While people in Charlotte protest (and riot), in response to the police murder of Keith Lamont Scott, consider that things don’t happen in a vacuum.
People in North Carolina have been treated in a callous, hostile manner for years.
If this incident had not precipitated a reaction, something else would have. A context was present. The seeds were sewn.
- They enacted a voter restriction law that, according to a U.S. appeals court, targeted African Americans “with almost surgical precision.”
- They denied Medicaid expansion, as provided under the ACA, offering health care for low income people.
- Immediately upon McCrory taking office, they abruptly eliminated unemployment benefits for 70,000 residents in a distressed economy.
- They declared war on public and higher education, including steps that cut teachers’ pay, cut teachers’ assistants, and cut teachers’ job security.
- They passed laws that legalize discrimination — not only for transgenders in the bathroom — but for all minorities in the workplace. This lost the state hundreds of millions of dollars. It caused tech companies to look elsewhere. The hospitality industry has been struck down. Artists have canceled events. And it also lost one of our state’s most precious assets — NBA, ACC, and NCAA basketball games!
The governor and legislature did this. How have the people reacted to HB2? By arguing. McCrory has been the Governor of Wedge Issues. One after another. The Democrats say we need to repeal HB2 and get our state back. According to my social media feed, many Republicans say things that poo poo the artists, companies, and athletic organizations. They say things like “Good!” and “Leave!”
And now the people are in the streets.
Is this a surprise?