North Carolina was the recent talk of controversy for passing of House Bill 2 and the responses were both surprising and inspiring.
House Bill 2
House Bill 2 focused on transgendered individuals ability to use the bathroom of their identified gender. This topic is debatable for the general public with many individuals taking either side; however – as I always say – when it comes to the law, one must always look at the deeper implications and the effects of precedence. This change in the law would nullify local ordinances around the state that have expanded protections for the LGBTQ community. In essence the passing of this bill could be used in court to argue that sexual orientation is not one of the protected classes for people and issues and concerns specifically related to these individuals lives would no longer matter.
Conversely the argument has been that allowing people to use restrooms of the gender that they identify with will put women and children at risk. I, personally think it’s a stretch of an argument. I feel that whatever the risk level there is no greater than the chance of a woman or child being attacked in any other setting. And the legal repercussions for discriminated groups has broader implications to not be considered.
What happened next is what really caught my attention in the matter. Organizations and celebrities across the nation began to, in effect, boycott NC. Artists like Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper and Ringo Starr canceled shows or made verbal commitments not perform in the state until the law was overturned. Then it went a step further and major companies like Google, PayPal, Lionsgate Studios, Pepsico vowed not to do any new business in the state with their chief officers making public statements such as:
Please flag any investments in NC that come through as I am not comfortable deploying dollars into start-ups there until the voters there fix this.
– Bill Maris, Google Ventures
I was taken aback by the legislature’s recent action in passing HB2, as well as [the Mayor’s] decision to sign it into law so quickly – impedes our progress toward equality.
– Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico
But my favorite was when I heard that porn site, Xhamster began blocking NC IP addresses from accessing their servers. The site’s spokesman, Mike Kulich, stated:
We have spent the last 50 years fighting for equality for everyone and these laws are discriminatory, which XHamster.com does not tolerate. Back in March, we had 400,000 hits for the term “Transexual” from North Carolina alone – people from North Carolina searched “Gay” 319,907 times.
I have to say my heart was warmed by the thought that all of these people took a stance, made it public and put action behind it. American activism has taken a passive if not apathetic undertone over the past few decades where it became politically incorrect to be political in public. It was only expected of politicians and the politically eccentric to have knowledge of current legislative happenings and evaluating what that meant for the every day person.
But now more than ever we are seeing the public forming their own opinions and using what power and influence the have to give voice to those opinions. Every American by virtue of citizenship has an obligation to have an opinion about the laws and systems that govern the country. THAT is what being American is supposed to be: of the poeple, by the people, for the people.
I’m not sayin; I’m just sayin,
An Angry Black Man