Last week in Dallas, Texas, I saw Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the American Airlines Center. Bruce is a personal favorite of mine, and it was a dream come true seeing him play for three-and-a-half hours Tuesday night (concert recap here). A few days after that concert, Bruce canceled his concert in Greensboro, North Carolina over a controversial bill that was recently passed in North Carolina enforcing that transgender citizens must use the bathroom of the sex that was originally on their birth certificate, not the sex that they choose to go by now. The Fox News crowd shrugged off Bruce’s stance as “liberal propaganda”, which many of their viewers told Bruce to shut up and stick to the music. However, Bruce has been praised by the LGBT community for his brave stance and saying no to hate and bigotry. I want to join in that conversation, and personally thank Bruce for what he’s just done. A week after announcing his cancellation in North Carolina, more light has been shed on this ridiculous bill, and Bruce could potentially be one of the leading causes for North Carolina to revoke this bill. Thanks, Boss.
The reasoning behind passing a bullshit bill such as HB 2 in North Carolina (at least the public Republican response to it) is that it could lead to sexual predators “pretending to be women” going into women’s bathrooms to sexually assault women. This is the tale that the North Carolina Republicans are trying to spin on the public, and its a false and dangerous one. There have been no reports of transgendered individuals sexually assaulting people in restrooms. It’s absolute bullshit, and the kind of people who believe crap like this are fat white Americans who believe Trump will make America great again by getting rid of all the Mexicans (I assume I’d probably be one of those Mexicans leaving the country if Trump is elected).
Bruce is not the only one boycotting the state. Artists like Ringo Starr recently joined the boycott by canceling a show in the area,, and a growing list of corporations based in North Carolina are threatening to take their business elsewhere. There are even murmurs of the NBA moving the All Star Game next year, which is scheduled to be played in Charlotte. North Carolina is putting itself in an awkward position, politically and economically, and I have a solution to solve this problem. Revoke the bill altogether. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (who gives Texas Governor Greg Abbott a run for his money in the scumbag department) announced a few days back that he would add some provisions to the bill, maintaining the strict enforcement of the bathroom bill in government-run buildings, but let the private sector do whatever they want in terms of gender-neutral bathrooms and all. It’s progress, but it’s not enough. Nobody is getting hurt if transgendered people can use whatever bathroom they choose to use. As someone close to me said about the bill a week ago, “as long as they put the toilet seat down”, they’re fine with whoever goes into the bathroom.
This is a brief editorial, and I know that movies and television are my field of expertise. I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody who stumbles upon this article tells me to “stick to the movie reviews” (this individual may or may not eat their boogers while watching Fox News daily). But this is an important issue that I feel passionate about, and I urge my readers that we can’t allow shit like this to happen to Americans. This is the land of the free, dammit! North Carolina isn’t the only state that’s passed or is about to pass similar legislation. Michigan is considering passing a similar bill, and Bruce cautioned the state against doing so at a concert in Detroit last night. This is 2016, and its flat-out ridiculous that we have bills like this passing left and right in some of the more conservative states of this country. This is not the country I know and love, and we can do better, all of us. Thanks again, Boss. At 66 years old, you continue to be one of the most relevant and important American artists of our time, and we here at Movie Talk cherish and applaud your efforts to strike down hate and bigotry.
Thank you sir.