Let’s see what Gov. Pat McCrory says this time. When Bruce Springsteen canceled a show in Greensboro in protest of HB2, the now-infamous “bathroom law,” McCrory went on radio and laughed it up and then wrongly said Springsteen hadn’t sold enough tickets.
But there were to be no empty seats Wednesday for an appearance with the North Carolina Symphony of one of the great violinists in history, Itzhak Perlman. A genius by any measure, Perlman said he was backing out of the show because of HB2, the anti-LGBT that includes a measure preventing transgender people from using public facilities that align with their gender identity.
The law has been a disaster and has cost the state millions of dollars in conventions and conferences. Now, some states ban public employees from traveling to North Carolina on business.
A report from The News & Observer’s Colin Campbell shows that beach resorts are starting to feel the pinch from HB2 with cancellations. The city of Asheville has been hit as well. North Carolina, once called “Variety Vacationland,” now is being called lots of other things.
Perlman made a stinging point in his announcement, noting that he has fought all his life for the rights of people with disabilities. He likens the blatant discrimination behind HB2 and the fight for those rights to his beliefs. Perlman is a polio survivor.
Perlman wanted to donate proceeds to an organization fighting HB2 and include a statement in the night’s program, but symphony officials would not do that. They were in an impossible situation, and their position should not prompt criticism of them. The orchestra is state-supported, and had a position from Perlman been included in the program, GOP legislators would likely have taken it out on the symphony’s budget.
That’s the kind of small-minded attitude dominating Jones Street these days.
It’s going to take North Carolina years to recuperate from the damage already done by HB2 and the potential damage in the loss of federal education funding, which may be cut by federal officials who believe HB2 includes civil rights violations.
When will Republicans repeal this awful law and stop the bleeding? Don’t hold your breath.