The artwork on this note card was created by 5768 WRJ Art Calendar artist Césan d’Ornellas Levine.
In less than 24 hours, North Carolina went from being known for its beautiful mountains, beaches and delicious barbeque to being known for its hateful discriminatory law, known as H.B. 2. This unjust law denies local governments the right to pass anti-discriminatory laws that protect LGBT people and prevents transgender and gender non-conforming people from using bathrooms corresponding to the gender with which they identify.
Living in Charlotte, North Carolina, I have been able to see the effects of this law first hand. Many entertainers and shows, including Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Mumford and Sons, Ringo Starr, NBA All-Star Game, Wicked, Cirque du Soleil and Blue Man Group have refused to perform in North Carolina due to this bill. In addition, businesses like Google Ventures, Lionsgate Films and Paypal have canceled plans to do business in the state, resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs. In my high school, students are drafting strongly worded letters to Governor McCrory during class, and the news of upcoming protests against H.B. 2 creates excitement throughout the hallways. However, the place where I see and feel the most passion and motivation to make change is in my region, NFTY-SAR. Further, having a transgender person in our NFTY-SAR family really makes this the awful impact of this bill hit home.
Because of NFTY-SAR’s asefah, a regional meeting where members can introduce and pass new legislation, at Spring Kallah, it is clear that all members of SAR are immensely caring, inclusive, politically aware and active. Our region, along with the amazing NFTY-MAR, passed legislation that opposes H.B. 2 and reaffirms our belief that all members of the LGBT community deserve and should have the same respect as others. This legislation was passed unanimously followed by a huge celebration after it was officially adopted in our region.
As Jews we know how it feels to be outcasts and discriminated against, from how our ancestors were enslaved in the land of Egypt, to how Jews have been quintessential victims of religious oppression in the modern era, with anti-Semitism still a scourge in too many communities today. Because of our history, we learned we must never stay silent and fight for justice in hope to make our world a more peaceful and safe place.
Join us! Send an email to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and urge him to repeal H.B. 2.
Rachael Davis is the incoming NFTY-SAR Social Action Vice President for the 2016-2017 school year. She is a rising senior at Providence High School and a member of Temple Beth El in Charlotte, NC.
Photo Credit: Abbie Frankel