Randy commented on the blog post NC: answering the question again – ‘Why don’t LGBTs there just pick up and leave and go to a Blue state?’
I’ve lived in NC all my life.
I remember the embarrassment of hearing Jesse Helms railing against homosexuals and the get out the vote drives against him in the gay community. I saw many of my friends over the years die from AIDS, stigmatized and ostracized by their families or an NC health care system that didn’t give a damn. I also very clearly remember in the 90s trying to put together three gay-themed indie docs and being turned away from otherwise liberal and progressive Triangle film and arts organizations because of the subject matter of my work.
There are several problems with NC’s left.
The NC Democratic Party is out of touch and organizing and campaigning with methods and an attitude from 30 or 40 years ago. During this election cycle, I got tons of flyers in the mail everyday from the NC Republican Party and perhaps one or two from the Dems. I got calls every few days from the national Obama campaign and outside groups like MoveOn, asking me to help organize for Obama’s reelection – nothing from the NC Dems.
I have a friend that’s been laid off for a good three years, strugling with no health insurance on small part-time jobs. He’s about to loose his house. He’s been a strong advocate and volunteer for the Dems for years. He got tons of calls from Republicans and only one from the NC Dems inviting him to attend a $250 a plate dinner.
NC Dems, for two decades, have focused on economic growth in the Charlotte, Triangle and Triad areas and have offered no solutions for rural NC except promoting tourism. It’s no wonder that I’m seeing my home town bereft of young families with skills and education moving away to the cities or out of state for jobs, leaving the area very old and very much in control of right-wing extremists.
Progressives in the Triangle have gotten all hot and bothered about the rights of migrant workers or human rights violations in some far-off place, living in a little bubble that’s not engaged with what’s going on right here in NC.
It’s not just Art Pope’s money that’s changing NC’s political landscape. It’s a left that isn’t responsive and engaged with what NC really needs.
The only reason I’m staying in NC for the moment is to help take care of my aging parents. I have no plans to stay here. Many of my friends gave up on NC years ago, while I held out some hope that things could change. I’ve thrown in the towel – it will probably take one or two generations to undo the damage to the state’s economy and social climate that hate-filled Republicans and oblivious Democrats have allowed to occur.
Randy commented on the blog post Earth to the President: voters and donors you need are checking out of the process
Don’t forget that the “official” unemployment numbers are bogus – they don’t count those that have given up on looking for a job. It’s much more than 8%.
Randy commented on the blog post Earth to the President: voters and donors you need are checking out of the process
I think there’s a bit more to the lack of donors that the raw numbers might imply.
The sense I get when talking with people or reading blogs is that many people on the left or right/centrist realm of the liberal spectrum are giving up on the process in general – they’re starting to feel that “the fix is in” and that what really matters in politics is big money. They don’t see how their donation can make a difference in a process that looks “rigged” or, at the very least, is being dictated by large cash donors.
Secondly, the types of smaller donors that the data looks at are the type who would be most impacted by the economic mess. Things are getting worse – unemployment isn’t improving and prices for basics are rising. Many of these donors probably have different priorities, like paying bills, more so than they did the last time around.
As far as NC, I think that the influence of Art Pope’s money on the debate here in NC can’t be discounted in turning swing voters to the right. In rural areas of NC, the economy’s been much worse than urban areas, so it’s no surprise that voters would have less confidence in Obama. And, since 2008, I’m willing to bet there’s been something of a demographic shift with many young, well educated and more liberal voters heading out of state trying to find work – conservative, less educated voters would be likely to stay put or come “back home” to NC to live with family in tougher economic times.
Face it – if you live in the Triangle area, you’re pretty much in a bubble and I don’t think you appreciate how much NC teeters on the edge of ultra-conservative politics and extremist racism and homophobia. It only takes some small demographic shifts, right wing advertising and propaganda, and economic worries to tip things in the other direction.
I’ll be so glad when I can move out of here.
Randy commented on the blog post Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt: Why You Shouldn’t Boycott North Carolina
I have to disagree strongly with Mayor Kleinschmidt on this one.
I’m a life-long resident of NC, openly gay, originally from the Wautauga-Ashe County area. In recent years, I’ve seen the rural areas in western and central NC grow progressively more conservative, “Tea Bagger” oriented, and bigoted.
Kleinschmidt mentions several areas that voted overwhelmingly against the Amendment. Those are only a few places in NC that compete for tourists. Sure, Waugtauga can be more liberal, but go over the county line to Ashe or Wilkes, both of which compete for tourists with camping, fishing, etc, and you’re firmly in areas that support the Amendment.
Ashe and Wilkes seem to be going through something quite similar to other rural areas of NC, like Asheboro and Reidsville or Lexington, close to the furniture show center High Point. Young people and newly married couples are leaving these areas in droves leaving people that are older and less educated or young people that turn more towards drugs and petty crime to get by.
This didn’t happen overnight. Throughout the 90s and 2000s, the state government in Raleigh put more of its resources in economic development in the Triad and Triangle areas. As factories moved out of rural areas, supporting a strong middle class, state lawmakers didn’t work on basic infrastructure and development to keep a middle class alive in these areas.
The end result is a resurgence in hate speech, with people with no opportunities watching their communities disintegrate before their very eyes. It’s no wonder the KKK is holding a well-publicized meeting in Harmony or that you go up to Ashe and see signs with birthed and homophobic claptrap all over the place.
I support the boycott for two reasons. I think gays, lesbians and transexuals or other minorities have a good reason to be concerned about their personal safety if they leave the liberal “bubbles” in the Triad, Triangle or college towns.
Secondly, state lawmakers need to be sent a message that they can’t just bury their head in the sand about raising the standard of living and education levels in rural counties – these areas drag down the whole picture of economic development in the state.
At one time, I thought about retiring to my home town in western NC, but no more. For the first time in my life and approaching fifty, I’m thinking about moving out of NC. The backbone of the state – the rural areas – have gone straight to hell the past couple of decades and the Amendment One vote is just one big indicator of how low the state has fallen.
So, yeah, Mayor Kleinschmidt, I encourage you to go to some counties that voted in favor of Amendment One with your partner and sit in some restaurants and talk openly about your relationship and your gay friends. Then tell us if you don’t get your car tires slashed or worse.
Randy commented on the blog post Can’t wait for the GOP’s ‘metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln’ smear of Obama
Hmm… the last time I checked, Obama was a gay Nazi socialist liberal Black Panther Marxist Muslim atheist abortionist from Kenya with communist leanings that’s going to take away guns from all Americans.
Have I forgotten any? Has anyone called him a Mexican transexual lesbian yet?
Randy commented on the blog post Discredited anti-gay ‘researcher’ Paul Cameron: I’ve been attracted to men since I was 3
Explain to me, please, why anyone seriously pays attention to someone who is so obviously mentally ill?
I’m not trying to be funny. This guy needs treatment.
Randy commented on the blog post Watch it: Lincoln, Nebraska woman’s mind-blowing anti-gay screed at public hearing
Not all homophobic conservatives are like this. Some of them just mumble this crap at home and not in front of polite company.
Randy commented on the blog post NOM’s latest ‘victims of alleged gay agenda’ following familiar script of lies
A bigger question here is whether the couple could be supportive of _any_ child that didn’t conform to their religious views, whether gay or straight. This isn’t about respecting their religious views, it’s about their problem with respect for any child from a different cultural or religious background that would be in their care.
Randy commented on the blog post No surprise: NC anti-gay Pastor Patrick Wooden pimps his ‘life-earned,’ non-academic doctorate
I can’t find out anything about two of the accreditation bodies mentioned on the schools website. Wikipedia is pretty comprehensive on these things, listing some of the smallest and most obscure universities, schools and education related organizations and even they don’t have listings for them.
However, the American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions has been described as a diploma mill based in Rocky Mount, NC. It’s not recognized by the US Dept of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
If you look on this part of the university’s website, they cite NC statute GS 116-15 in an obscure way:
All the statute does is require that educational institutions offering degrees have licenses to operate in the state of North Carolina and that those offering religious degrees are exempt.
So, anyone in NC can start a Christian online “college”, charging up up to $5,000 for a “degree”, as this one does, and it would be perfectly legal.
If your curious who is touting a degree from this “institution”, type this as a google search:
“degree from” “north carolina college of theology”
There are plenty of wannabe Elmer Gantrys out there who have one. Oh, and lookie, here’s some Republican political candidates with “degrees” from the college:
Randy commented on the blog post Gov. Chris Gregoire Is the 3rd Catholic Governor in a Row to Champion Marriage Equality
The Governor should be applauded for being a true American, letting tolerance and freedom of religion for _all_ of her constituents guiding her as a principled leader. We need more people like her in the leadership of the national Democratic party.
Randy commented on the blog post GOP Clown Car runs off of the road, accelerating on its gay and womb-control obsession
I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss GOP candidates and call them “clowns” on issues surrounding gay equality.
They’re playing to deep-set fears of hard-core Republicans – extremist Christians and conservatives with bigotry issues are no laughing matter. They feel that the world they grew up in, whether it was in a segregated and closeted little town in the 50s or 60s or in the hate-filled era of Reagan Southern-strategy politics in the 80s, is changing and they just can’t deal with that change. It’s not the “America” they want.
I think it’s dangerous to take this too lightly. It lets the candidates spew hate without serious questions about their respect for freedom of religion or the true nature of what America is, and can be, going into the 21st century.
Liberals have an obligation to call these people on bigotry and hatred and spread the word that this type of behavior is unacceptable in a civil society.
Just dismissing this kind of speech as “clownish” is flippant and shallow.
Randy became a registered member