North Carolina’s House Bill 2 law has provided a sense of déjà vu that I had hoped we evolved from.

It seems like only yesterday that I was writing about Houston voters repealing Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, known as Proposition 1, on Nov. 3, which protected the rights of several groups, most prominently the LGBTQ community. Now, if we fast-forward several months, my sense of déjà vu will become clearer. North Carolina’s governor Pat McCrory signed HB2 into effect on March 23, which enables cities to prevent transgender individuals from using bathrooms that are assigned to the gender that they identify. McCrory’s action sparked outrage from notable companies, such as PayPal, who pulled 400 jobs from North Carolina, according to CNN Money. Most notably; however, was the statement released by renowned musician Bruce Springsteen, who this past Friday canceled his April 10 show in Greensboro, North Carolina as an act of solidarity with the LGBTQ community. I believe that Springsteen’s decision to cancel his show indicates his strong moral principles and I would like to see more people in positions of power take a stand against the discriminatory law.

Springsteen is no stranger to social justice and his recent actions prove that. An excerpt from his April 8 statement read, “Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them.” He continues by stating, “It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.” Springsteen’s statement comes at a time when our current political sphere is dispensing rhetoric that says political correctness is preventing progress. His words are powerful because they fight against that notion and remind his multi-generational fan base that discrimination is an issue that is bigger than all of us and we have the power to take action once we realize that it is not only still relevant, but it is also undeniably destructive.

However, Springsteen’s decision to cancel his North Carolina show was not met entirely with highly positive reactions. He has also received negative backlash from those in support of the law. According to The Hollywood Reporter, United States congressman Mark Walker accused the “Born to Run” singer for using “a bully tactic.” The Hollywood Reporter went on to say that the Republican freshman congressman also compared Springsteen to “a kid [who] gets upset and says he’s going to take his ball and go home.” I am appalled by Walker’s condescension on such a serious topic that calls into doubt the legitimacy of a person’s identity. More so, his ignorance concerning the profound impact that the law has on the LGBTQ community is astounding to me and I am glad that a well-known artist like Springsteen is raising awareness on such an unsettling issue.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Walker claims the law is not attacking the LGBTQ community, but rather targeting those “imposters” who would be men trying to sneak into a woman’s bathroom to assault women. The repeated correlation between transgender women and sexual predators is not only tiresome, but also extremely offensive and needs to be acknowledged more thoroughly by our communities. Given Springsteen’s firm, but respectable action, I hope that more people follow his lead.

About The Author

-- Online Editor-in-Chief Emeritus-- Digital Journalism

One Response

  1. Bob

    The real losers in this are the thousands of hard working people that made hotel reservations, dinner reservations, time off work etc to go see this washed up classless buffoon play a live concert. Shame on you Bruce for canceling that concert at the last minute. You just screwed your fans big time on that one.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.