After President Donald Trump revoked his predecessor’s federal guidelines stipulating that transgendered students could use the bathroom of their gender identity Wednesday, Democratic mega-donor J.B. Pritzker called for “everyone” to “use the other gender’s bathroom” Thursday in retaliation.
Pritzker’s call for men across the country to use public women’s restrooms, and vice versa, proved so tone-deaf it drew condemnation from across the political spectrum.
“Rescinding the Obama administration’s guidance ensures that local schools are once again empowered to find their own win-win solutions that respect the dignity, privacy, and safety concerns of all children.”
“As a protest against Trump’s rescinding protections for trans kids, everyone should use the other gender’s bathroom today! #protecttranskids,” Pritzker tweeted Thursday morning.
Pritzker, who reportedly is considering a challenge to incumbent Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2018, was swiftly rebuked by liberals for veering off-message.
“No disrespect @JBPritzker but it’s actually about precisely *not* that. We just want to let kids use their own gender’s bathroom,” Illinois State Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-39) tweeted in response to Pritzker.
Guzzardi’s tweet, no doubt conveying the firestorm that would soon come, prompted a response from Pritzker.
“Agreed,” Pritzker tweeted in an attempt to walk back his initial comment, “A protest is about standing with transgender kids and their right to be and live who they are.”
Guzzardi responded, tweeting, “Yes @JBPritzker but your idea suggests that we support ppl going into opposite-gender bathrooms, which plays right into transphobic rhetoric.”
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Along with his wife, the Pritzker Group, and the Pritzker Family Foundation, Pritzker reportedly donated more than $15 million to the pro-Hillary Clinton Priorities USA Action super PAC, along with an additional $707,000 to her joint fundraising committee the Hillary Victory Fund, according to Open Secrets.
In conjunction with his wife, Mary Kathryn “M. K.” Muenster, Pritzker donated $1.4 million to the Hillary Victory Fund. An additional $1 million was given to the Senate Majority PAC to elect Democratic senators and the Democratic National Committee received $534,400 from the Pritzker couple.
Since 1989, the Pritzkers, who gained their wealth from their ownership of the Hyatt hotel chain, shelled out more than $22.1 million for Democratic causes. Pritzker himself is estimated to be worth $3.4 billion, according to Forbes. Pritzker is also the brother of former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who served in the Obama administration.
Despite walking back on his original tweet, Pritzker’s suggestion that men use women’s restrooms and vice versa did not sit well with debaters from both sides of the issue.
“This plan might need a few more minutes in the oven,” a Twitter user responded to Pritzker’s rallying call.
“You had my vote and just lost it!!” another tweeted, apparently referencing Pritzker’s contemplated gubernatorial campaign.
“Come on man, I want to #ProtectTransKids too but not by doing something not well thought out like this! #cantdothisifyourrunning,” another admonished.
“Telling people to use the other gender’s bathroom is missing the point entirely and a terrible idea,” tweeted another.
Conservative policy experts say standing for children’s true interests means being aware of the real concerns with a federally mandated bathroom rule.
“To truly stand up for our kids, we must acknowledge that many children have concerns about sharing a bathroom, locker room, or shower with someone of the opposite biological sex,” Melody Wood, a research assistant at the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation told LifeZette in an email.
“Rescinding the Obama administration’s guidance ensures that local schools are once again empowered to find their own win-win solutions that respect the dignity, privacy, and safety concerns of all children — those who identify as transgender and everyone else,” Wood added.
Pritzker, however, didn’t seem to prioritize constructive dialogue or the “safety and concerns” of all children and adults when he concocted his ill-advised protest.
“This is an issue best solved at the state and local level,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Wednesday. “Schools, communities, and families can find — and in many cases have found — solutions that protect all students.”