It’s not a great day to be a North Carolinian, I’m afraid. I have tons to say about yesterday’s vote, but sleep deprivation and coherent sentence structure do not go hand in hand. So instead I’ll share with you this beautiful letter written by my sister-in-law. With the exception of her choice of college basketball team *cough* I agree with every word.
But I’m proud of the 42% of my fellow North Carolinians that voted against hate and bigotry. And I’m awful proud of my sister-in-law.
Dear North Carolina.
I am so disappointed in you. Let me say that this doesn’t come from some Santa Monica, Ca. chick, nor from a gal down in Key West, or even from some urban Manhattanite. It comes from me, a Carolina girl through and through. I was born in the ‘old North state’. My family was among the first land holders along the Black River and my roots in North Carolina go deep into the red clay of my beloved state. I grew up in Charlotte, and Dunn, and Raleigh and Meat Camp, yeah, I’ve seen good portions of the state. I’ve heard the Gullah on the outer banks and Ray Hicks spin stories in Boone. I went to school at UNC-Chapel Hill and I bleed Carolina Blue every April. My wedding was held on the Outer Banks and dogwood blossoms decorated the tables. I love North Carolina.
But today – this moment – this decision, has made me so ashamed. Have we forgotten that we were “First in Freedom” ? Have we forgotten the Mecklenberg declaration that stated that we the people of North Carolina would determine our own destiny? That we were strong enough to stand on our own to embrace our differences, to overcome our differences and stand together. I believe we still can, I hope we still can.
But my belief is a little battered now, a little bruised. Have our hearts been poisoned and turned cold? Despite the evidence I hope not, because I still want to believe that we are what is best of the South. Free from the bigotry and fear and hate that marks so many Southern stereotypes.
I can still hear Charles Kuralt praising us –The near land, the dear land, whatever fate, The blessed land, the best land, the Old North State!
Please, let us be that again.