LGBT activist and attorney Urvashi Vaid railed against President Trump on Thursday while delivering a keynote address at a conference at Middle Tennessee State University.
The “Creating Global Change” conference continues through Saturday and is hosted by MTSU’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program. The conference in Murfreesboro shows how even in red states like Tennessee, radical progressives have become mainstream in the halls of academia.
Vaid criticized Trump for what she perceives to be his views on race, gender and LGBT issues.
She said Trump “makes it acceptable to be racially divisive” and described the Trump administration and Republican Party as enemies in “an ideological battle that is going on in this country,” according to an article in MTSU Sidelines, the student newspaper.
“The political agenda is very, very much about mass discrimination,” Vaid said. “State legislatures in this country are governed by people who are against liberty and justice for all.”
Vaid spoke of the growth of the LGBT movement in recent decades, citing an increase in LGBT nonprofits from about 50 in 1969 to nearly 600 today.
A native of India, Vaid is founder and president of The Vaid Group LLC. According to its website, the firm “advises socially engaged innovators on domestic and global initiatives to advance equity, justice and inclusion.”
Her past roles include serving as senior fellow at Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender & Sexuality Law and as a leader in policy and research at the City University of New York Graduate Center. She also held several leadership roles at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (now the National LGBTQ Task Force).
On its website, The Vaid Group states that “gender based disparities and gender binaries can be changed through political and economic power.” The firm also says that “structural racism operates in every institution and can be ended through political, economic and cultural transformation” and that “cultural change is as important as legal change.”
Last month, a radical progressive journalist who blames whites for the origins of the mistreatment of children spoke at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville despite some academic departments pulling their support at the last minute.