anti-LGBT fanatics

Robinson, Sears, and the Hate-Mongering Elephant in the Room

One curious aspect of the Virginia Race was the election of Winsome Sears in the Lt Governor race in the state. Sears seems to be a doppleganger of NC's Mark Robinson.

While Sears previously served in Virginia's House of Delegates and is a military vet, while Robinson came from nowhere with only a YouTube channel to his credit, they both share some common qualities besides being both states's first Black Lieutenant Governors.

Bigots R Us: Dan forest to join American Renewal Project crazies

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When hate is the only language you speak:

A national Islamic group is calling on North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest to cancel his appearance next week at a Charlotte event the group says features “Islamophobic” speakers. Forest, a Republican, is scheduled to appear at the event sponsored by the American Renewal Project on Oct. 3 and 4. The event is billed as “a complimentary private gathering of NC church and ministry leaders.”

In addition to Forest, speakers include William Federer and E.W. Jackson. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls Federer an “anti-Muslim activist.” Last year The Hill newspaper said Jackson spoke about the arrival of new Muslim members of Congress. “The floor of Congress is now going to look like an Islamic republic,” he said. “We are a Judeo-Christian country.”

This is just one (of countless) reasons why Dan Forest is not fit to be Governor of the State of North Carolina. These guys aren't just run-of-the-mill bigots; they're way out on the extreme fringe, evoking fear of Sharia law and whatever else they can think of to go after folks in Muslim communities. (Author's note: The Q'uran incorporates both Hebrew and Christian tenets into its fabric--Ibrahim is Abraham.) But while Federer is almost exclusively anti-Muslim, E.W. Jackson is fiercely anti-LGBTQ, and has claimed Pete Buttigieg wants to turn America into a "Homocracy," whatever the hell that means:

Supposed "charity" orgs funnel millions to hate groups

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That word doesn't mean what they think it does:

Some of America’s largest charities have been secretly giving millions of dollars to hate groups for years. Backed by anonymous donors, the charitable gift funds have been funneling funds to white nationalists and anti-LGBTQ groups.

An investigation by Sludge reveals that Donors Trust, Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, Schwab Charitable Fund, and Vanguard Charitable have given nearly $11 million to 34 groups classified as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Most reading this won't have to worry they might be inadvertently supporting these groups, because these funds are mainly geared towards the wealthy. But if you have a modest portfolio managed by someone other than yourself, you should check anyway. Here are some of the hate-filled groups that money is funding:

Salisbury's annual Pride Festival proves change can happen

Even in the most unlikely places:

Salisbury Pride President Beth Meadows said that this year’s Pride Festival was uneventful. Uneventful in that the crowds of attendees were large, the groups of protesters slim and the environment warm and welcoming for all, she said.

For the festival, now in its eighth year, things haven’t always been smooth sailing. Many protested the event and raised concerns after its first occurrence in 2011. Debate arose afterward about whether the event would be able to continue. “We were just going to do one year. We expected 500 people to show up. Then 2,500 people showed up,” said Meadows. “We saw how much we really needed this in the community. … It’s a passion of mine now that we have to continue to make it better every year.”

While it's fantastic to see the huge turnouts in metro areas like Raleigh and Charlotte, it takes an incredible amount of courage to do this in smaller cities and towns. And getting support from local government officials may be the key to jumping the hurdles put in place by those who don't want to stir the pot:

Charlotte Council member Lawana Mayfield boycotts restaurant

Reclaiming her time in the face of bigotry:

While she has not patronized any of Noble’s restaurants since 2015, she said she spoke out now because of Noble’s plans to open a business in the district she represents. “Any business that is within my district where I know that they signed on to the letter to support discrimination through legislation, I will not patronize knowingly,” she said. She said she knows of no other business in her district whose owner signed it.

Noble, who is also an ordained minister, was one of 94 signers of the letter, including prominent Christian conservatives such as Dr. Mark Creech of the Christian Action League of North Carolina. Others included business owners, realtors, educators, medical professionals and two captains for USAirways/American Airlines. The only restaurant owners were Noble and Joseph Acovski of Joey’s Fine Food and Pizza in Denver, N.C.

I know many of my friends in political circles are exhausted after the bitter fighting over HB2, but the truth is, bigots like Noble pretty much won that war. HB142 wasn't even really a compromise, it was a victory of form over substance. Lawana was right to vocalize her opposition to patronizing this establishment, because there are over 90,000 LGBTQ folks living in the Charlotte Metropolitan area, and they deserve to know which businesses hold them in contempt, and actively work to deny them rights. And there's something else this story exposes, the dangers of government relying on religious institutions to provide services to the poor:

Senate race in Alabama epitome of good vs. evil

But it's also (very likely) a lost cause for Democrats:

Democrats have not seriously contested an Alabama Senate race since 1996, but they think they have a credible candidate in Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney who successfully prosecuted members of the Ku Klux Klan who bombed a black church in Birmingham in 1963, killing four girls. Several progressive groups think they have a clearer shot at winning the general election in December than they would have if Sen. Luther Strange, the establishment candidate who lost resoundingly to Moore on Tuesday, had won.

Just to give you an idea of how steep this hill is to climb: The last Democratic Senator from Alabama is Richard Shelby, and that boll weevil flipped to Republican to keep his ass in office some 23 years ago. What's my point? When this effort does fail, before all the progressive purists start bashing the DSCC and the DNC (and probably when they get around to it Hillary for some reason), they need to take a step back and understand that some Red states are just impossible to crack:

The impatience of bigotry: Special Session begins in 5, 4, 3...

When 3/5 of your elected officials are scared of their own shadow:

According to NC Speaker of the House Tim Moore, legislators could call a special session this week. He said the House has met the state requirement of a three-fifths majority. Now they're just waiting on the Senate.

Lawmakers are upset over a portion of the ordinance, which will allow transgender people to use whichever bathroom they prefer in public places.

And the Senate has already empaneled a special committee to "strategize" about the best way to meddle in Charlotte's affairs. It's somewhere between sad and contemptible when your first order of business is to strip away the rights of others, but that's the government we allowed to take power. On a personal note, I have a request: Please stop referring to Caitlyn Jenner in clever commentary about the "unintended consequences" of this GOP position. It only serves to highlight how "revolting" standing beside her in the bathroom would be for many of these folks, and regardless of her media spectacle and Jenner family dysfunction, it doesn't make it "okay" to use her gender identification in a negative fashion.

Bathroom "perverts" another right-wing manufactured threat

If your argument is lacking proof, just create some:

That’s what happened, by the way, in a Seattle incident that ordinance opponents have pointed to a lot in the past week. There, a man walked into a women’s locker room, took off his shirt, and said it was legal. But it turns out he wasn’t a trangender person. He was apparently protesting Washington state’s non-discrimination law. And by being there in that locker room against management’s wishes, he was breaking the law.

So unless you count a guy that wanted to protect women by spooking them, that brings us back to zero reported bathroom issues. And zero is less than some of the other things you can protect us from (since you’re in the mood and all).

And when this "special" Legislative session takes place, it's a good bet one of the lawmakers pushing this big-government intervention in local affairs will mention this Seattle guy as proof of the "danger" inherent in Charlotte's actions. If that *is* brought up, I sincerely hope one of our Democratic lawmakers will set the record straight about the motives and ideology of the bathroom bandit in question. We've already got way too many bills that have been passed based on faulty or misrepresented information, and a reality check is long overdue.

Bigotry in Char-O's op-ed pages

Stirring the prejudicial pot:

Argument four is the most troubling. Our society is increasingly moving from common sense accommodation of differences to a push for radical acceptance and approval of lifestyles that the vast majority of people do not condone.

It is not hateful to say a male should use a designated male bathroom because he is male, any more than it is hateful to say a horse is a horse. This is science. It is fact.

Often when linking to an article we encourage readers to click through and read the whole thing. In this case, I recommend you don't. If the Charlotte Observer ranks their content on how many "hits" they draw in, it could encourage more of this offensive and small-minded tripe. I don't give a shit if she (or anybody else) "condones" the lifestyle of other citizens, and I don't care if the pain and distress of discrimination only touches a small percentage of the overall population. Arguments like those are resulting in the slaughter of innocents in other countries, and have no place in our society.

Bigot viciously attacks gay bar owner over SC ruling

There's nothing even remotely "simple" about this assault:

A police report said Lucas Dylan Wilhelmson assaulted the bar’s owner, Jeff Edwards, at least 15 times. A short video of the incident that a witness shared with the local LGBT news website QNotes shows the suspect repeatedly choking, hitting and slapping Edwards, who apparently never struck the suspect.

Kolby Brinkley, partner of Edwards, and the bar’s general manager, said Wilhelmson was ranting about his disagreement with Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. He thinks the incident was motivated by hate and bias. The police report and witnesses also said Wilhelmson threatened to come back to the bar and kill Edwards, according to QNotes.

He's 21, and this is his 3rd or 4th run-in with the law, starting with a DWI when he was 16. And he'll probably get off with probation and a "stern lecture" from the judge. And like ignorant drunks usually do, he'll probably end up back at that same bar in the near future, showing his ass and maybe this time toting a little nine millimeter friend. Come on Darwin, we're counting on you to fix this before it's too late.

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