Needless to say, a lot of Carrboro citizens spoke up last Saturday during a special meeting of the Board of Aldermen
, where resolutions condemning the ant-LGBT state legislation, and those who voted for it, were passed unanimously.
One of the commenters, Fiona Matthews, is a Carrboro bartender who was recently featured in The INDY.
She used her few minutes at Town Hall to present an idea, based on a premise she learned from activist friends in her former home of Washington, D.C.
That premise is: Public shaming works
"I know that some people don’t want to be divisive,” she
said. "I kind of do.”
During D.C.'s marijuana decriminalization fight of 2014, friends of Matthews put up signs around the district, with names and faces of lawmakers that tried to block decriminalization.
Pro-pot activists knew, of course, that the posters were going up "at places the senators wouldn't go anyway" — dive bars, bike shops and co-ops, an so on.
Still, it made a point. Matthews figured over the past week or so that such a poster is needed in North Carolina, where discrimination was written into law with HB 2.
“Me and a couple of my friends who are LGBTQ have been designing a poster that will hopefully – I’ve already talked to a bunch of Raleigh businesses – be placed in windows of Raleigh businesses that don’t feel comfortable serving members that voted in favor of HB 2,” Matthews told the board and assembled citizens. She announced the poster would list sponsors of the bill; their faces; and everyone that voted in favor. And as you can see here, she made good on that promise.
“If they can’t eat, or buy records, or get coffee in Raleigh…”
“Or go to the bathroom!” someone shouted from the Carrboro audience.
“Or go to the bathroom,” Matthews agreed, “when they’re walking down the street, then maybe they’ll understand how completely alienating it is.”
One hundred have been printed. Now, it's a matter of distributing them to willing businesses in Raleigh.
"King's and Ruby Deluxe, Garland, Neptunes and King's were super down," Matthews told The INDY
Of course, most legislators are unlikely to want to catch a set at Slim's any time soon (further proving the lameness and utter cluelessness of these people). But, again — point made.
Mathews said the posters are available for free, for any N.C business to download and use. She said she originally planned to sell them for charity, but decided against it.
“I’m just going to encourage everyone, if they download and print it, to donate to places like Spirit House in Durham, and other places in the community.”
Matthews unveiled the poster Thursday on her Facebook page. She also sent one over to the INDY
office in Raleigh, where it's proudly displayed for public viewing.
"Making someone feel scared in the place where they live and love — intimidated by the state — is despicable," said Matthews. "To me, if the politicians don't serve the communities, then the communities don't need to serve them."
The poster is designed by Matthews' friend Carter Hottovy, and co-funded by another friend, Richard Jamiefield. You can download it here.
Matthews makes it very clear that she's not trying to co-opt a movement in which the voices of the LGBT community and people of color need to be heard first.
"People seemed to like it," she said of the poster. "I just helped to facilitate."