Bigotry is a lousy money maker (a reprise)

The following post has been dusted off from four years ago as a result of the current NC Lt. Governor Mark Robinson’s pride in his slurs of transgender and homosexual folks, that have gone largely unanswered by fellow Republicans. I will not repeat them here, but it should be noted his remarks have not set too well with many. The Charlotte Observer has two editorials from yesterday called “Lt. governor’s rants about fake issues do real harm” by the Editorial Board while the other is called “‘Filth’ sends an old message to LGBTQ in NC” by a columnist in the Raleigh News and Observer.

I have written before how coexisting and capitalism are not at odds with each other, in spite of the attempts of some through bumper stickers to show you should pick one or the other. History has shown, it is far more economical to coexist. Why? More customers. And, more customers means more jobs.

In my home state of North Carolina, we have forgotten this equation. In early 2016, our General Assembly rammed through a discriminatory law called HB2 in a special session taking just ten hours. I recognize fully the transgender bathroom portion of the law gets most of the press, but the piece which has caused the most consternation in the eyes of businesses looking at our state and ruling bodies of the NBA, NCAA and ACC, is the elimination of LGBTQ people as a protected class who should not be discriminated against.

The transgender portion was sold on fear without much data to support its issues. So, it is hard to back away from something its supporters made people scared of. But, let’s set that part aside and focus on the LGBTQ part. While there are proponents of HB2 who will argue the bathroom law should remain, the denial of protection to LGBTQ folks is flat out unconstitutional.

The proponents of the law said it is only the cities that are impacted by this law due to larger populations of LGBTQ people. Legislators in rural NC say what does it matter if Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro don’t get sporting events or new businesses? The economic dilemma for the rural parts of the state is this concept of revenue sharing. A portion of sales taxes from larger cities are distributed throughout the state to help finance smaller investments and pay for services.

The less money in the big cities means less money for the state. And, our entire state has damaged its reputation not just around the country, but around the world. I have read that some members of the General Assembly say they had no idea there would be such a backlash. The answer to these legislators is you did not take the time to know passing the law in ten hours.

I firmly believe HB2 should be fully repealed. Its treatment of transgender people using a sledgehammer approach to legislation is unjust. There could have been a more surgical answer. So, short of a full repeal, let me offer a compromise.

  • eliminate the LGBTQ discrimination feature in its entirety before you are made to by the courts. This feature is unconstitutional. Period.
  • eliminate the feature on restricting a city from having a higher minimum wage; cities who have larger economic competition and cost of living should have the right to allow a higher minimum wage than the national one. This feature needs to be vetted more than it was by itself.
  • change the transgender portion of the law to do the following; if a person has a formal document indicating a gender different from his or her birth certificate, he or she should legally have the right to use the bathroom he or she identifies with.

Again, I believe the whole law should be repealed. Yet, this compromise should help the state move forward before these business decisions not to move, expand or hold events here are more recognizable in our economic growth. The scary part, as shared by Chamber of Commerce recruiters, is we have no idea how many organizations did not consider North Carolina.

Jesus told us to treat others like he we want to be treated. It is the right thing to do as well as the economical thing to do. Bigotry is not much of a money-maker.

As a Christian and independent voter, one of my pet peeves is when so-called leaders, misuse their mantle and convey bigotry. Whether they are ministers, CEOs or elected officials, we need them to be among our better angels and be inclusive. To me, a chance to be inclusive has been missed by the relative silence of others leaders in the same party. The same goes for the other party, when one of its elected officials goes astray.

13 thoughts on “Bigotry is a lousy money maker (a reprise)

  1. It strikes me that some politicians use controversial subjects to raise their own profile whilst trying to pass subjects that allow for their own bigotry. They base their support of the subject on the one who shouts the loudest must be right, and assume that it makes them look strong to the public.

    • Yet they forget hat the laws are intended to be for the protection of he public, some of whom will be LGBTQ. If they conducted surveys beforehand that showed this is what the public wanted I could almost forgive their actions. But these days many people will know someone from the LGBTQ section of society, maybe even have family members who have ‘Come out’ in more enlightened times and don’t want the protections to end. The bigoted politician is misusing his office to take away the rights of his/her constituents. It seems there is a certain party intent bon removing as many rights as they can from the people and forming a dictatorship with no help for anyone in case it appears too Liberal. It seems another party has neither the will nor the determination to stop this .

      • David, your combined comments are well said. It is sad that some use wedge issues to heighten their popularity or, in this case, notoriety. There is a terrific letter to the editor in response to the two editorials, which I will post shortly. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: The following excellent letter to the editor was in The Charlotte Observer this morning:

    “I have to wonder if Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson cares about kids. His recent comments actively hurt kids, including mine.

    He’s wrong to claim he speaks for NC parents. He absolutely does not.

    He is not being ‘bullied.’ He is receiving valid criticism for his hurtful, ignorant remarks.

    I realize it has become common in politics to bully others while playing the victim, but history will not look kindly on this behavior. Robinson is using the old playbook of demonizing a vulnerable group of people to further his political career. He’s keeping some very ugly company.

    My kids have enough knowledge and support to know that his comments reflect poorly on him, not them. It’s the kids without strong support or good information that I worry about.”

    Beth S.

  3. Well said Keith.
    Speaking from the Socialist side of things, I am very surprised the politicians involved were not aware of the implications to their funding. After all The Overall Market is surely gender and race neutral, and if there is one thing The Market does not like is instability. Any hard Left-Winger could tell them that.
    And they can’t rely on contributions solely from MAGA supporters.

    • Roger, well said. To support your market not liking instability comment, having worked with many CFOs over the years, the CFO prefers a stable higher cost over a lower instable one. Mind you, if the difference is much higher, they will want to know why, but predictable budgets are the goal. Keith

      • Roger, to me there are more than a few truisms that sometimes need to be reiterated when politicians are up to their hypocritical selves. Keith

  4. Note to Readers: Even churches fail to realize this. If a minister preaches a message of exclusivity, it will be a self-fulfilling prophesy, as church attendance will wane. One of my best examples is a church growing membership after a female asked and received permission to do an exercise class. Later, the minister walked in on said class, only to find it was a yoga class. He made them stop as he had the misguided impression they were teaching a different religion, yet they were only providing exercise guidance. Membership in the church retrenched after his stopping the program.

  5. Note to Readers: One of the worst examples of bigotry from the pulpit is a minister in a town just north of where I live advocated putting gays and lesbians behind an electrified fence and letting them die off. We would feed them he magnanimously offered. But, really? And, you’re a minister?

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