Some readers might think pickin’ on Pat has just become a favorite pastime for me. In truth, I don’t enjoy writing about the facade of a leader who filled the role of governor of our state in nothing more than name.
However, I recently read Poor, Powerless Pat (McCrory) has gotten a taste of his political party’s medicine. The poor guy is being discriminated against. Pat is as powerless as ever, unable to find a job because people think he’s a bigot, says the former governor.
For centuries politicians have used their clout and experience as a means to find high-paying jobs after they retire from public office. They often look to careers in education or the private sector after deciding to hang it up or after getting their pink slip from voters.
Pat’s in a different situation. He never had any clout. He was but a figurehead controlled by the more conservative leadership in the N.C. General Assembly. When he did attempt a stand against the legislature, the voting-bots just put him back in his place.
Pat says he’s not a bigot, and I believe him. I don’t think — and there is correspondence to prove — Poor, Powerless Pat wanted to sign the so-called Bathroom Bill in the form which went into effect.
He stood with bigots, however, and now he’s finding that stance tough to defend as he tries to snag a new job.
House Bill 2 desecrated the business community in North Carolina. Different entities have estimated the state lost hundreds of millions of dollars after Pat signed off on it.
What’s worse is it sent a clear message to the LGBT community. In North Carolina, if one doesn’t conform to what some folks consider the norm, you are a second-class citizen.
The bill implemented workplace protections based on race and age and other traits. It even granted protections to folks based on religion — a choice a person makes. However, if you were born gay, an employer could tell you to hit the door for no other reason than the simple fact you are gay.
It was a shameful piece of legislation, and it took a sorry excuse for a public official to give it the final nod.
The legislation reaffirmed that many folks don’t understand the LGBT community, and they don’t respect members of that community. If not to simply slap members of the LGBT community in the face while stirring support from the radical social right, why pass legislation which didn’t include workplace protections for all?
That’s what the GOP wanted. To rally support. Rather than pass a bill which addressed only public bathrooms or included workplace discrimination for all, lawmakers wanted to make it clear their party was the party of God-fearing folks who knew it was wrong for boys to like other boys and girls to like other girls.
A phone call later, my suspicions were confirmed. I don’t remember the business or even what sort of business it was, but I got a call from its owner.
The man was not happy. It sounded as if he was verging on livid. I had written a column much like this one, and I had attacked this man’s right to be intolerant.
He firmly believed it ought to be his right to turn away a potential employee based on that individual’s sexuality.
“What about my rights?” he asked. “I have rights, and I don’t want to hire nobody who is like that.”
That is the discrimination LGBT individuals face in North Carolina and beyond.
A study by the Williams Institute showed up to 43 percent of gay and lesbian folks have been the target of discrimination in the workplace. Ninety percent of transgender people have been targeted.
These are people simply being who they are, and we should all be free to be who we are. It shouldn’t matter whether the guy or gal filing your paperwork or rotating your tires is gay or straight.
The reality is our LGBT population faces very real discrimination.
And now Poor, Powerless Pat faces discrimination as he is turned away for jobs.
It’s a sad end to a sad term in office. However, its a fitting end for somebody who signed off in support of discrimination in the workplace.
Good Luck, Pat. Perhaps, N.C. Senate President Pro Temp Phil Berger needs somebody to make his coffee.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.