Cobb finds many similarities between HB2 and segregation. He calls it “a tableau of states’-rights populism, an embattled minority seeking equality, a conflict over who is allowed to use public facilities, and a Southern governor committed to resisting federal executive authority.” Grounds for supporting the bill are thin, he says; most proponents cite a potential for sexual violence, despite no transgender individual being convicted of such a crime in North Carolina. But HB2 represents a chance at redemption. “This time,” Cobb writes, “states should act not out of fear and misunderstanding but out of the values of inclusion, diversity, and regard for all which truly make America great again.”
Jelani Cobb is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where his articles on race, diversity, and injustice continue to spark meaningful discussion. To book Jelani Cobb for your next conference or event, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.