Congressman Jim Banks was recently suspended from Twitter after referring to Dr. Rachel Levine as a “man.” Twitter said this violated its policy against “hateful conduct.”
Dr. Levine is a biological male who identifies as a female. He recently became the “first openly transgender four-star officer” in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
A press release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also called Dr. Levine the “first female four-start admiral” in the corps.
In response, Rep. Banks tweeted, “The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man.”
Twitter subsequently suspended his account, locking the congressman out until he removed the offending tweet.
In its message to Rep. Banks informing him that his account was suspended, Twitter said he had broken the social media platform’s rules.
“You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease,” Twitter informed the congressman.
To which the reasonable person asks, since when did calling a biological male a “man” constitute the promotion of violence, threats, or harassment?
Since his suspension, Rep. Banks has since removed the tweet, and his account has been restored.
NEW: Twitter has censored @RepJimBanks for calling HHS' Rachel Levine a man. He will be locked out of his account until he deletes the tweet, "The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man." pic.twitter.com/6wdDqJ36kH
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) October 23, 2021
In a statement to The Hill, a Twitter spokesperson said, “The account referenced has been temporarily locked for violating our Hateful Conduct Policy. The account owner is required to delete the violative Tweet before regaining access to their account.”
“My tweet was a statement of fact,” Rep. Banks responded in a subsequent tweet. “Big Tech doesn’t have to agree with me, but they shouldn’t be able to cancel me. If they silence me, they will silence you. We can’t allow Big Tech to prevent us from telling the truth.”
Twitter’s Hateful Conduct Policy says the platform prohibits “targeting others with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category.”
“This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”
According to gender ideologues, so-called “misgendering” occurs when someone refers to a transgender individual by their biological sex, rather than their preferred gender identity. And “deadnaming” occurs when someone calls a transgender individual by the name they were given at birth, rather than their new name that matches with their preferred gender identity.
Left-leaning media outlets unscientifically reported on Rep. Banks suspension and labeled his tweet an example of misgendering.
“Rep. Jim Banks suspended from Twitter for misgendering trans government official Rachel Levine,” NBC News’ headline blared.
“Representative Jim Banks suspended from Twitter after misgendering trans health official Dr. Rachel Levine,” CBS News penned.
The Washington Post, perhaps winning the award for most dire sounding headline, wrote, “Rep. Jim Banks intentionally misgendered a high-ranking trans official. Twitter locked his account.”
Of course, Rep. Banks didn’t misgender Dr. Levine.
He correctly referred to Dr. Levine according to his biological sex.
If you’re an avid reader of The Daily Citizen, you’ll recall that our Twitter account was suspended earlier this year in a nearly identical incident, when we referred to Dr. Levine as a “man who believes he is a woman.”
Twitter’s suspension of Rep. Banks highlights the growing and deeply concerning cultural trend of the elimination of the freedom of speech. Big tech companies’ Orwellian speech codes continue to have a chilling effect on the ability to debate and dialogue.
No longer are we in an era when differing opinions are valued and welcomed. If one’s opinion doesn’t align with what is accepted by the culture at large, one risks being banned, ostracized, and silenced.
For Christians, who have been challenging established cultural norms for 2,000 years, this difficult moment we’re facing is nothing new. In fact, it should be expected.
After all, Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 ESV).
Related articles and resources:
Photo from Shutterstock.