This morning, Chad Dickerson, the chief executive officer, president, and chairman of the online marketplace website Etsy, penned an blog post on Medium about HB 2. Dickerson “spent the first twenty-three years” of his life in North Carolina, growing up in Greenville and later working at the News & Observer in Raleigh.
Dickerson says that in a speech he gave in 1990 to his high school, D.H. Conley High School in Greenville, he asked his fellow students to “find those sources of injustice and do something about them.”
Twenty-six years later, I feel obligated to follow my own advice and speak out against the injustice of HB 2. HB 2 is an egregious and unnecessary attempt to allow discrimination against the LGBTQ community and it must be repealed and replaced with a bill that protects their rights.
It doesn’t reflect the North Carolina I know, a state historically recognized for its progressive voice. In the same month in 1963 that Alabama Governor George Wallace gave his infamous “segregation forever” inaugural speech, North Carolina governor Terry Sanford courageously called for an end to job discrimination against African Americans. It troubles me that today my home state is being portrayed as sliding into the dark place of politics driven by fear. Some of my friends and colleagues without North Carolina connections see what is happening today and think that this law reflects the people of North Carolina at large. But I know it doesn’t, and I’m not alone. Daily, conscientious North Carolinians have been tweeting with the hashtag#WeAreNotThis to make sure their forward-looking voices are heard.
Dickerson also namedrops our own Grayson and Tina Haver Currin, and their push to stop North Carolina boycotts in favor of solidarity with the LGBTQ community here, and says he’s sponsoring the May 15 “Stand Against HB 2” show at the Haw River Ballroom.
I couldn’t agree more, so I won’t be boycotting. I got in touch with EqualityNC and asked them how I could help raise awareness about HB 2 and help them raise the money they need to fight the law. A group of local musicians have banded together to put on a show on May 15: Stand Against HB2 — North Carolina Musicians United for EqualityNC. 100% of ticket sales will go to EqualityNC and QORDS. I decided to personally help sponsor the event to cover the costs related to putting on the show. I’m doing this as a private citizen and concerned native North Carolinian.
Dickerson, whose company is a certified B-corporation, also invites legislators to “see our gender-inclusive restrooms in action.” The fact that he even has to do that is unbelievably disappointing, but kudos to him.
Correction: Dickerson attended D.H. Conley High School in Greenville.