North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, the current Republican favorite to be the party’s nominee for governor in 2024, has a long history of remarks viciously mocking and attacking teenage survivors of the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, for their advocacy for gun control measures.
In posts after the shooting, Robinson called the students “spoiled, angry, know it all CHILDREN,” “spoiled little bastards,” and “media prosti-tots.”
Robinson, whose political rise as a conservative Internet personality started when a clip of him speaking at a city council meeting in April 2018 went viral, as he was speaking against a proposal to cancel a local gun show after the Parkland shooting. He also began attacking the Parkland survivors after they launched the “March for Our Lives” movement that called for new gun control measures, comparing the students to communists.
Robinson’s comments about the school shooting survivors were frequently personal, mocking their appearance and intelligence. In one post on Facebook, Robinson shared a photo of several students posing for photos, with the caption, “the look you get when you let the devil give you a ride on a river of blood to ’15 minutes of Fameville.’”
In another comment on Twitter in April of 2018, Robinson shared several crying laughing emojis in response to a post that blasted conservatives who mocked the survivors, writing that when children “got sassy,” adults needed to make sure the “CHILDREN knew their place.”
By the way, I meant to release this diary yesterday but unfortunately, I had to book a late flight back east for funeral. But with the latest mass shooting in Dallas, it’s still important to emphasize the kind of person running for Governor. It’s important to remember how important this race is.
Also, good luck trying to avoid this:
The leading Republican candidate for North Carolina governor, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, said Thursday he was "not interested" in discussing the topic of abortion, just as Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly finalized the passage of a bill banning most abortions in the state after 12 weeks of pregnancy.
When asked to comment on the legislation, Robinson declined to weigh in.
"I'm not interested in talking about abortion anymore. What I'm interested in talking about now is how we're going to make life better for folks after they're born — saving lives in the womb and then enhancing those lives once those lives come into the world. I'm tired of talking about abortion. I don't want to talk about it anymore," Robinson said.
The 54-year-old Greensboro native has previously likened abortion to "murder," and in February, told a radio talk show he would support a total ban on abortion with no exceptions "for any reason."
Asked on Thursday if he was satisfied with a 12-week abortion ban or if he would seek more restrictions if elected governor, Robinson said he would leave the discussion up to lawmakers.
"Look, that's going to be a discussion (lawmakers) are going to have. We're going to let them have that discussion. But my focus, again, is not on abortion. It's on how we can make the lives of people in North Carolina better," Robinson said. Robinson was in Charlotte for a monthly meeting of the North Carolina State Board of Education, of which he is a member.
Gee, I wonder why:
Why it matters: Robinson has surged to the front of the list of prospective GOP candidates for governor in 2024, while repeatedly emphasizing his opposition to abortion as a speaker at anti-abortion rallies and other political events.
- In a speech at the North Carolina GOP’s 2021 state convention, Robinson reportedly said that once a woman is pregnant, “it’s not (her) body anymore.”
Driving the news: A Twitter user shared a screenshot Tuesday of the 2012 comment, along with Robinson’s original Facebook post on what appears to be his personal account. In the post, he asked, “How can so many people ‘Praise God’ with their mouths then vote for a man who supports gay marriage and abortion with their hands,” in reference to former President Barack Obama.
- In a separate comment, also in 2012, Robinson made the same claim, while saying it was wrong for him to have paid for the abortion.
- “It’s wrong when others do it and it was wrong when I ( YES I ) paid to have MY own child aborted in 1989,” he wrote.
And Attorney General Josh Stein (D. NC) isn’t going to let Robinson shy away from this debate:
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein visited Eastern Elementary in Greenville on Thursday to promote the Department of Justice’s family technology agreement, a conversation starter to prompt discussions between kids and their grownups about staying safe online. That includes predatory behavior, scams, cyberbullying and other behaviors that could affect mental health.
The visit came as Republicans in the state Senate were giving final approval to SB20, which would ban abortions after 12 weeks. The bill, which shortens the window for a woman to terminate her pregnancy from 20 weeks, passed a 71-46 party-line vote in the North Carolina House on Wednesday night. Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to veto the bill but the Republican-controlled legislature has enough votes to override.
“I’m very concerned about the legislature taking away people’s freedom in this state,” Stein said when asked about GOP social policies including reproductive rights. “Women should be able to make these decisions. They’re very personal, they’re very intense. They need to be made by the woman, her partner, her doctor. Politicians in Raleigh should not make these decisions for the women in North Carolina.”
Following the Senate’s 20-29 party-line vote, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper tweeted that he would veto the “extreme ban.” House Speaker Tim Moore was reported to have told the Associated Press “we absolutely do have the votes for an override.”
Rep. Gloristine Brown, who represents Pitt County in North Carolina House District 8, said the bill will be fuel come election season.
And Stein’s fellow North Carolina Democrats are ringing the alarm s around Robinson:
To Mark Robinson, gay and transgender people are “filth”, homosexuality is an abominable sin, and the transgender movement is “demonic” and “full of the spirit of the antichrist”.
Muslim Americans, meanwhile, are invaders, and Robinson is not afraid to dabble in antisemitism: in his mind an international cabal of Jewish financiers make up a modern-day “four horsemen of the apocalypse”, who rule the banks in “every single country”.
Lots of people have offensive and conspiracy-minded beliefs. But not all of them are running, as Robinson is, to be governor of North Carolina.
And to people who don’t share Robinson’s views, the problem is that it looks like he could win – furthering the Republican party’s years-long lurch to what was previously rightwing fringe politics.
“Mark Robinson would be the most extreme gubernatorial candidate but also governor that we’ve ever seen in our history,” said Anderson Clayton, the chair of the North Carolina Democratic party.
The risk Robinson would pose if elected in November 2024 – polling is scarce at this stage, but experts believe the race between Robinson and Josh Stein, his expected Democratic opponent, is a toss-up – is real. Republicans control both the state house and senate, and the GOP expanded its lead in last year’s elections.
Roy Cooper, the Democratic governor whose tenure is forced by term limits to come to an end in 2023, has vetoed 52 bills from becoming law in his six years in office, the Assembly reported, including laws that would have rolled back gun control and reduced abortion access.
With a Republican in the governor’s office – particularly a governor like Robinson – there would be no one to hold back a wave of rightwing bills.
“We have bills right now going through our general assembly to ban gender affirming care for trans youth. We have a ban against trans athletes or young people competing in sports right now. We have a lot of discriminatory, just persecuting-our-own-citizens-type of legislation happening in our state,” Clayton said.
“And Mark Robinson is only going to be the person who’s going to make that worse.”
Democracy and Health are on the ballot next year and we need to get ready to flip North Carolina Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Stein’s campaign and the North Carolina Democratic Party:
Josh Stein for Governor
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