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“Recognizing The Human Rights Of All”: Bravo, Bruce: Springsteen’s Stand Against North Carolina Law

When the forces of intolerance and bigotry prevail, as they have lately in Southern states that passed laws institutionalizing discrimination against gay and transgender Americans, it can be tempting to think they are impervious to argument. There is, however, one thing that lawmakers like those in North Carolina do heed – money.

After North Carolina passed a law last month perpetuating discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, PayPal canceled its plans to build a large presence in that state, costing North Carolina 400 jobs at the planned office and countless dollars.

Today, Bruce Springsteen, a champion of social justice in his public and personal life, announced that he was canceling a scheduled concert in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday and will refund tickets.

“North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the ‘bathroom’ law,” he said in a statement. The law, he explained, “dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden.”

Mr. Springsteen said the law was “an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress.” He noted that some people and groups in North Carolina were fighting to have the law repealed. “This is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters,” Mr. Springsteen said, adding: “Some things are more important than a rock show.”

He said that this was “the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band deserve a huge round of applause, as does Charles Barkley, the basketball great, who has urged the National Basketball Association to move its All-Star Game next year away from Charlotte, N.C., unless the law is repealed. The N.B.A. should do that without hesitation.

Remember, the NCAA’s president, Mark Emmert, said he would move the collegiate sports association’s events out of Indiana unless it deleted a similar law, and other business organizations actually did cancel events in Indiana. The law, which was signed by Gov. Mike Pence with great fanfare, was later “fixed” in a foolish and ineffective way, but should simply have been repealed.

In South Carolina, the intervention by big companies like BMW and Bridgestone Tire helped force the hands of racists in the state government who had resisted removing the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the state Capitol.

Mr. Springsteen is taking to heart the adage that all it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to remain silent. What are others who do business in and with North Carolina waiting for?

 

By: Andrew Rosenthal, Taking Note, The Editorial Page Editor’s Blog, The New York Times, April 8, 2016

April 9, 2016 - Posted by | Bigotry, Bruce Springsteen, Discrimination, LGBT | , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. I found of interest in this morning’s Charlotte Observer, an article that echoed the NC GOP standing firm with comments from US Senator Richard Burr saying HB2 won’t harm business in North Carolina. He felt PayPal was an anomaly. Right above this article was the article on Bruce Springsteen’s boycott and two pages later was a business article which spoke of the previous day’s CNBC Squawk Box being aired in a suburb of Charlotte just across the border in SC. It was attended by Duke Energy’s CEO Lynn Good, Erskine Bowles, Former GOP Senator Alan Simpson and others.

    Senator Burr does not fully realize how South Carolina is already leveraging the Charlotte, NC asset as well or better than NC. It should be noted to the credit of GOP SC Governor Nikki Haley, that she threw water on a similar bathroom bill effort saying it was not needed. The SC Governor represents what he future of the GOP should be, while the NC Governor and General Assembly represent the past. I would go further and say Haley would be a far better presidential candidate than the two clowns leading the GOP contest right now.

    Like

    Comment by Keith | April 9, 2016 | Reply

    • For some reason, North Carolina seems to be regressing. Corporations understand money and so should NC Gov and legislature. It’s shameful that they have decided to throw all caution to the wind.The negative press is certainly not going to help their long term economy and job growth.

      Like

      Comment by raemd95 | April 9, 2016 | Reply

      • Especially when you want to attract tech companies like PayPal. Two other firms are reconsidering expansion and a couple of conventions have been canceled.

        Like

        Comment by Keith | April 9, 2016


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