John Russell laments the current political leadership in North Carolina.
We’re an old state, and this is not the first time we’ve been ruled by dangerous fools. The worst bunch were the white supremacists who rose up in the 1890s to smash every good thing about racial progress. After destroying the signs and symbols of black and white people living equally together, they passed the Jim Crow laws to put everybody back into a proper box. The Jim Crow laws have been the gold standard of repression for decades.
These Republicans now aim to set a new gold standard. They have spent three long years keeping citizens from voting, taking money from schoolchildren, denying medical care to the poor, writing bigoted laws and bullying inconvenient professors who tell the truth about them. Oh, yes, and they’ve given a tax cut to people who didn’t need it.
Part of the new Republican creed is humiliation. They must rub their enemies in the dirt. Make no mistake, in passing HB2, they meant to rub the LGBT community in the dirt. But they also meant to rub Charlotte in the dirt. The city is too rich, too tolerant, and its mayor is a Democrat. Over two centuries ago, Lord Cornwallis couldn’t conquer Charlotte. He fled, pronouncing it a hornet’s nest of revolution. Now, Republicans organize Charlotte’s bathrooms. I can see the ghost of Cornwallis riding with them down Trade Street, policing potties. From a bony steed, he menaces citizens without their papers. Ah, Mecklenburg, revenge is sweet!