Joel Ford's battles with LGBT activists turns ludicrous

But the truth is, he's been dropping turds on his own party for some time:

On Tuesday N.C. Sen Joel Ford (D-Charlotte) had a strange, tense exchange with LGBT activists who criticized his record on LGBT issues. He responded to the activists with a GIF of a dog defecating in the snow. This led Matt Comer, a Charlotte-based LGBT activist, to ask if that was appropriate behavior for a state senator.

Ford, a more conservative Democrat, is used to criticism from the LGBT community. Last year he was one of the few Democrats to support a Republican bill to allow magistrates to recuse themselves from performing same-sex marriages. This session he has been one of the few Democrats to support a repeal of HB2 that would put LGBT protections to local referendum votes. But the criticism has turned up to 11 since Ford announced he’d be running against Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, a fellow Democrat, as she seeks re-election.

Joel Ford is so full of himself he doesn't get the symbolism of posting that GIF, that he himself is the turd in that particular scenario, not the creature dropping it. Purely speculation on my part, but I believe he is trying to carve out a niche for himself as a "maverick," not one to follow the lead of others. Which is fine to a certain point. But I also believe he is trying to benefit from and maybe even exacerbate the confusion and conflicting beliefs in the African-American community over LGBT issues. At its core, this is the politics of division, not inclusion, and all parties will emerge in a weaker position because of it.



My hope

His actions are obviously bringing negative attention to his campaign. My hope is that he'll use the moment to reflect on his past anti-LGBTQ policy stances, and then state how he'll change and be an ally to the community.

If he would apologize for those past stances, not just for the use of that gif, and layout in a statement and on his campaign website what he'd do to support the LGBTQ citizens of Charlotte as mayor, that would go a long ways I think.

Right now his record includes opposition to Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal, support at first for SB2 to allow some government employees to opt out of serving same-sex couples, support for HB186 which among other things would let government funded nonprofits deny services to LGBTQ individuals, and now these continued hostile exchanges with LGBTQ community leaders and activists in Charlotte.

I believe politicians can have changes of heart and can evolve on the issues. But an apology, and a campaign statement on specifically how he'll champion LGBTQ citizens of Charlotte could be an important start I believe to turning around a less than stellar record.

He's not irredeemable

I think a big part of his problem has to do with feeling powerless. He's a North Carolina Senator, but the only way (he believes) he can exert any power is by siding with the majority. But he also (probably) knows that won't really give him any power. I would be frustrated too.

But he needs to spend less time figuring out creative ways to further his career, and more time deciding if he wants to be that guy who abandons groups of people who are already suffering from a lack of concern by society.