Saturday News: Detestable


JEFF JACKSON CALLS FOR ROBINSON'S RESIGNATION AFTER HE CALLED LGBTQ "FILTH": Robinson, a Republican, made the comments in June at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove but a portion of the speech was posted Tuesday on the Twitter profile for Right Wing Watch. “There’s no reason anybody, anywhere in America should be telling children about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth,” Robinson said. “Yes, I called it filth.” Kendra Johnson, director of Equality NC, told The N&O in a written statement that her organizations condemns Robinson’s “dangerous rhetoric.” “There’s no debate here,” said Sen. Jeff Jackson, a Mecklenburg County Democrat. “This is open discrimination. It is completely unacceptable. Mark Robinson should resign.” And this is why Republicans will never pass a law in NC authorizing recall elections.

RALEIGH AND WAKE COUNTY WORKING ON LGBTQ NON-DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCES: Wake County and Raleigh leaders will consider expanding protections to LGBTQ people and others in a proposed non-discrimination ordinance next week. The two governing boards will each take up the issue at their respective meetings Monday and Tuesday. “This is making it clear that discrimination in public accommodations and employment has no place in our county,” said Wake County Commissioners Chair Matt Calabria. The proposed ordinance will protect people regardless of their sexual orientation and gender expression in places open to the public, like stores, restaurants and hotels, or during hiring. It won’t apply to religious organizations, he said. Adding Wake County and Raleigh to the list of communities that have expanded protections will be huge for North Carolina residents, said Kendra Johnson, executive director of Equality NC. She added she hopes other cities and counties use this model to expand protections to marginalized communities.

NEW GROUP WILL FOCUS ON REGISTERING MINORITIES TO VOTE IN NC: A new organized effort to boost North Carolina minority voter turnout during the 2022 elections and beyond is underway. The New North Carolina Project is modeled after a similar initiative in Georgia founded by former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. The North Carolina organization aims to register over 100,000 voting-age adults and increase early-voting turnout dramatically next year. The group said with its formal launch this week that it's already raised nearly $2 million since March. Group Executive Director Aimy Steele, a former Democratic state House candidate, said the broader project wants “to support potential voters for life across the state.” A separate nonprofit foundation linked to the New North Carolina Project is designed to connect long-term with Black, Hispanic, American Indian and other communities, in part by assisting residents with their personal needs and challenges. Steele said the initiative will focus on reaching out to 29 rural eastern and Sandhills counties and portions of seven urban centers for 2022. Bring it on, those voices need to be heard.

UNCLE JOE MOVES TO PROTECT BEARS EARS ONCE AGAIN: President Biden on Friday restored full protections to three national monuments that had been slashed in size by former president Donald Trump, including Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah — known for their stunning desert landscapes and historical treasures of Native American art and settlements, as well as a rich fossil record. Biden used an executive order to protect 1.36 million acres in Bears Ears — slightly larger than the original boundary that President Barack Obama established in 2016 — while also restoring the 1.78 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante monument. Biden also reimposed fishing restrictions in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New England that Trump had opened to commercial fishing. “Protection of public lands must not become a pendulum that swings back and forth depending on who’s in public office. It’s not a partisan issue,” he added. “National monuments and parks are part of our identity as a people. They are more than natural wonders. They are the birthright we pass from generation to generation. A birthright of every American.” Last month, leaders of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition sent a letter to Biden calling for “immediate action” to protect the monument and that “real harm, much permanent, is occurring on this sacred landscape.” Trump should be ashamed for surrendering over 80% of this precious territory to those who would destroy it.

WAY TOO MANY CANNOT GRASP THE DANGERS OF CONTINUING TO BURN COAL: According to a report this summer from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, humans can unleash only about 500 additional gigatons of carbon dioxide — the equivalent of about 10 years of current global emissions — to even have a chance of hitting that target. In other words, COP26 is happening not a moment too soon, as the urgency to transition away from carbon-intensive fossil fuels grows all the more acute. Alok Sharma, the designated British president of the summit, has said rich powers must use the moment to “consign coal to history.” But, in the short term, other pressures may stall the momentum toward such action. In various parts of the world, governments are reckoning with a severe rise in energy prices. Surging costs for natural gas and shortages of coal have led to significant spikes in the price of electricity — tripling from the previous year in some European countries. The prospect of a cold winter with skyrocketing heating bills may weigh far more heavily on most people’s minds than the distant, abstracted calculations that guide climate action. “The energy supply crisis is showing how difficult ending the dependence on fossil fuels would be,” Bloomberg News noted. “China is driving demand for coal as it tries to secure the fuel to keep the lights on and factories running. Europe, which remains reliant on gas supplies from Russia, is seeing its companies seeking more coal for electricity generation ahead of winter with gas prices at record highs and supply hard to come by.” The looming energy crisis in Asia, Europe and even possibly the United States is the product of a complicated set of factors, ranging from a dip in hydro- and wind-generated power to a spike in energy demands as industries whirred back into action after the pandemic-induced downturn. But skeptics of the broader climate agenda espoused by the convening powers at U.N.'s COP26 summit see the current moment as a warning to governments about the inherent risks of the current energy transition. In Europe, some countries have scrambled to counteract protests over rising prices, while natural gas suppliers in Russia, Qatar and elsewhere may gain all the more leverage as colder temperatures set in. We're going to need to do more to stop the use of coal, like hefty sanctions, even for our friends (like Australia).



The More Serious Problems with Robinson

Robinson's remarks about LGBTQs are nothing new. We already knew he was a bigot engaging in hate-speech.

There are a couple of more troubling things to watch here. First is that Robinson, Walker, and Cawthorn did a photo op together, aligning themselves with a far-right fringe group advocating the separation of church and state.

The American Renewal Project (and its state offshoot, the North Carolina Renewal Project) encourages pastors to run for local offices to engage in a "Culture War".

If you combine that with Robinson's constant harping on 2nd Amendment rights during his run for Lt Governor and Cawthorn's not so subtle storming and threats of violence at school meetings, then you've got the makings of what is essentially a radical group on the verge of domestic terrorism trying to legitimize themselves through the ballot box.

The other troubling aspect of Robinson is who, exactly, is funding him. Robinson came out of nowhere - a guy with a YouTube channel with a tiny number of followers before he ran for office.

I'm not sure the campaign or state financial disclosure documents tell the whole story here.

It's easy to get distracted by the day to day performative antics of Robinson, Cawthorn or Robinson from some key questions about what their gum-flapping really represents.