This week’s shameless publicity stunts by Fran Deluca and the corrupt Civitas Institute painted Republican family values in brilliant colors for all to see. Many observers walked away from the display with a clear understanding the Moral Monday arrestees represent a broad cross section of honest, informed North Carolina citizens. More still concluded that Civitas is a group of frat-boy bullies worthy of nothing but scorn.
Thanks to your persistent emails, blog posts and Facebook comments, Civitas is now on the radar of the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office and the Wake County District Attorney’s Office. What’s more, the link between Budget Director Pope and Civitas shenanigans has been solidly and permanently forged. In North Carolina newspapers, on MSNBC, and in Business Week, the daily insults of the Pope administration have been chronicled from sea to shining sea.
The list of repressive actions coming from the General Assembly has captured the attention of North Carolina citizens and leaders of every stripe. The legislature itself ranks lower in public opinion than the flailing US Congress, which is a sad commentary on both institutions. Pat McCrory’s numbers are tanking too, even as he doubles down on the GOP strategy to reenact America’s Civil War. Pat McCrory has made the fatal and tragic mistake of believing everything Art Pope thinks.
Most disconcerting of all this week was the Governor’s secret signing of a bill to repeal the Racial Justice Act and jumpstart executions in North Carolina. Innocent black people will be put to death because of his actions.
When bullies are cornered, they strike. And make no mistake, our bullies are cornered and they will continue to fight. Except for a few true sociopaths, however, most know in their hearts that have gone past the edge of reasonableness to a level of depravity. They look in the mirror and tell themselves they are champions of something important, even as their hearts betray the truth. They know their supermajorities in the legislature are illegitimate, the result of extreme gerrymandering of the vilest sort. You can sense the guilt when they refuse to look you in the eye.
These bullies are wrenching North Carolina families into despair, trashing our public schools, and wounding the very soul of our state. They are cutting taxes on the ultra-rich while raising taxes on working people. And they are opening our wallets to out-of-state companies, giving out lavish bribes that have been proven ineffective in every sphere of economic development.
Newspaper editorial pages all across North Carolina have awakened from their sleep to discover we are living in a state of chaos that is only going to get worse. We haven’t hit bottom yet.
Members of the General Assembly and the Governor have told us that they don’t care what we think. And more to the point, they won’t even bother to hear our concerns. Like three-year-olds throwing temper tantrums, they are stomping their feet with their fingers are in their ears, hoping someone will hand them a lollipop.
Why, you ask, should we continue Moral Monday protests when we know they are not listening? Because the rest of the world is listening. People all across America are listening. North Carolina is listening. Potential candidates for office are listening.
Moral Monday protests are giving hope to those of us who need it most. Hope that there is a path forward, together. We the people are rising up in opposition to repression from our illegitimate government.
I hope you will attend the next Moral Monday and the next one after that to make your voice heard. People who matter are listening.