The awful sound of Shelley Luther’s moral bankruptcy

If you listen carefully to Shelley Luther’s Six Seconds of Silence, you can hear a lot.

Luther, the Dallas hair salon owner who was made a political star by Texas Republicans in 2020 when she defied a pandemic-induced state order to temporarily close nonessential businesses, is running as state representative.

At a candidate forum on Feb. 5, the former schoolteacher was eager to demonstrate her bona fide culture warfare and thought stomping on transgender kids was an easy way to get there.

“I’m not comfortable with transgender people, the kids they brought into my class,” Luther said.

“When they said this kid was transgender to a different sex, that I couldn’t let the kids laugh at them, like I couldn’t…”

At that point, Luther stopped – for six excruciatingly awkward seconds.

You could hear the panic in his pause.

You could feel the brain freeze as she realized she had said the quiet part out loud; lamenting the possibility that bullies at school are deprived of the opportunity to ridicule children going through the inherently difficult process of transitioning (not “transgender”) into a new gender.

You could actually hear the sound of Luther’s moral bankruptcy spinning like a loop of white noise.

Luther’s potshot on transgender children came just a month after she tweeted that Chinese students should be banned from all Texas universities.

He was notable because he was so lacking in finesse that he couldn’t camouflage the ugliness at the heart of the social crusades led by much of the Texas GOP. It was also notable because Luther is a horribly embarrassing candidate who wouldn’t be running for office if Republicans in Texas hadn’t glorified her two years ago.

Luther’s recent comments were among the topics discussed on this week’s episode of Express-News’ Puro Politics podcast.

“What she’s saying is, ‘My students, my kids, should have the right to make fun of other kids who are different,'” columnist Cary Clack said.

“Whether it’s transgender children, why stop there? If they’re in a wheelchair, why can’t they laugh at them? Because if you give permission to make fun of a group of kids for something different, or something you perceive to be different, then where does it stop? »

Learn more about this and other topics in the latest edition of Puro Politics.

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Terri S. Tomasini