The United States of America has, in its long history, faced a number of issues of massive importance. The debate over the very founding of the nation and the separation of powers. The issue of slavery, debated by Lincoln and Douglas and finally determined by war. The issue of Jim Crow. The woman’s suffrage movement. Civil Rights.Various conflicts between the federal and state governments.
I remember George Wallace standing on the steps of the University of Alabama, pledging to deny entrance to young Americans of color. The federal government nationalized the Alabama National Guard troops to move the governor aside. Momentous.
Now, we add to the list, the battle over bathrooms.
The greatest nation on Earth. The nation of Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Lincoln, FDR, JFK and Reagan is facing another Constitutional Crisis.
To pee, or not to pee. That is the question. Shall the people of North Carolina be granted the freedom to pee in the toilet of their choice? Or should the iron hand of government compel them to pee in approved lavatories? Shall freedom be taken away and driven into the night or shall all men, and women, and transgender men or women, be allowed to urinate and defecate in the restroom most fitting to them? Each to his or her own?
Can the great state of North Carolina demand a birth certificate as proof of one’s right to pee in a specific place? Should the federal government join in and demand that all men, or women, or transgender men or women, have the right to eliminate in the facility of their choice? That, my friends, is the question facing America.
The intellectual titans of the USA, that beacon of freedom, are now engaged in a debate over the very hearts and souls of toilet bowls. To flush or not to flush? Put the seat down or leave it up?
Can you think of anything more humiliating or embarrassing than a government, whether local, state or federal, becoming enmeshed in where one goes to the bathroom? I can’t.
I know, sometimes major universal truths and rights are determined by small incidents. Does it matter where you sit on the bus? Does it matter that a school closes it’s doors to you because of your skin color? Does it matter whether or not a baker has to bake a cake? I suppose it does.
At the same time, not everything needs to be a court case. Not every principle needs to be fought over . Sometimes we can let stuff slide. Even stuff that is wrong. Maybe a little perspective?
We are not talking about getting an education. Or a job. Or the right to vote. Or the right to dine in any public establishment. Someone just needs to use the toilet. Does the city of Charlotte and the state of North Carolina and the United States of America really need to get involved? Is this an issue worthy of a Constitutional crisis? Do we need a “law”?
Do we have more pressing problems?
I am reminded of the first time I traveled to Guatemala. Early in the morning I was watching some man walking past a side street in Antigua. He must have already had his morning coffee. He stopped, glanced around (he didn’t see me), and proceeded to urinate against the side of a building. Zipped up. Walked on.
5 responses to “A Pot To Piss In”
This is a very well written response to the bathroom law issue at hand. I really like how you shed light on “perspective.” I would venture to include “priorities.” The state government had another more insidious objective that precluded any talks of a “bathroom” issue. When people were all up in arms in discussions regarding who can pee where, there was the hidden agenda to piggyback this one. Afterall, they knew that citizens (generally speaking) don’t really take the time to read the entire “proposed” law before voting for or against it. It’s pitiful and the way the law was presented to the people kept bogus issues up front and center in order to keep them in the dark, so to speak, about parts 2 and 3 of said law. Part I of the law does, indeed, require all bathrooms to be restricted by “biological sex” as defined on one’s birth certificate, but Parts II and III have nothing to do with that, and instead roll back any local ordinances protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people from discrimination in employment and public accommodations. It is sheer opportunism, piggybacking an unrelated anti-gay law atop a misinformed anti-trans one. The backers of this bill are liars. They created and exploited public fears to score points with their base, raise money, and win victories against LGBT people in areas of employment and public accommodations—victories they know they couldn’t win if they simply told people that upfront. It is disgusting display of bigotry and their ignorance is positively staggering. Personally, I applaud all the efforts of the MANY business, entertainment, sports and investment ventures’ decision to either RETHINK their plans for North Carolina or cancel them altogether. I am referencing the source I used to find out about the so-called, “Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act.” (Wikipedia) and The Summary of House Bill II as laid out here: http://durhamchamber.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Summary-of-House-Bill-2.pdf I would ask that people pay CLOSE attention to Part II. I believe that getting this “law” repealed is only the short term goal. The long term goal SHOULD be an over-haul of the educational system in that state that generated so many idiots that could vote for such a travesty against HUMAN rights.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks for the thought-provoking post. I had no idea that the law also included specific anti-gay provisions. As you say, most people do not have the desire or time to delve into these laws and see what yhey ar really proposing.
There’s nothing good about the LGBTQ communities being shut out of bathrooms, nor more “jobs” that despicably prejudice the Constitution.
I find this whole scenario unamerican and similar to going back to the days of segregation in the worst way.
Well, there is one good thing about NC’s bathroom law: it will create more jobs. There has to be someone stationed at each public bathroom to check the birth certificates of those wishing to use the facility. It will also keep government employees (might need more hires) busy printing out certified birth certificates that all citizens will be required to carry with them at all times. If I think of anything else, I will let you know!! 🙂 ~Carol
LikeLiked by 1 person
I hope you are correct. But what about all those underground, illegal birth certificate printing operations ! More organized crime!
LikeLiked by 2 people