To the Editor,
The Surry County Board of Commissioners in their infantile wisdom have passed a resolution that not only sanctions discrimination but is unconstitutional as it violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. This same board, I have no doubt, would have opposed integration, the Equal Rights Amendment (remember the bathroom nonsense?) and gay marriage. They would be wrong on all those issues just as they are on HB2.
President Obama has nothing to do with this mess. The NC Legislature passed HB2 in the dead of night after about ten minutes of discussion. This was in response to the city of Charlotte passing an anti-discrimination ordinance which was their right. But the Legislature felt the need to micro-manage every city in the state. President Obama did what any president (regardless of party) is required to do when a state passes a law that discriminates against a segment of its citizens. The government sued and they will win that suit.
Why stop with a boycott of PayPal? Why not NC Blue Cross, Blue Shield? Where is the county to do its banking? Where is the county to buy cars for the sheriff’s department? The big three car manufactures all oppose HB2. I think the Board chose PayPal because they know that probably 75 percent of their constituency doesn’t use PayPal and probably 50 percent don’t know what it is.
Surry County, like North Carolina, is trying hard to recruit new businesses. Can you imagine a CEO of a large company looking at Surry County for expansion? “Those folks think Mayberry is real—-they’re living in the 50s. Let’s see if we can find a county and a state that is living in the 21st Century.” The state is already feeling the effects of the law in lost revenue and thousands of lost jobs.
If the Board wants to do something positive for the citizens of Surry County they could support an increase in the minimum wage (to a living wage) or ask the Legislature to reinstate the Earned Income Tax Credit which would help the working poor. This would actually help people more than some feel-good resolution that will find its way into the dustbin of history like Jim Crow laws, segregation, anti-gay rights laws and so on.
Jerry D. Reid