Corporate lobbyists care about HB2 more than Black victims of police brutality.
Questions arise concerning the role corporate America will take in the fight against injustice, as the Black community continues to suffer from police brutality, racial discrimination, and oppression.
The recent murder of Keith Scott sparked protests in Charlotte. The death of yet another Black man at the hands of police leaves us all wondering as to what it will take to bring about real change in terms of racial justice in North Carolina.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, spoke about the recent riots in Charlotte as he described the situation as “the predictable response of human beings who are drowning in systemic injustice.” He also stated that the violence was a result of Black people “rising up against systems of injustice that shield officers who kill but leave millions defenseless.”
The “bathroom bill” which is known as HB2 challenged the ordinance in North Carolina concerning gender-neutral bathrooms. The legislation in the state is known to be anti-LGBT, which also prompted the evisceration of local ordinances after it was considered illegal for localities to expand the protections of state laws presiding over minimum wage standards, public accommodations, and job discrimination.
North Carolina has been seen as a more cosmopolitan, progressive and tolerant state than its closest neighbor, South Carolina. But the state has paid a huge price with HB2, as corporate organizations moved their business to the South in opposition to the state’s legislation.
State officials have tried to downplay the impact of the corporate boycott, but the state has lost millions of dollars following the relocation of over 200 companies and organizations, which expressed their disagreement with HB2. For instance, Deutsche Bank put a corporate expansion on hold, the NBA plans to take its All-Star game somewhere else and PayPal canceled its plan to build a $3.5 million complex.
These organizations are actually corporate lobbyists able to force the state government to listen to their will, as they took a stand against HB2, but are they willing to do the same for Black people in the fight for racial justice? They can surely flex their political and financial muscle to benefit African-Americans. After all, some of these N.C. – based companies have a debt to pay to Blacks, as they profited from slavery. For example, Bank of America admitted to its slavery ties, as two of its antecedents had business with the slave trade and a host of other companies who employed slaves and also used them as collaterals on loans and mortgages. They can actually do a lot to provide support to African-Americans in the form of community programs, jobs, and scholarships, but they prefer to stay indifferent and continue to passionately discuss the problems of toilets when Black people fall the victims of racism every other day.