Republican bigotry

Defending the UNC Center for Civil Rights

Trying to clip the wings of the legal eagles:

Ahead of a vote this week that she says would effectively close the UNC Law School’s Center of Civil Rights, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt has sent a letter requesting the UNC Board of Governors not adopt a proposed policy change. In a July 28 letter, Folt says the move by the BOG would lead to a closure of the center and harm the school’s reputation. The five page letter is Folt’s strongest statement yet on the fate of the center.

“. . . if the committee moves forward with the new proposed policy, we risk significant damage to the reputation of the University and the Law School, as well as the uncertainty as to whether we can create a new clinic for civil rights with no resources.”

Follow the link and read Carol Folt's letter, and once again hat-tip to Kirk Ross for his diligence. This answered a question that's been in the back of my mind: "Why don't Republicans just cut off the funding for the Center if they don't like it?" It's because there is no state funding, taxpayers aren't spending a dime for this critical service. So the GOP is forced to take other measures, which will not only undermine the important work being done, it goes against the wishes of the charitable donors who have supported the Center. If you want to know the "why" behind this move, look at some of the cases litigated:

Rally in Raleigh to protest inhumane immigrant detention process

Trying to survive the sticky net of ICE roundups:

Immigrant rights groups will hold a press conference and rally to demand an end to immigrant detention Raleigh, NC – On Friday, immigrant rights groups and families of people in detention will hold a press conference and rally at the Wake County Public Safety Center to demand an end to immigrant detention. The action is a part of the Southeast Immigrant Rights Network month of action to denounce the abusive and inhumane immigration detention system. With a string of recent hunger strikes inside detention and 10 deaths in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody since the start of the fiscal year, immigration detention continues to be exposed as a fatally flawed system that needs to be shut down.

Consider this: If one of your children or another family member was incarcerated, and not given a bail hearing or any other avenue to seek freedom or even information about their legal situation, and were kept behind bars for months with no idea when they might be released, you would understandably be outraged and banging down the institutional doors to straighten that out. There are literally thousands of families going through that right now, but their immigration status makes them vulnerable to what we would call unconstitutional treatment. How can that be? How can we have rights for some but not others? I would argue a Constitution that doesn't cover everybody actually covers nobody. Habits are hard to break, and it's only a matter of time before US citizens are also detained indefinitely. Here are the details of the rally:

Profiles in hatred: Anti-Muslim extremists invade US cities

White supremacy seems to be the common denominator:

Far-right groups converged on the grounds of the State Capitol in Raleigh for an anti-sharia law rally, part of a nationwide string of events hosted by the anti-Muslim organization ACT for America, on Saturday. “There are no KKK here, there are no Nazis here,” said Peter Boykin, president of Gays for Trump and the local coordinator for the Raleigh anti-sharia rally. Despite his disavowal of extremism, Boykin publicly thanked Identity Evropa, a group founded last year that openly espouses white supremacy, after members in matching white dress shirts punctuated speeches with chants of, “Sharia-free USA” and “We will not be silenced.”

If you're wondering (as I frequently do) on what could lead to somebody joining such a fringe group, which often requires traveling great distances just to publicly display your ignorance, the most obvious first choice is deeply-ingrained racism. But it's more than that, and at least some of the responsibility may rest on our shoulders. To go this far, you have to also possess an incredible lack of trust in our system of government, the way our laws are developed and enforced. Many on the Left are guilty of relentlessly attacking that (entire) system, as opposed to being surgical in their criticisms, and this has helped to erode public trust across the board. And in that trust-deficient environment, fear always steps in to fill the void. And so we hear the names of ambiguous and "code-enhanced" groups emerging:

Carrying the Millennial banner a little too far

You'd have better luck getting oil & vinegar to mix than some of these folks:

A nonprofit, the Millennial Action Project, has organized the caucus along with similar groups in other states and in Congress. The North Carolina caucus is co-led by Rep. Chaz Beasley, a Charlotte Democrat, Rep. Kyle Hall, a King Republican, Sen. Chad Barefoot, a Wake Forest Republican, and Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, a Raleigh Democrat. Beasley, Hall and Chaudhuri kicked off their outreach effort Wednesday with a news conference at the Legislative Building.

“It is important to confront the issues that are important to our youngest citizens,” Chaudhuri said, suggesting that lawmakers may hold public forums on college campuses.

It's also important not to waste time and effort trying to build bridges to nowhere. Or to have your message diluted by a fellow caucus member whose views are diametrically opposed to your own. Chad Barefoot was a Primary Sponsor of the bill (now law) wresting control of our Boards of Election from Governor Cooper, and he's also trying to strip a lot more funding from our traditional public schools and give it to charters:

Judge Marcia Morey chosen to serve out Paul Luebke's term in Legislature

A new voice for justice and the environment steps forward:

Durham County Democrats voted to appoint Morey to the House District 30 seat Thursday night. She is a permanent replacement for a vacancy created by the October death of Paul Luebke, 70, a Democrat who represented Durham for 25 years in the state House. Phil Lehman was appointed to the seat the night before the Nov. 8 election to fill the seat temporarily.

Five people were nominated to fill the two-year seat. Morey, 61, received a majority of votes from a subset of the Durham County Democratic Party that included precinct chairs and vice chairs and elected officials who live in the district.

While Judge Morey downplays her status as an openly-gay addition to the General Assembly, her selection (and Chris Sgro's) by local Democratic Party officers is not something that should be written off as "meaningless," or bone-throwing, or whatever other dismissive term comes to mind. We need more LGBT folks in office, not fewer, and this move needs to be part of any discussion that takes place on the value of the Democratic Party's approach to matters of equality. I'm not saying it should "wipe away" concerns, just that it be included in the discussion for the sake of perspective.

Roy Cooper goes on the record about HB142 deal

Actually, Doug Clark's blog is called Off The Record, but let's not quibble:

The Democratic governor is engaged in damage control today. He even called me, even though my take and the N&R editorial favored the compromise while acknowledging its drawbacks. We spoke for 23 minutes, mostly on the record. Cooper insisted yesterday's bill represents "nothing but forward movement" for North Carolina and ticked off the reasons why.

By repealing HB 2, it removes any directive on bathroom use. "People can go where they want," he said, meaning that transgender men can use men's facilities, transgender women can use women's facilities as they always have. Gone is the language requiring them to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate.

I've been hawking social media today to gauge responses, and have seen a lot of analyses that point out what this deal has actually accomplished, versus yesterday's seeming consensus that it was HB2 all over again. But those who do support this move need to be real damn careful, and not create false hope. Just because HB2's bathroom/birth certificate bullshit is no longer statute, it doesn't automatically follow that, "People can go where they want." If it wasn't a problem before, if transgender men and women didn't have to "hold it" or make 2-3 trips home every day just to use the bathroom, that part of the Charlotte Ordinance wouldn't have been needed in the first place. It was a problem, and still is a problem, because without protections every trip to a public restroom is a gamble. And after a whole year of HB2 controversy, that gamble probably feels a lot more dangerous than before. Here are some other facets that may have been overlooked yesterday:

Historical context of the rise of HB2 and other discriminatory practices

Barry Yeoman at the Indy spells it out:

House Bill 2 seemed like a bolt from nowhere. One day transgender North Carolinians were living low-profile lives; the next day their most private moments were being bandied about without a modicum of understanding. But the new law was not a bolt from nowhere. It can be understood by examining the decades preceding its passage. If history is a river, then at least three distinct tributaries converged in Raleigh on March 23.

The first is the growing practice by state lawmakers—one that took root during the Reagan era—of slapping back local governments that get too proactive. The second is the successful national Republican effort to seize control of North Carolina's government. And the third is the recent visibility of transgender Americans, their push for legal equality, and the utterly predictable backlash.

Before we continue, a few words on what may be about to happen today. The supposed compromise bill that has emerged is, in some ways, worse than a few of the bills the GOP has floated since last year to repeal HB2. But it's important to understand, those other bills did *not* hit the floor for a vote, without some last-minute alterations that changed them into something different. So before we start whining about what could have been, keep that in mind. We don't really know what could have been, and speculation at this time is pointless. And before anybody starts lining up Democrats for excoriation for supporting this bill, such as a Tweet I just saw calling for a new NCDP Chair election to oust Wayne Goodwin, the responsibility for HB2 and its consequences falls solely on the shoulders of the Republicans who wrote it and passed it. They want this controversy to tear the Democratic Party apart, but we can't allow that to happen. The article continues:

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Republican bigotry