Thursday, December 22, 2016

False Equivalency, Again

By Baxter

Remember when North Carolina was a bastion of Southern progressivism? No worries if you don't. The days of Terry Sanford and Jim Hunt are long gone, and today the state has slipped alarmingly backward — with the malevolent spirit of the Ghost of Haters Past, Jesse Helms, reigning supreme. (If he were still around, though, Helms probably wouldn't be pleased that he plays a bit part in the celebratory exhibit on Robert Mapplethorpe, now at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.)

North Carolina descended into chaos and idiocy yesterday, as the you-repeal-yours-I'll-repeal-mine deal to junk the state's notorious HB2 "bathroom bill" fell apart. Republicans' heads exploded when the Charlotte City Council left intact its community relations committee's power to nix discrimination. So GOP legislators fired back: Leave HB2 on the books, they said, for a six-month "cooling off" period, after which they'd maybe kinda sorta look at a repeal.

The result: Lots of insults, a ton of finger-pointing, and no deal. But color us cats skeptical on the Republicans' umbrage.

After all, why are those two things equal? Why does empowering a city committee to deal with discriminatory practices that may or may not happen rise to the level of leaving a hate-based, paranoid, unenforceable, business-killing, tourism-killing, and collegiate and professional sports-killing law in place for half a year — and maybe forever? Somebody please explain.

And why would a state not want to protect its citizens from discrimination, anyway? Maybe we should visit that Mapplethorpe exhibit again — just because we know Jesse Helms wouldn't want us to. Meanwhile, we urge the world to continue its boycott of the Tarheel State, whose knavish Republican rulers make us HISS.

UPDATE: The Electoral Integrity Project has concluded that North Carolina no longer ranks as a democracy. How many other Republican-run states would also qualify? We cats HISS again.

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