Saturday, May 12, 2012

Visit North Carolina Facebook Page Shuts Down after Hearing from Folks Angry at North Carolina's Bigotry

North Carolina, later the same day--a quick update to what I posted earlier today about the North Carolina constitutional amendment vote this past week:

As news outlets all over the country (and world, actually) (this is one among many such links, this one from the Kansas City Star) were reporting earlier today, the "Visit North Carolina" Facebook page became the site of lively conversations soon after North Carolinians voted in a large majority to amend their constitution to outlaw gay marriage.  Except, of course, it was already outlawed in that state, so this was a gratuitous and costly (more on that in a moment) little act of spite on the part of a majority of citizens of the state, aimed directly at a targeted minority to tell the targeted community it's considered dirt by a majority of North Carolinians.  The amendment also (stupidly, in my view, since the same stupid move a few years ago in Arkansas led to legal challenges and a state supreme court ruling that knocked the stupid legislation down) creates problems for non-gay couples who are not legally married.

And about that Facebook page: I was participating in the lively conversation there, agreeing with the many folks logging in to say it will be a cold day in hell before they/we plan a vacation to North Carolina anytime soon.  And that, as Richard Florida has pointed out over and over, educated and talented people will stop moving to and spending money in a place that revels in such ignorant prejudice against a targeted minority group.

And now guess what?  The Facebook page has shut itself down.  Whoever sponsors it (the state itself, I assume)* has shut the page down, because they don't want to hear the negative feedback they elicited when they passed amendment 1.  They don't want to hear from prospective tourists, former tourists, people who were considering retiring in North Carolina but have now changed their mind--all of whom were giving the state feedback at the Facebook page--about the price tag with which their recent spree of bigotry comes.

Whoever sponsors the Facebook page would rather censor that conversation.  Adding to and compounding the image the state has now earned for itself as benighted and prejudiced . . . . 

As I said in my earlier posting, many people--including many people of faith--want to retain the "right" to slap and knock gay folks down, while defining us as human dirt.  Because, they imagine, God tells them to do so.

But this kind of quite specific religiously fueled hate comes with a higher and higher price tag in the world in which we live, and it's clear that many North Carolina citizens who voted for the amendment didn't think about that price tag when they satisfied their urge to kick a targeted minority group in the privacy of the polling booth earlier in the week.  It's clear the state now has a HUGE image problem on its hands, and will not ever again--not for a long, long time--be able to pass itself off as the kindler, gentler, more educated and progressive South.  The alternative to Mississippi . . . . 

Mississippi East has just bought itself a great big old dose of embarrassment at the polls, because most of us outside the increasingly small closed circles in which homophobia thrives live in a world in which those whom homophobes have long thought they could reduce to the level of dirt with impunity are talking back.  The dirt is talking back, and those who love the human beings reduced to dirt by small-minded and ill-informed people are also talking back.

And, strangely enough, this mystifies those who had imagined that when God tells them to reduce others to dirt, that dirt would not be capable of talking back.  Part of the very special kind of stupidity that continues to compel many people, including many people of faith, in many places in this nation to keep passing legislation like this is that they simply haven't begun to realize that it's they themselves who end up looking low, mean, and unattractive when they pass spiteful legislation targeting gay folks.  It's they themselves who end up looking dumber than dirt.

Not the gays they've tried to define that way.

*Yes, the NC Department of Commerce, I now discover.

The graphic from Truth Wins Out shows the correlation between education and pro or con votes on Amendment 1 this week in North Carolina.  As it shows, the counties voting most strongly against Amendment 1 also have the highest percentage of citizens over 25 who have completed a bachelor's degree

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