The Wife and I own a small business and I spent my career helping small businesses.
In light of all the wrongs perpetrated by a radically regressive legislature that violate our Constitution, our civil rights commitments and our moral values, we as the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP will meet and complete a formal proposal endorsed by the state executive committee to put before the national board that asks approval of and calls for an economic boycott of the state.
My Wife is not a bigot. She put herself through college as a waitress, working with gay men usually, who were good friends and offered her protection. Indeed, we were introduced by our gay friends, one of whom succumbed to AIDS. Before opening a store, we were a fixture at parties in the local gay community.
Several years ago, I was sued for having mocked the local Christofascists for imposing their beliefs on the electorate. And yet, here we sit, owning a business, horrified at the fascist NCGOP Legislature, the abomination of HB2, but asked to be victims of it. Sympathy with the LGBT ends with imposition of our ability to make a living. Fortunately, our walk-in traffic is limited to a region primarily encompassing our beleaguered state, but I’d hate to think a customer in New South Wales or Ottawa failed to place an order online simply because we are domiciled in North Carolina.
Rev. Barber is to be congratulated for leading the protest against this senseless reactionary legislation, but as Putin recently proved against dubious hacking charges, escalation is but one response. Announcing a boycott upon NC businesses for the insane actions of the Legislature is a cowardly act, like calling in artillery on your position, rather than directly engaging the enemy. And no, presenting oneself at the legislature in protest and fashionable arrest does not constitute an effective opposition.
So long as the Left behave like sheep, the Right will be happy to slaughter them. Just as the Left has been defeated nationally for abandoning their principles, so it has been in North Carolina, once a southern model of progressive political action. Christofascism and Libertarianism burn like a wildfire across this state and the opposition recoils in horror at authoritarianism to the point they seek it for themselves.
The false Christians and false conservatives on the Right leave themselves wide open to legitimate charges of hypocrisy and xenophobic hatred born of fear. And yet the Left, replete with a network of media to assist them, ventures forth on Mondays when the NCGA is in session, burnishing their credibility by protesting for an hour or two before retiring to their well-appointed homes, satisfied they have made a difference.
Well guess what: so long as high dudgeon in the media and occasional trips to see the NCGA fascists in session are the limits of the Left’s opprobrium, the skinheaded assholes from ALEC and the John Locke Foundation will continue to run roughshod over the poor and the different. Neanderthals like the NC Values Coalition will continue their witch hunts with the approval of their brethren, the unenlightened.
The Right is emboldened by the courage of their convictions, often owning businesses which prey on the very people against whom they are marginalizing through legislation. And it is no mistake that the political nightmare tested in NC is now being visited upon our nation. The Left has abandoned liberalism for wealth and power as seen in our university and healthcare systems, which have been ravaged by neoliberal privatization.
I’ve been a Republican since 1978, yet I recoil at the cowardice on the Left and villainy on the Right. Far from advocating violence as a solution (the veiled threat of Moral Mondays), I applaud appeals to reason from Gene Nichol on behalf of the poor. I wish I could name more, but I am simply not aware of them.
The Right is in power and taking advantage of every weakness presented by the Left. The Rev. Chris Hedges regularly excoriates hypocrisy on the Right and morbidity on the Left. A world of effective political thought exists to confound them, but the voices who spoke to me of humanity being defended have failed to move beyond shaming to mockery in their derision. Indeed, HB2 opponents have resorted to violence upon themselves by being arrested. This is foolishness.
Successful revolutions take the moral high ground and appeal to the better natures of others. They don’t lower themselves to the opposition’s policies of destruction by advocating boycott of innocent victims such as my Wife. As I have demonstrated for years, the opposition is cowed by humorous and entertaining artifice, even if it means pretending to be a dwarf transvestite Hooter’s waitress.