I live in North Carolina. It’s a beautiful part of the country with mountains, beaches, and rolling meadows of wildflowers in between.
My city, Raleigh, is one of the fastest growing towns (and tech towns) in America. We are a hub of innovation, and unlike every other city that makes the same claims, it’s true. We are surrounded by major universities, and the Research Triangle is an excellent place to invest if you’re looking for highly skilled workers and a reasonable cost of doing business.
Except, you know, my state legislature passed a bathroom bill and screwed everything up for the business community.
The new law in North Carolina is ridiculous. It mandates that you pee and poop in a segregated bathroom that aligns with the sex assignment on your birth certificate. The law also strips away the rights of municipal governments to extend protections to transgender citizens. Furthermore, there’s a whole bunch of nonsense in that bill about worker protection and when/how people can sue because of discrimination.
It’s hot garbage. The bill is backed by individuals here in North Carolina who feel like Obama’s agenda was pushed down their throats. The past eight years have been tough. Gay marriage is now a thing. Eric Holder made them mad about stuff. Don’t even talk about Obamacare, am I right? But they’re sure as hell not going to agree that it’s okay for some dude to say he’s a chick and pee in the ladies bathroom.
They have to take a stand, dammit.
The thing about the last stand is that it’s usually some white guy, like Lt. Col. George A. Custer, fighting to preserve his beliefs against an oppressed minority, like the Lakota and Cheyenne. And if you know how that battle went, you know that Custer lost.
Not only did he lose, but his men went down with him.
You could argue that the Lakota and Cheyenne lost in the end, but history doesn’t look kindly on Custer and The Battle of Little Big Horn. I suspect history won’t look kindly on my governor, Pat McCrory, who helped this anti-discriminatory law get established in less than a day but can’t even pass a piece of anti-puppy-mill legislation.
And if you’re an investor from the outside who’s considering North Carolina as a place to do business, you know a few things:
1. The business climate in North Carolina is great.
2. We elect bigoted state officials who believe in big government for toilets but not enough teachers to oversee behavior in the bathrooms at schools.
3. We have a governor who will advocate for discrimination but not for puppies.
If you put a Venn diagram together of people who don’t fight for puppies and LGBT people, the center is Pat McCrory.
The fight against HB2 matters because it’s a fight for less government and more personal freedom. It’s a fight against unnecessary and harmful government intrusion on social issues that bleeds over to the business community. And it’s a fight for basic civil rights.
So I hope you’ll stay informed and speak out against HB2 (and all forms of discrimination). I hope you’ll advocate for universal bathroom design that is safe and accessible to everybody of all genders and abilities — not just people who lump themselves into two categories. And I hope you’ll support funding your local school system so that teachers and staff members can ensure a bully-free zone where everybody can pee and poop in peace.
And I hope you know that these narrow-minded politicians don’t speak for the citizens of North Carolina, and they certainly don’t speak for me.