Her leak of classified documents, which exposed multiple war crimes committed by the U.S. military as well as a child sex trafficking cover up, caused a media fiasco. It took a surprising turn when Manning, then going by Bradley, came out as a trans-woman.
Transgender issues have been in the American spotlight like never before, yet Chelsea’s sacrifices have been mostly ignored by mainstream media. It is both depressing and predictable how quick the establishment is to prop up Caitlyn Jenner, a conservative Trump voter and reality television star, as the face of the transgender community instead. This is an attempt by the media to waterdown these issues and make them palatable for television. Interviewing a “traitor” would break the number one rule of corporate infotainment: We are ALWAYS the good guys, no matter what.
War crimes don’t please the corporate owners. Most discussions in the news were about Chelsea herself, not the crimes she exposed. They argued about her intentions and nitpicked over what it means to be a whistleblower versus a traitor, most deciding the latter. Our crimes were deemed meaningless and swept under the rug; Chelsea goes to jail for the majority of her life and justice is served. Who knew it was so simple?
As pride month kicks off and Chelsea gets to start her new life, a chance many thought she would never get, let’s take a moment to be thankful. Thankful not just for what Chelsea did for us in this country and abroad but thankful that the transgender community has an intelligent and courageous hero back home.