Opinion

Opinion

Editorial: Coach Roy gets it: HB2 'is just not right.' So should our legislators

Posted March 24, 2017 5:00 a.m. EDT
Updated March 24, 2017 5:49 a.m. EDT

A CBC Editorial: Friday, March 24, 2017; Editorial # 8139
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

A year ago North Carolina woke up and discrimination was the law of the land.

Today, HB2 are the scarlet letters North Carolinians wear, no matter where in the world they roam. The negative buzz continues to grow.

A Google search on HB2 yields 4.9 million results. It even has its own lengthy Wikipedia entry.

House Bill 2 architects Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger can travel the nation and state, trying to minimize the intent and impact. Those who concocted the whole HB2 fiasco, like former Gov. Pat McCrory, continue to wrongly blame the tragedy on those they sought to exploit. McCrory and others chalk up the self-inflicted mess on some vast conspiracy orchestrated by “politically correct thought police.”

No one buys it. Forest, Berger and the other backers have damaged North Carolina’s reputation. The perception of North Carolina’s brand has gone from an incubator for enlightened innovation, commerce and hardworking creativity to a bastion of rigid ideology and mediocre expectations.

After 50 years of building a reputation as a beacon of the New South, it’s taken just a year for HB2 to obliterate it – leaving many to ponder just how a state could become so dim so fast?

Just last week talk about House Bill 2 shared top billing with basketball in the news coming out of Greenville, S.C. North Carolina teams were playing in the opening rounds of the NCAA championship tournament there instead of Greensboro, as initially intended. Thursday the NCAA issued a statement via Twitter that if HB2 isn't repealed soon, North Carolina would be out of the running for any championship events through 2022.

But despite the change of venue for his team, UNC coach Roy Williams said we shouldn’t be focusing on basketball when we consider what’s wrong with HB2:

“It shouldn’t just be about athletic events.” Williams said earlier this week. “It should be about right and wrong. And what we have now is wrong. … It’s not just about athletics. It is just not right.”

Williams is right. Accepting our diverse society isn’t a choice or a problem to be fixed. It is a reality. Embracing diversity as an opportunity, rather than fighting its inevitability, is critical to North Carolina’s future.

Discriminating against anyone, just because they are different, is wrong. This is a matter of conscience. The General Assembly must, without delay, repeal HB 2.

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The following Triangle-area members of the General Assembly voted for HB2 a year ago. They were on the wrong side of the issue then and continue to be out of step with their constituents and the needs of the state today. If they fail to vote for repeal of HB2, it should become a determining issue in the next election. Voting for HB2 were: Rep. Nelson Dollar (Nelson.Dollar@ncleg.net); Rep. Chris Malone (Chris.Malone@ncleg.net); Sen. John Alexander (John.Alexander@ncleg.net); Sen. Chad Barefoot (Chad.Barefoot@ncleg.net) and Sen. Tamara Barringer (Tamara.Barringer@ncleg.net). Let them know they need to repeal HB2.

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