Calling House Bill 2 a “diabolical” piece of legislation, a group of Charlotte activists on Friday urged state legislators to repeal the new law based on it denying cities the right to raise the minimum wage and the ability of North Carolinians to file discrimination suits in state courts.
“This is not just a ‘bathroom bill,’ ” said Dwayne Collins, a longtime Charlotte civil rights activist, referring to the bill denying transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice. Collins is former president of the local chapter of the NAACP and former chair of the local Black Political Caucus.
“They used the bathroom deal to camouflage the measures we believe put undue stress on our citizens. HB2 is wicked and diabolical. These are civil rights issues we’re talking about.”
Collins and Muslim activist Jabril Hough said at a press conference Friday they want the General Assembly to make repealing HB2 a priority when legislators return for a short session on Monday. He said he and Hough and a group of Charlotte activists plan to be there to watch the proceedings. Democrat Rep. Kelly Alexander Jr., and Sen. Joyce Waddell, of Charlotte, also spoke.
They urged residents to tell legislator to vote to repeal the law.
Collins said that the part disallowing cities from raising minimum wages comes at a bad time when “so many people in Charlotte and around the state find themselves on the bottom rung of the socio-economic ladder.”
Collins said he’s befuddled why legislators “slipped in” HB2 the piece that restricts the legal rights of workers who believe they lost their jobs because of discrimination. Gov. Pat McCrory has said he signed HB2 not liking that part of the bill. He told a national TV audience last weekend that he still has a problem with it.
“These were not issues until HB2,” Collins said. “I do believe the legislators embraced the Trojan horse strategy, using the bathroom issue in Charlotte to enact these two issues into law.” David Perlmutt