My home state, the Tarheel State, one of basketball legend, great barbecue, beautiful mountains and beaches, and the birthplace of aviation, is in jeopardy. Great jeopardy, peril, and even danger. The insidious march of the Tea Party and it's Art Pope/Koch Brothers agenda is continuing its ardent pursuit to make this an uninhabitable state. A state so backward, so lost in the pursuit of power and greed that if you are a woman, black, Latino, or anything other than a bible-totin' right-wing conservative 'Christian' male, you'd best pack up your belongings and high-tail it out of one of the original Thirteen Colonies.
The latest step in a long list of legislation aimed at taking us back to the 1800's is a bill waiting for Governor Pat McCrory's signature, one that he will most assuredly sign, that will restart executions in North Carolina.
The legislation will repeal the Racial Justice Act, a law that allows death-row inmates to challenge their sentences based on racial bias claims. The law was the only one of its kind in the country, allowing inmates to use state and county statistics to claim that race played a role in their sentencing. Since the law took effect in 2009, nearly everyone facing execution — not all of them black — have used it in hopes of reducing sentences to life in prison. There are currently 152 inmates on death row in North Carolina.
The floor debate over the Racial Justice Act began a day after 151 people were arrested in Raleigh at a Moral Monday gathering. Preserving the act, passed when there was a Democrat in the governor’s office and the legislature was not as heavily controlled by Republicans, was among dozens of issues brought up by Moral Monday protesters who have been gathering every Monday since April.
This, in the long line of Republican-backed legislation aimed reducing and eliminating the rights of women, blacks, immigrants, the poor and disenfranchised, really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has followed NC politics in the last six months. But what really shakes the ground under my feet is the responses I've seen and heard from individuals who think that this is a good idea. The amount of outright hatred, vitriol, and bigotry spewed from them is appalling. An internet posting from a local television station, WSOC-TV in Charlotte, asks viewers their opinion about this legislation. Overwhelmingly, most of it was downright vile:
"Kill them all and let God sort them out. Costs more to execute a criminal than house them for the rest of their lives, but it's worth the extra cost just to know that they're dead."Are these the kind of people I want to live next door to, walk down the street beside, eat in the same restaurants, and watch a movie with? Of course not. Maybe I'm just incredibly naive, but I'm still shaking at the hatred. I want to curl up in a corner, close my eyes, and just make these nasty, horrible people go away. I've been told lately by some acquaintances and even family that I'm too 'liberal' in my comments and postings on social media. That's a pretty far leap, considering that I've moved over from the 'dark side' only a few years ago. I was born and raised a Republican Southern Baptist, and it's taken 50-plus years and a great friend and teacher to ameliorate most of the damage. Just when I'm beginning to feel that there are many like-minded people, outside of the safe warm nest of Daily Kos and a few liberal media outlets, I feel like I'm drowning in a sea of conservative zealots.
"Sell tickets at a arena put the person in with a Lion. If he gets out alive well he or she is set free. We know what happens if the lion wins. All money paid by the admission sells go toward the courts cost and victim and their families. This would be better than football."
Only time will tell what will happen to our great Tarheel state, but it's looking more and more like my time here could be short-lived.