Henry Rollins on HB2 Law: ‘I Want North Carolina to Reap an LGBT Whirlwind’
When Henry Rollins voices his opinion, people tend to listen with open and welcoming ears. The former Black Flag frontman tends to sit back and collect his thoughts, expressing them in a cohesive and articulate manner. An outspoken leader, Rollins has offered his thoughts on North Carolina's HB2 legislation in conjunction with Bruce Springsteen canceling a concert in the state over the discriminatory law.
The HB2 law states that transgender people must use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender listed on their birth certificate, not what they currently identify as. Both Springsteen and Pearl Jam withdrew their upcoming performances in North Carolina in protest and other companies are threatening to move their business elsewhere. Rollins, however, is unsure if canceling performances was the correct avenue to pursue.
In an article written for LA Weekly, Rollins picked apart North Carolina's governor, Patrick McCrory. Questioning what the governor was thinking when signing the bill into law, he stated, "I can’t see him and his staff wondering out loud if their thick-skulled, cracker logic might result in Bruce Springsteen not only canceling his upcoming show in Greensboro, depriving the state of revenue and its residents of a Springsteen concert, but inspiring Mr. Boss to issue a press release that more people have read than will ever peruse House Bill 2."
Rollins goes on to slam the governor and Congressman Mark Walker who readily dismissed Springsteen's cancelation and noted other big names like Def Leppard and Justin Bieber would still be rolling into the state. With Springsteen shining bright lights on Gov. McCrory, Rollins mentioned it can't just be easily reversed. "If McCrory eventually caves and tries to repeal it, everyone will know it’s because he values money over his homophobia, which he has poorly disguised as moral rectitude and common sense," Rollins said, continuing, "Either way he’s f--ked. If I were him, I wouldn’t feel all that put out by Springsteen’s cancellation as much as I would fear PayPal scrapping its plans to locate a new operations center in his state. PayPal is bigger than any governor."
When reflecting on how much he loves the state and all the positive memories he has from his experiences there, Rollins wonders on behalf of North Carolina residents how they even got to the point where the HB2 bill passed. He exclaimed, "It has become quintessentially American to resist progress and change. To still be breast-stroking in the primordial ooze of the past and call it integrity is pathetic, but describes the mindset of millions of people in this country."
Returning to Bruce Springsteen, Rollins added, "While I have nothing but respect for Bruce Springsteen, I wish he had not canceled the show. I wish he had spoken to the thousands of people who were there about what had just happened to the greatness of their state, then told them where he was donating all that money. The cancellation, in a way, allows McCrory to end the conversation, which I think should be just beginning."
In closing, Henry Rollins made a rallying cry, saying, "I want North Carolina to reap an LGBT whirlwind. More shows, more light, more heat, more volume — just more. We Americans are such a bunch. You give us a topic, any topic, and we’ll divide over it. I am impatient and don’t want the past for the future."
Earlier in the week, Pearl Jam announced they, too, would be canceling a concert in North Carolina as an act of protest for the HB2 legislation. The following day, the grunge legend's frontman Eddie Vedder explained their reasoning, stating, “The reality is there is nothing like the immense power of boycotting and putting a strain and it’s a shame because people are going to affected that don’t deserve it but it could be the way that ultimately is gonna affect change, so again, we just couldn’t find it in ourselves in good conscience to cross a picket line when there was a movement.”
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