There's so much to say concerning the legislation that passed the North Carolina state legislature last week and was then signed into law by their governor allowing for discrimination against LGBTQ people, particularly as it relates to transgender people using a bathroom that more accurately reflects their gender identity rather than the gender assigned on their birth certificate. Lots of people are talking about it, up in arms about the discrimination against LGBTQ people or afraid of being attacked in bathrooms by someone masquerading as a transgender person. (This second piece I find completely ridiculous, but that's another musing.)
This North Carolina situation is just one example of many pieces of legislation in process or already passed that reflect an important thing to remember: even when the law of the land supposedly protects everyone, people find all sorts of ways to play out the fear that they really feel in their hearts. This has been happening for years to the African American citizens of this country, and we really need to wake up.
The point I take up today is inspired by an article from The New York Times, "Major Companies Press North Carolina on Law Curbing Protections From Bias". I highlight this article because it reveals something very interesting about who may actually have the power to change what happened in North Carolina: Bank of America and other large corporations that have chosen to headquarter themselves in there.
Now there's a lot of yelling from the Left about how corrupt corporate America has become, and I understand the concerns. And some of the most focused yelling is at Hillary Clinton because of the speeches to Wall Street that she hasn't released, "she's in bed with the corporations," etc. Bernie Sanders is calling for some kind of complete overhaul of the corporate system, and I never quite fully understand how that will work without a complete collapse of the financial system as we know it. But in essence, if we get on the Bernie Train, Bank of America and large corporations might lose all sorts of bargaining power in a situation like the North Carolina legislation. That actually scares me.
As I read Times article this morning, I thought about the compromises that my life has required me to make on any number of decisions, personal and vocational. And often times, I make those compromises in a very strategic way, maybe disagreeing in the direction that I have to lean or the person who gets put on a short list or whatever, but ultimately, I make those compromises to gain power in another kind of way. It's part of operating within the politics of any kind of relationship.
I'm not advocating for being deceptive or disingenuous. But this news article did make me reconsider how judgemental I was being about a politician's ties to corporations. Maybe those ties are strategic, so that when these kinds of situations arise, there are options beyond debate and discourse that can help leverage a positive change. We're seeing how badly divided our representative bodies have become, to the point that the North Carolina Senate Democrats walked out of State Chambers and didn't even register their votes against this legislation which then passed unopposed. Based on party numbers, it would have passed anyway, but there's something disquieting about that kind of action by elected officials.
I shudder to think that a coalition of corporations could do a better job at solving this debacle, but we might just see that happen in North Carolina. Itmay be the only hope we have at this point.