Regarding the March 6 news article “ ‘Economic terrorism’ bill targets protesters with tougher penalties”: It is both troubling and telling that Rep. John Torbett cites the September 2016 Charlotte protests following the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in his proposed bill that would criminalize protesters.
Torbett says drivers who came upon protesters on Charlotte highways last fall “feared for their lives.” With this statement, Torbett projects mortal fear onto black bodies. It is a statement of implicit bias, which is precisely the reason that so many unarmed African-Americans are killed by police each year.
We should consider Torbett’s invocation of this incident as a strong indicator that, if this bill were passed, it would be selectively enforced against people of color.
I hope our elected officials, who were elected to represent all residents, can see through this dangerously flawed bill.