Recently, two state legislatures made US national headlines when they sent to the governors desk new bills meant to generally take yet another dump on LGBTQ folks. North Carolina’s governor signed it, while Georgia governor Nathan Deal vetoed it. As both bills were coming up, and as now continues for the law in North Carolina, I can’t help but notice that a prominent part of the public opposition has been in the form of large corporations saying they would withdraw & refrain from business in those states.
The targeting of LGBTQ people for harassment & constant attempts to shove them back in the closet (or eliminate them altogether) is always troubling. I’m surprised that Nathan Deal was the one to reject it, since Georgia is the redder of the two, but glad that was done. That said, the dwarfing of any grassroots boycott threats by corporate heavy hitters, the seeming dependency on the ones with large amounts of money to be at least on this basic social issue Not Assholes (while they feel free to be assholes in other ways, of course) strikes me as a reminder of just how much power the biggest wallets have. Such basic issue, and we really mean jack shit unless we run a business that’s on the stock exchange, so we’re subject to the mercy of whatever some billionaires think.
That even with the tide of tolerance shifting like it has been, all the rest of the system that abuses us & the world as a whole hums along as usual… I’d suspect that’s not a coincidence. Elites can change their aesthetics, but they’ll never stop being the ruling class; they like those cops & tanks & bombs. Oh, look, Officer O’Malley has a rainbow sticker on his helmet, never mind the club he’s beating protesters with…
Update 041316: Well, turns out that the same companies raising indignation about that bill in North Carolina funded the politicians that voted for it. The most charitable conclusion one could conceivably have to this would be that they don’t quite realize how the game works on the further Right wing: see, big business gets state favors, and then the base gets to throw bricks at those who they don’t envision in their ideal society — immigrants, poor people, gays, y’know. But while that’s how it operates on the legislature level, I doubt that those companies were fishing in the checkbooks blind. They more likely didn’t care beyond the favors & afterwards saw an opportunity to polish their brands, to have their coke and snort it too.