Kara Haney, left, and her partner of 8 years Kate Wertin, right, embrace in the Lobby Bar in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood as the Washington State Senate passes a bill that would legalize gay marriage in Washington State on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Dozens gathered at the bar to watch the debate via TV on the senate floor. (Photo by Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)
America took several steps forward yesterday. Headline-grabbing national races aside, it felt like the biggest move among the electorate was not contained within any one party. Instead it seemed as though the good political grain of expanded liberties had triumphed against the chaff of party politics. The best gains were made for expand the institution of marriage in several states. At HonestNC, we had envisioned North Carolina as the point of inflection on gay marriage in the United States, a tide turning back a century of ignorance and repression on the subject. Continue reading
In the midst of the second world war, North Carolina made the cornus florida, the dogwood common across much of the state, the official flower.
In the 5th Century a tradition developed in England of women proposing marriage on a leap year. Historians suggest that the right of every woman to propose on February 29 goes back to times when the leap year day was not recognized under English law.
According to the BBC, “It was believed that if the day had no legal status, it was acceptable to break with tradition.”
As we push for greater rights and accessibility within government, there has been unfortunate opposition from many people of faith in the United States: the fundamentalists, the backsliders, those who use their structure of faith to exclude and divide. It is easy to call out evangelical Christians for their narrow views on homosexuality and contraception, but the truth is: it represents a significant part of their religious belief. People like Mark Harris, who is leading the State Baptist Convention to support the amendment in May, steadfastly cling to the idea that God ordained marriage between a man and a woman.
Courtesy of the Charlotte Observer
Why is this? Does it have to do with Genesis 3, where the Bible speaks of a man leaving his father and mother and clinging to his wife, and becoming one flesh? No, that’s Adam speaking, and marriage is not named there. Does it have to do with Leviticus 18, where God prohibits lying with mankind as an abomination? No, that’s a Hebrew law, directed towards ancient Israelites, and not transmuted by Christians. Does it have to do with Mark 10, where Jesus quotes the passages from Leviticus? No, that’s about the proper means of divorce, and has nothing to do with gay marriage.
I met Mr. Walker thirty three years ago in Asheboro, North Carolina (home of the state’s zoo). Over the years I came to know Mr. Walker as an honest, humble man who fought for equality in the face of racial hatred.
Mr. Walker was born in Tarboro, NC, grew up in High Point, NC, and graduated from High Point High School. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the V-12 Navy College Training Program and served in the U.S. Navy during WWII.
While serving in the Pacific, Mr. Walker proudly bunked with the only black man aboard the LST ship. After WWII he managed the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill where he met his wife to be Pearl Hackney. In 1949 he moved to Asheboro to go into the grocery business with his brother, former state senator Russell Walker. This grew into the 13-store regional chain known as Food Line Supermarket, which he helped run for 30 years.
Active in the community, a church deacon, Mr. Walker was President of the Asheboro Jaycees, President of the Asheboro Chamber of Commerce, served many years on the Randolph County Board of Education, where he was instrumental in the integration of the school system.
He was the former chair of the Randolph Democratic Party, and he recently retired, after many years of service, from the Board of the Asheboro Housing Authority. Mr. Walker believed that affordable housing could create a platform for creating strong, sustainable, inclusive communities free from discrimination for all.
WUNC is currently running a chilling story which highlights an unsavory chapter in North Carolina’s history; I heard it last night while running some errands. While disturbing in-and-of itself, NC’s eugenics campaign of the mid-1950s teaches us that politics and injustice can easily walk hand-in-hand. Especially when money is involved.
Fun with Punnett squares, sponsored by the American Eugenics Society (cred. American Philosophical Society)
The focus is mainly on Mecklenburg County, which sterilized 485 women out of the 7,600 total sterilized statewide during the entire existence of the NC Eugenics Board. While many states had eugenics programs in place, all but one required referral by a doctor (usually working in a mental hospital or prison). Only NC gave that power Continue reading
In our continuing series “A warning, from …” – we bring you: “A warning, from an academic” starring Yale University Sterling Professor of the Humanities and English, Harold Bloom.
“It is a banal truism that the cultural present both derives from and reacts against anteriority. Twenty-first-century America is in a state of decline. It is scary to reread the final volume of Gibbon these days because the fate of the Roman Empire seems an outline that the imperial presidency of George W. Bush retraced and that continues even now. We have approached bankruptcy, fought wars we cannot pay for, and defrauded our urban and rural poor. Our troops include felons, and mercenaries of many nations are among our “contractors,” fighting on their own rules or none at all.
Dark influences from the American past congregate among us still. If we are a democracy, what are we to make of the palpable elements of plutocracy, oligarchy, and mounting theocracy that rule our state?How do we address the self-inflicted catastrophes that devastate our natural environment? So large is our malaise that no single writer can encompass it. We have no Emerson or Whitman among us. An institutionalized counterculture condemns individuality as archaic and depreciates intellectual values, even in the universities.”
From The Anatomy of Influence: Literature as a Way of Life.
I’m sure there are a few other spots where you can find State demographic information, but NC Rural Center has a pretty slick interface. You can compare info from two different counties, two municipalities, or even between a single municipality and the entire State. The combinations are endless!
For fun, I pulled up two places I’ve lived, my hometown and my current home. This is just a slice of the available data:
|Housing Built Between 1940 and 1979 (2005-2009)
|Housing Built Between 1980 and 2005 (2005-2009)
|Housing Built Before 1939 (2005-2009)
|Percent Mobile Homes (2005-2009)
|Homeownership Rate (2005-2009)
|Percent With Associate’s Degrees (2005-2009)
|Percent Attended College (2005-2009)
|Bachelor’s Degree or Higher (2005-2009)
|Percent High School Diploma (2005-2009)
|Less Than High School Education (2005-2009)
So when I was born in Waxhaw in the late 1980s, my family lived on a gravel road near the center of town. The municipality expanded in the following years, which lends credence to the high percentage of homes built before 2005. Raleigh, on the other hand, has been active and growing quite a bit longer. Most of its homes were built before 1980. Raleigh also has a higher percentage of renters, whereas most people who live in Waxhaw own their own home.
And while Raleigh is a college town right next to RTP, Waxhaw meets it or beats it in education. The percentage of college grads is pretty high in both places, and Waxhaw actually has less high school dropouts per capita. Let’s hear it for small town NC!
Drawing conclusions from data of this nature is a game that must be played carefully. That said, I’m impressed with how the data tracks with my own experience of both locales.
Anyways, fascinating stuff. I could spend all day…