February 24, 2017
The boycott North Carolina bandwagon has a new rider: the NAACP. Despite the fact that most people’s attention is on Texas, not Tarheels, some far-Left groups are still trying to inflict pain on the states that listened to voters and protected privacy. But if inflicting pain was what the NAACP had in mind, they’ll have to try harder. Today, they showed how selectively they view those civil rights by urging businesses to pack up and leave the state because it wouldn’t let men into the girls’ restrooms. Although the details of the boycott are unclear, the organization’s CEO, President Cornell William Brooks, issued an angry statement insisting that North Carolina is oppressing its people.
“The federal court has declared and North Carolina citizens have discovered that partisan legislators are discriminating in the voting booth, school bathrooms, the workplace and across the state. Seldom has such a poisonously partisan few violated the rights of a nonpartisan many: workers rights, LGBTQ rights, civil rights, and voting rights. Therefore, the NAACP must use the power of the purse to demonstrate the power of our democracy. We will use economic leverage, moral persuasion, civil disobedience and litigation in North Carolina and across the nation–as needed and now. Unrelenting resistance is the order of the day.”
Having an economic impact on the state is a tall order, especially after North Carolina has not only weathered the storm over HB 2—but thrived in it. For the second consecutive year, the state was ranked #2 on Forbes’s top states for doing business. The ranking was given late last year, so there would have been ample time to assess the impact of the privacy law on the economy. In fact, more businesses seem to be moving to North Carolina than away from it. Still not convinced? Despite the NCAA and ACC pulling their championship games from the state, tourism was also up. In North Carolina’s annual hospitality report, there wasn’t one mention of HB 2. That’s probably because the year-end hotel and motel occupancy was up 3.4 percent statewide from 2015 -- a state record. And when you compare it to the rest of the U.S., the statistic is even more impressive. In the rest of the country, occupancy was up only 0.1 percent, and South Atlantic states’ occupancy was up 1.1 percent from 2015. Room demand was up 5.1 percent, the largest boost in six years!
So while we respect everyone’s right to vote with their dollars, the fact of the matter is that celebrities, sports leagues, and other liberals aren’t making much of a difference in the state they’re trying to punish. Of course, a boycott is only as successful as the people who participate. And, as we’ve seen from Target’s freefall, the American people have already picked sides in the bathroom debate. (Hint: it isn’t the Left’s!)
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.