Professor draws comparisons between Jim Crow, Holocaust and treatment of trans youth

During a Black History Month presentation, a University of Kansas education professor drew comparisons between transgender issues and historical instances of racism and genocide.

In a reference to gender-affirming healthcare, the bigotry presentation argued that there is a 'moral panic' around the 'mutilation of children.'

During a Black History Month presentation, University of Kansas (KU) education professor Nicholas Mitchell drew comparisons between contemporary transgender issues and historical instances of racism and genocide. 

Mitchell’s suggestion that policies and practices around transgender youth constitute civil or human rights violations reflects the widespread progressivism found in the curricula and missions of schools of education. 

The video of “On Bigotry: 10 Lessons on How Bigotry Works And What to Do About It” was released on Feb. 8 by the School of Education and Human Sciences. 

Mitchell is a faculty member of the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at KU in Lawrence, Kentucky. His “scholarship focuses on the intersection of diversity and education … and how knowledge, culture, and historical narratives are elevated into curriculum,” according to his biography. 

In a reference to gender-affirming healthcare, the bigotry presentation argued that there is a “moral panic” around the “mutilation of children.” 

A number of states have introduced or signed legislation banning gender-affirming care. Legislative efforts come as a whistleblower at a Missouri clinic made headlines after sharing accounts of minors who received surgeries and hormones–sometimes below the legal age limit–and regretted their irreversible treatment. 

[RELATED: ‘Gender Affirmation Toolkit’ says term ‘sexual reassignment surgery’ is ‘demeaning’] 

Mitchell continued to compare racism during the Jim Crow era to “legislators who are going after transgender students.” His discussion on transgender minors followed a clip of author and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, who described white women tipping over buses and setting them on fire as schools were integrated. 

At one point during the lecture, Mitchell implied that policies and practices surrounding transgender-identifying minors teaches cisgender students to dehumanize them. 

He asked, “If I can segregate this child so they can’t play on the teams of their choice, and I can dictate how you even address them–that you invalidate their entire identity–what am I teaching the cisgendered kids about the worth and the value of trans people?” 

Mitchell then suggested that the contemporary treatment of transgender minors involves similar tactics used by the Nazis during the Holocaust. “It’s the same thing you saw with the Nazis–all of their anti-Semitic literature,” Mitchell argued.

“It was not for Jewish people. It was for people who were not Jewish.”

[RELATED: Prof: Trump’s transgender ban echoes ‘Nazi eugenic propaganda’] 

The Black History Month presentation depicted other kinds of bigotry identified by Mitchell. He conceptualized bigotry “as a planetary system” in which the different types are interrelated. 

“The pure bigotry is the star that holds the system together. So, you know, your ableism is one planet,” Mitchell said. “Your fatphobia is another planet.” 

Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties listed for comment and will update this article accordingly.