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North Carolina’s Body Politic: A Cadaverous Stump?

You know how everyone’s extended family has at least one raging drunk tucked into the mix? Who always totters around family gatherings, slurring their words, eating all the pinwheel sandwiches, and standing up and toasting at the most inopportune times, usually without their pants?

Well, I just saw mine on the news, and stared slack-jawed at the television screen.

And hung my head in shame, muttering, “Jesus. Get ahold of yourself!” as the newscast droned on about her latest antics.

But it’s not Aunt Patty making headlines tonight.

It’s my former home state: North Carolina.

***

Not only has North Carolina’s Republican majority routinely walked out of the Houses without their proverbial pants, but they seemed to have forgotten a little something else.

No, not the pantyhose tucked into their underwear. The Constitution.

With every slash the Republican majority makes to Medicaid, to voter rights, to LGBTQ rights, to women’s rights, to immigrant rights, to environmental protection, to religious freedom, North Carolina’s body politic is resembling a cadaverous stump.

Republican-authored legislation has been hemorrhaging minority rights at such alarming rates, it’s difficult to identify suitable tourniquets. But even when citizens apply pressure to quell the bleeding, they’re rewarded with handcuffs.

The most recent legislative lunacy evidences the callous disregard the Republican majority has for the rights of those “others” who don’t line their pockets with dirty money.

Who work and work and work for a better future, and are constantly feeling the swift breeze of so many doors slamming in their faces.

Who are just trying to get by.

Who just want a legal ID that reflects their gender identity.

Who just want to govern their own reproductive organs.

Who just want to marry the person they love.

Who just want to be acknowledged.

Who just want peace and balance, with a touch of order.

Who just want a state that takes into account all of its constituents, not just the wealthiest or whitest.

***

Before long, the newscast shifts to the weather, and I stare back down at the stack of papers on the cafe table, and think about our Disunited States.

How absurd it is that, after crossing state lines, the stories of minorities retaining civil rights read like chapters from The Lord of the Flies.

How foolish it is for there not to be blanket protections for all citizens–that gender identity, socioeconomic class, sex, and ethnicity are still such divisive topics, and often limit the rights extended to a state’s constituents.

It’s a sad time in our country when the drunk relative becomes the role model.

When a raucous few are rewarded for pouring them another, and the cab called by a concerned majority leaves empty.

When I don’t regret leaving a state I once loved.

6 thoughts on “North Carolina’s Body Politic: A Cadaverous Stump?

  1. First of all, what a great photo! The CA DMV made me look like a dissipated yuppie about to expire. Truly, an excellent photo of you! On a more serious note, you might want to edit this post & blur out your personal info- I’m sure your loyal blog readers such as myself are not psychopaths or criminals but with home address & licence number a less than stellar individual could possibly do something untoward. I know, I’m a worry wart but I can’t help myself- you’ll forgive my intrusiveness.
    As far as NC goes I echo everything you wrote; my mom is from NC & it was always a reasonably progressive southern state. The R’s are running roughshod over the constitution & the good people of NC; I think they’re overreaching & will be repudiated in the next election but in the meantime it’s just awful. I understand why you & Andy moved here- you guys put up a good fight in NC for gay rights but at some point you have to put your own interests first. I hope CA proves to be your ” Golden State” and that you will prosper & thrive.

    1. HA! Very good point, Mike. After another friend commented about the same thing, I realized how dumb I was to post that 😉

      I KNOW! The DMV totally hippie-fied me. It’s such a shame NC is screwing so many people; I just hope it gets itself in order!

      1. I’m glad your friend thought so as well; I’m probably too trusting myself but there’s so much fraud & just plain weird stuff out there. I had one of credit card numbers lifted a few yrs back & got a call from the company asking “Did you spend $800 at Starbucks?” Uh, no. I like coffee but … this is when they were still selling expensive coffee makers in store and I guess the con artists just helped themselves to a few.
        My dear spouse had something worse happen- not only did someone get his credit card info but they also made up a phoney DL with his info but their photo. After a spending spree the issuing bank put a hold on the card & contacted him. It was a bear to straighten out- it took weeks of work, a police report,yadda yadda. Hence my concern! I wouldn’t want you or anyone else to go through all that!

        1. Blah–yeah, there’re a lot of losers out there who love to steal things. Having had my information swiped before, you’d think I’d know better! Oh, the things I do without coffee!

  2. Although we miss you two like crazy, we sure don’t blame you for heading for a better place. You worked hard for NC while you were here, and we continue to fight, but it’s going to take a while to bring this back to something like fair and equal. Bless Dr. Barber for his determination to keep this on the front burner even as our Genral Assembly members make fools of themselves in the national news.

    1. Le sigh. I know! All of the coverage today was great in so many ways, but just as horrific in others. The fight continues, and I’m raising a clenched fist in solidarity from the left coast 😉

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