Connect with us

National

Ashlee Marie Preston, Warren campaign trans rep, apologizes for old bigoted tweets

Published

on

Ashlee Marie Preston, a nationally known Los Angeles-based transgender activist and paid surrogate for the presidential campaign of Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, came under heavy criticism Monday after a series of old homophobic and racist tweets surfaced over the weekend.

Preston was featured in a Warren campaign video released last Thursday, in advance of the HRC/CNN Equality Town Hall on Oct. 10. She was apparently scheduled to ask a question at the event but was pulled by CNN at the last minute. She told Out Magazine that she decided not to attend the historic event since being present but silent would be “an act of erasure.” CNN did not reply to Out’s request for an explanation.

Preston has had a controversial social media presence with a history of making offensive, homophobic, racist, pro-life/misogynistic and xenophobic comments, particularly on Twitter, which have sometimes been lauded as “truth-telling.” She came to national attention in 2017 when the then-editor-in-chief of Wear Your Voice magazine confronted Caitlyn Jenner at a Trans Chorus of LA event to which Jenner had financially contributed, calling Jenner a “fucking fraud.” Preston at the time was a Trans Chorus board member and Jenner was then a Republican who believed Donald Trump’s public pronouncements of supporting the LGBTQ community, but later repudiated Trump after the trans military service ban. Preston called Jenner out for wearing a MAGA hat days after the ban was announced; Jenner apologized.  

In a piece published Monday by attorney Colin Kalmbacher at LawandCrime.com, several of Preston’s old tweets came to light, including  one from Dec. 11, 2010 that reads: “Latino and Asian businesses need 2 stop being rude & fukn disrespectful, & I kno its A LOT to ask in CA but speak fukn English 2* #yahisaidit.”

Kalmbacher notes that several of Preston’s tweets were shockingly homophobic, including one from April 7, 2011 which reads: “That is thee last time I help that faggot fucker….he’s bringing ME problems Truman help him.”  Two weeks later, on April 27, 2011, she tweeted: “I LUV gay men but THIS county clerk at window G is a mahfukkan faggot wit it…hes bald but rokn jewels, acrylic nails,&silk scarves #andshit.”

Preston responded Monday on Twitter and Facebook with a statement that categorized the disclosures as “a political play,” but apologizes, blaming her then-addiction to methamphetamine. “I take full responsibility for my actions and deeply apologize to those I’ve offended or hurt. I also apologize to those indirectly impacted by these developments.” She says she has been clean and sober for over 7 ½ years and has learned “how to make amends when I’m wrong and to take complete accountability for my actions.”

However, DSA Swarthykin Caucus uncovered more recent tweets suggesting Preston may not have entirely ditched her homophobia: “I’d beat the dog shit of out you; furry slipper wearing ass fuck boy,” Preston tweeted on September 8, 2018. “IRL I’d smash your fucking head in like a can of A&W Root Beer–But ima fall back and let you keep pretending for the internet…dick rider.”

Kalmbacher credits Twitter users Olivia Hill and Brook Hines with uncovering Preston’s tweets as they monitored the Warren campaign and discovered Preston inaccurately attacking Warren’s friend and rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, by falsely claiming that he hadn’t attended an LGBTQ event since the 1970s.

LawandCrime notes that “Preston, a paid campaign surrogate who was previously criticized for not disclosing her ties to the campaign while appearing on The Young Turks, locked her Twitter account over the weekend and has since deleted many of the tweets in question – though several are still publicly available on Twitter.”

 The Los Angeles Blade has reached out to Preston and the Warren campaign for comment and will update this story as warranted. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Indiana

South Bend Indiana Rainbow Story Hour disrupted by Proud Boys

Seven men — all Proud Boys — entered the library and began arguing with staff and patrons. Several displayed white supremacist symbols

Published

on

Proud Boys via Screenshot/Twitter

SOUTH BEND, In. – A Pride Month children’s Rainbow Story Hour event at the St. Joseph County Public Library’s Virginia M. Tutt Branch on Monday was disrupted after the far-right anti-LGBTQ+ group, the Proud Boys, walked in and began loudly arguing with staff and library patrons.

 At one point during the confrontation, one of the group unfurled a flag reading “Michiana Proud Boys,” appearing to identify the men as a local chapter of the white nationalist hate group.

This latest incident follows Proud Boys targeting LGBTQ+ Pride month events- especially Drag Queen Story Hour events- in Sparks Nevada, Wilmington North Carolina, Alameda California, Boise Idaho, many promulgated by highly influential far-right social media stars like Chaya Raichik, the Brooklyn real estate agent behind @LibsOfTikTok who has highlighted these events she calls out as inappropriate and sexualizing children to her more than 1.3 million followers on Twitter.

South Bend’s NPR outlet WVPE reported that the event was a partnership between the library and TREES, a Michiana organization that provides resources for the local transgender community and operates the Tree House Gender Resource center in downtown South Bend.

But before the event was set to start, seven men — all Proud Boys — entered the library and began arguing with staff and patrons. Several displayed white supremacist symbols, according to photos posted on social media.

Police were called — and the group left after about 40 minutes — but they caused so much disruption that the event had to be canceled.

“This definitely came as a shock,” library system communications manager Marissa Gebhard told WVPE. “We were not anticipating any problems.”

The library plans to reschedule the event in a few months, and Gebhard said the system wants everyone to feel safe and welcome at its branches.

Continue Reading

U.S. Federal Courts

Ketanji Brown Jackson sworn in as 116th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

“It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States”

Published

on

Screenshot/YouTube SCOTUS TV via the Associated Press

WASHINGTON – In oaths administered by the Chief Justice John Roberts and outgoing Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in as the 116th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 51 year-old Justice Jackson made history as the first-ever black woman sworn in as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. She replaces Justice Breyer, whose resignation from the Supreme Court becomes effective at noon Thursday (Eastern) after his nearly 28 years of service on the nation’s high court.

In the simple ceremony held at the Court, Jackson in the constitutional oath, given by Chief Justice Roberts, solemnly swore to defend the Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” and “bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

Justice Breyer gave her the statutory oath, in which Jackson swore to “administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich.”

The newly sworn-in Associate Justice was joined by her husband, Dr. Patrick Jackson, and their two daughters, Talia and Leila.

The court will hold another formal inaugurating ceremony, called an investiture, in the fall, Roberts said. But Thursday’s ceremony allows her to immediately begin work as the newest member of the nine-seat Supreme Court.

Nominated by President Biden and confirmed by the Senate, in April at a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, addressing the audience of members of Congress, the Biden Cabinet, and White House staff along with family and invited guests, Justice Jackson noted;

“As I take on this new role, I strongly believe that this is a moment in which all Americans can take great pride. We have come a long way towards perfecting our union. In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.” 

As the first Black woman to be nominated to serve on the nation’s highest court which she noted in her remarks:

“It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. But we’ve made it,” she said, to applause from the crowd. “We’ve made it, all of us, all of us. And our children are telling me that they see now, more than ever, that here in America anything is possible.“

Quoting Maya Angelou, an American author, poet and civil rights activist, “I am the hope and the dream of the slave,” Jackson said.

Continue Reading

U.S. Federal Courts

U.S. Supreme Court upholds Biden’s ability to enforce immigration laws

In its 5-4 ruling the high court said that the president may repeal the Trump-era ‘remain in Mexico’ policy

Published

on

Screenshot/YouTube NBC News

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday upheld President Biden’s broad presidential powers to enforce the nation’s immigration laws and policies. In a 5-4 ruling the high court said that the president may repeal the Trump-era ‘remain in Mexico’ policy, which barred most Central American migrants from entering the United States to seek asylum.

Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Brett Kavanaugh rejected arguments by Republican-led states in the case known as Biden v. Texas that were seeking to force the administration to keep the policy enacted under former President Trump.

The Chief Justice writing for the majority held that the decision to end it did not violate a 1996 migrant detention law and that a second memo terminating the program should have been considered by lower federal courts. 

In his opinion, Roberts overturned the ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that forced border officials to revive the Remain in Mexico rules, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols this past December. The Chief Justice noted that the 1996 law which authorizes the program does not mandate U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to return migrants to Mexico, but allows them the option to do so. Roberts referenced use of the word “may” in the statute.

If Congress meant for the law to require asylum-seekers to be returned to Mexico, Roberts wrote, “it would not have conveyed that intention through an unspoken inference in conflict with the unambiguous, express term ‘may.'”

Justices Samuel Alito and Amy Coney Barrett filed separate dissenting opinions, parts of which were joined by Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas.

U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety, released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision today in Biden v. Texas:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision correctly acknowledges the Biden administration’s authority to end the unlawful and cruel ‘Remain in Mexico’ program. For more than three years, this horrifying policy has denied asylum seekers their right to due process and subjected them to crimes like rape, kidnapping, and torture in northern Mexican border cities while they await their court hearings.

“I urge the Biden administration to do everything in its power to swiftly end ‘Remain in Mexico’ once and for all. Misguided and inhumane Trump-era policies like ‘Remain in Mexico’ and Title 42 have only decimated an already broken immigration system. We must keep working to restore the lawful processing of asylum seekers at the border, in keeping with America’s most deeply held values as a nation of immigrants.”

This is a developing story.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @LosAngelesBlade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular