U.S. Representative Jim Banks, a Republican from Indiana, has been suspended from Twitter after using the wrong pronouns in a tweet about Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, who is transgender.
Levine made history this month when she became the first openly transgender four-star officer in any of the nation’s eight uniformed services, the Department of Health and Human Services announced. The former pediatrician’s appointment also made her the first female four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps’ history.
Banks tweeted about the historic promotion, according to the Associated Press, writing: “The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man.” The tweet is now unavailable as Banks’ Twitter handle, which he uses for his political career, was suspended.
According to the Biden-Harris transition team, Levine is a woman, and was nominated by President Joe Biden in January to serve as assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Once confirmed, she became the first openly transgender federal official in a Senate-confirmed role.
Twitter has suspended my official account for posting a statement of FACT.
I won’t back down.
I’ll be posting on my personal account for the time being.
Please Retweet this message and follow me -> @Jim_Banks.
Big Tech must be held accountable!
— Jim Banks (@Jim_Banks) October 23, 2021
By referring to Levine as a man, Banks violated Twitter’s “hateful conduct policy,” which prohibits the promotion of “violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.”
Part of the policy prohibits “repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone,” which “includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.” Deadnaming is referring to a trans person by their former name, which often misgenders them.
Like many politicians, Banks has a personal Twitter account in addition to his professional account. He went to his personal account on Saturday to give details on his suspension.
U.S. Representative Jim Banks fires back @ Twitter
“My tweet was a statement of fact. Big Tech doesn’t have to agree with me, but they shouldn’t be able to cancel me,” Banks wrote in the statement. “If they silence me, they will silence you. We can’t allow Big Tech to prevent us from telling the truth. When Republicans take back the House next year, we must restore honesty to our public forums and hold Big Tech accountable.”
My statement on being censored for tweeting a basic truth and banned from using my official account at @RepJimBanks👇 https://t.co/N5MBvJKz6g pic.twitter.com/bwQxhRAUOO— Jim Banks (@Jim_Banks) October 23, 2021
Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those being His,” and, “Let everyone naming the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:19