In a video that widely circulated last week, Sarah Eldridge was caught on camera hurling racist and transphobic slurs and then attacking Pearl Love, a Taiwanese transgender woman. In an interview with New York’s PIX11—framed, absurdly, as Eldridge’s opportunity to share “her side”—Eldridge stands by her hateful words.
“I meant what I said. That person offended me in a way,” Eldridge said of Love. “That person was, to me, explicit. To me, too much. To me, I couldn’t stand it. To me, this is not fair to me.”
When it was suggested to Eldridge that Love was merely existing and being herself, Eldridge told the camera, “I can’t deal with that. I guess I’m not ready.”
The only thing that comes close to being as stunning as Eldridge’s logic is her honesty. The modern high-profile bigot—your Sarah Palins, your Mike Huckabees—dog whistles their hatred and then pretends to be wounded when they’re called out on it. Remarkably, Eldridge stands by her words. It’s disgusting, of course, but not disingenuous. How retro.
That’s not to say that Eldridge is above playing the victim. Though we don’t hear the words come out of her mouth, PIX11 reports that “Eldridge said she now feels like a victim” as a result of receiving death threats on Facebook after Love’s video went viral. Additionally, Eldridge tells the public, “Don’t judge me unless you know me. Don’t throw stones unless you haven’t sinned against, you know, someone yourself.”
“Why did she judge me?” said Pearl Love when I reached out to her for a comment on Eldridge’s interview. “She doesn’t even know me. She feels that she was right for assaulting me. She doesn’t feel sorry about it.”
“I’m not angry at all,” said Love when I asked how she feels. “Why be angry? It’s not my mistake to sit in front of her. I respect people who love me, but I also respect people who don’t like me. I respect them for myself. If you are not happy with me, that’s your problem, not mine. You don’t see the beauty in me? That’s your loss.”
PIX11 reports that Eldridge is in therapy, perhaps working up to the ability to apologize to Love, which she as of now flat-out refuses to do.