Week 15: Hero – Bruce Springsteen

by George_East on April 24, 2016

hero_icon2The Hero of the Week Award  for Week 15 goes to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen for his principled stance against bigotry

A couple of months ago the City of Charlotte in North Carolina passed a city ordinance outlawing discrimination on the grounds of sexuality.  This brought a swift reaction from the Republicans and the Christian right in the state who rapidly passed through the North Carolina legislature a new law which made such anti-discrimination measures unlawful, as well as regulating the use of bathrooms by transgender people.  The effect of the law was to institutionalise discrimination on the grounds of sexuality in the state.  Depressingly Mississippi has since followed suit, in passing a similar law.

Fortunately the reactionaries have not got it all their own way.  Many businesses have threatened to pull out of the states, tourism has fallen and a swathe of top musicians and entertainers have said that they won’t do shows in those states until the law is repealed.

Leading the way on this boycott, was Bruce Springsteen who cancelled his scheduled show in Greensboro releasing this statement:

As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the “bathroom” law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.’

Other artists who have joined in the boycott include Pearl Jam, Ringo Starr  and Bryan Adams. We salute all of them.

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