Tag Archives: Jesse Helms

The North Carolina Nipple Police

North Carolina’s new GOP controlled legislature is living up to all my expectations….

With all the important issues like unemployment, education and infrastructure needs being ignored, they are focusing on ….


Maybe, after all,  we are safer if that’s where they keep their focus.  But sadly  they really are making themselves – and by default the state of North Carolina- a laughingstock to the rest of the country.

These Church Ladies seem intent on dragging us back to the days of Jesse Helms and the Andy Griffith Show.

But, I don’t think even Aunt Bea and Thelma would take too kindly to putting duct tape on their nipples…

Well, Aunt Bea might….

From RawStory.com:

North Carolina Republican state Rep. Tim Moore says that women can protect themselves from a new law that makes baring female breasts illegal by simply applying duct tape to their nipples.

On Wednesday, the state House Judiciary Committee C approved House Bill 34, which makes it a Class H felony to purposefully expose “private parts” for the “purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.”

The bill expands the state’s definition of “private parts” to include a woman’s “nipple, or any portion of the areola.”

Republican state Rep. Rayne Brown told lawmakers that she was co-sponsoring the bill because activists had held a topless women’s rights rally in Asheville last summer, where as many as a dozen women bared their breasts

Although Brown’s district is 100 miles from Asheville, she felt it was important to act before women tried to assert their rights again by going topless at another rally.

“You’ve got local governments passing ordinances to protect themselves from just this thing,” she explained. “These folks don’t need to be doing that, but they do it because they’re not sure about the law.”

Under the proposed law, women could spend up to six months in jail for a first offense. “Incidental” nipple exposure by breastfeeding mothers would be exempt from the law.

Democratic state Rep. Annie Mobley said she worried that women wearing “questionable fashions” could be prosecuted under the new rules.

But Committee Chairwoman Rep. Sarah Steven (R) suggested that women could use pasties or nipple coverings just to be safe.

“They’d be good to go” with nipple coverings, Stevens said.

“You know what they say, duct tape fixes everything,” Republican state Rep. Tim Moore agreed.

via NC lawmaker: Women should ‘duct tape’ nipples to stay out of jail | The Raw Story.

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The Ghost of Jesse Helms

The Ghost of Jesse Helms visited the North Carolina legislature this week.  I guess we were moving too far along the Progressive path and he feared his legacy was about to be forgotten, so he had to come back for a visit.

Jesse Helms- or at least his memory and his followers- are still alive and well and living in North Carolina.  I forget that sometimes….

I remember when I moved here from Virginia years ago.  I didn’t change the tags on my car for as long as possible as I couldn’t stand the thought of North Carolina tags on my car and people seeing them and linking me to Jesse Helms.  In those days, he was a universal symbol of all that was hateful, judgmental, mean and petty.  Back then, Virginia seemed the more reasonable state.

In more recent years, the loonies have taken over again in Virginia and North Carolina seemed to be becoming a bastion of sanity.  Or at least a Purple State.  It seemed the old ways and the old days were about to be forgotten and a new era was coming.  North Carolina voters supported a Black man in the last presidential election and elected a woman as governor.  We have openly gay mayors and legislators.  We seemed to have finally put the past behind us and been ready to lead the way into the 21st Century of tolerance and peaceful, non-judgmental coexistence.

I guess it was too much for old Jesse.  We all knew he was spinning in his grave and secretly feared something would unleash his ghost.

And it did….

The Ghost of Jesse Helms visited the North Carolina Legislature this week where the remaining followers of Jesse are trying to roll back the clock and bring back legalized discrimination.

By pushing a ballot initiative to ban any sort of recognition for Gay Relationships- not just marriage, but Domestic Partnerships or Civil Unions- the legislature has taken a giant step backwards.

They are showing they are behind the times and fighting a battle that was lost long ago.  But in a region that is still fighting the Civil War, how can we expect an easy surrender to Civil Marriage.

Let’s be clear:  Marriage is a civil, legal contract.  No matter how much the Religious Right carries on, Religion has nothing to do with it.  Churches can choose who they marry, but legislators should not choose who to discriminate against.  This amendment denies equal protection under the law.

Today, North Carolina moved past a decade of healing and pulled the scab off an old, hateful wound.

My hope is that the people of North Carolina prove that they have moved on, even if their “representatives” have not.

My hope is that they will vote down this mean-spirited attempt to legislate hate, divide people and deny basic legal protection to a class of people.

My hope is the people of North Carolina truly turn out to be the open-minded and open-hearted people I have come to know and love over the past 20 years.

I think they really might surprise those legislators in Raleigh and send Jesse’s ghost away for good.

I hope so….

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