Joe Biden has been accused painting a false picture about hate crimes against transgender people, as well as using politically incorrect language, in a tweet vowing to "fight" for the "dignity and justice" they have been "denied."
"At least 37 transgender and gender-nonconforming people have been killed this year, most of them Black and Brown transgender women," Biden tweeted on Friday, recognized as Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The presumed president-elect said the deaths are "intolerable" and promised to "fight" to end the "epidemic of violence."
"From the moment I am sworn in as president, know that my administration will see you, listen to you, and fight for not only your safety but also the dignity and justice you have been denied," the former vice president wrote.
Biden has been accused of not only "pandering" and exploiting Transgender Remembrance Day, but also painting a picture that may not entirely reflect reality. While 37 deaths is the highest recorded for transgender people, according to the Humans Rights Campaign, suggesting an "epidemic of violence" has received pushback, especially since many of these deaths have reportedly been linked to murders, unrelated to hate crimes, but more often domestic violence situations and robberies.
"The majority of murders of transgender people involve domestic violence, sex work and drugs. 0.001% of the transgender population experience lethal violence," author Chad Felix Green, who covers violence against LGBTQ citizens, tweeted in response to Biden.
Greene also went on to detail some of the deaths and the fact that they are not confirmed hate crimes. The deaths can be read about at the Human Rights Campaign website too.
As HRC notes on their website, "Some of these cases involve clear anti-transgender bias. In others, the victim's transgender status may have put them at risk in other ways, such as forcing them into unemployment, poverty, homelessness and/or survival sex work."
Others echoed Greene's criticism and accused Biden of feeding into false narrative and over-emphasizing a situation in an attempt to virtue signal to his base.
"This is just absurd pandering. There were roughly 15,000 murders in the United States in each of 2018 and 2019," lawyer Will Chamberlain wrote.
"It is indeed really sad! But it is worth pointing out that most of these people are not killed *because they are transgender* or in hate-crimes, as the narrative often suggests," reporter Brad Polumbo added. "They are killed and also are transgender.Tragic nonetheless, but facts and context matter."
While Biden received a lot more support from his liberal base, he was still criticized by some who targeted his choice of language when describing transgender people as "gender-noncomforming."