I would ordinarily just tweet a link to this Mountain Xpress article, but I think Milton Ready really hints at the historical, transformational, import of HB2, a bill “that was never about bathrooms or trans-anything”–
Crafted by rural legislators like Phil Berger of Eden and Tim Moore of Kings Mountain, HB2 perfectly expresses a gerrymandered, artificial hatred for cities like Charlotte and Asheville. It’s the latest iteration of an eternal attempt to eviscerate existing civil rights laws and, yes, a death struggle between rural and urban North Carolina over the state’s future.
Our general assembly has spent the last four years creating legislation to ensure the electoral powerlessness of blue cities while bolstering that of the rural red areas. HB2 is a part of that and the bathroom stuff is the biggest red herring of our lifetime.
Ready is retired from UNC-Asheville. He wrote a NC history textbook and I used it one time. It is both quite good and often infuriating. He leverages history well in this piece, correctly noting that despite Frank Graham and Terry Sanford, North Carolina has always been a “reactionary Southern state.” In the past, he’s appeared in the Xpress as kind of a crank, especially on the Vance monument debate, but here–though not really a historical analysis–he nails it.