It may seem like a small thing, but there are now two different Rock Stars that have cancelled concerts in states that recently passed anti-LBGT laws. But, it cannot stop there. It must be enhanced and include every American who despises discrimination in any form.
The first was Bruce Springsteen. He cancelled a concert that was to be held in Greensboro, NC last night. In cancelling his concert he said:
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.
Of course, a state representative in North Carolina, a Republican called Springsteen a “bully” for his stance. That is a very rich statement coming from a Republican member of the state legislature that just passed a bill allowing “bullying” against the LBGT community with its hate bill. But then, we already know that Republicans consider “bullying” their territory.
The second Rock Star to cancel a concert is Bryan Adams. He is scheduled to hold a concert on April 14 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi. In a tweet explaining his decision he wrote:
Mississippi has passed anti-LGBT ‘Religious Liberty’ bill 1523. I find it incomprehensible that LGBT citizens are being discriminated against in the state of Mississippi. I cannot in good conscience perform in a State where certain people are being denied their civil rights due to their sexual orientation. Therefore i’m cancelling my 14 April show at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. Using my voice I stand in solidarity with all my LGBT friends to repeal this extremely discriminatory bill. Hopefully Mississippi will right itself and I can come back and perform for all of my many fans. I look forward to that day. – Bryan Adams #stop1523.
When Georgia passed a similar bill, the Governor caved into the pressure because organizations like Disney and the NFL stepped up to the plate and denounced the bill. Disney said they wouldn’t use Georgia anymore for films, and the NFL said it would use the bill in determining if Atlanta could get the Super Bowl.
North Carolina faces similar problems. The NCAA has cried fowl as well as the NBA. The NBA is scheduled to hold its All Star Game in Charlotte next year. Even Charles Barkley has come out publicly and said the NBA should relocate the game because of the hate bill.
The state regularly holds different rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament. Many are calling on the organization to remove the tournament from North Carolina. We are all waiting for both the NBA and NCAA to make announcements about these activities. Not cancelling them would be akin to supporting the hate bill.
Some argue that Mississippi cannot be punished as much as North Carolina or Georgia. But the are wrong. The vast majority of money for the state of Mississippi comes from tourism. Mississippi’s Gulf Coast is a huge money draw for the state. Millions of people flock to this area of the Gulf Coast every year. That is where Mississippi can be hurt.
Boycotting the tourist industry is easier than people think. All it takes is for organizations who favor inclusive behavior and defend civil rights to ask their members not to vacation in Mississippi.
Think of the millions upon millions of members of groups like the NAACP, AARP, AAA, and a host of other organizations and you can see how the tourist industry in Mississippi can be hurt very badly.
The problem is that it takes courage for organizations to call on their members not to vacation in Mississippi. The kind of courage it took Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams to cancel their concerts in North Carolina and Mississippi.
These types of boycotts have worked in the past. And, since Mississippi is so tied to the tourist industry, that is the best way to tell them to repeal their hate law. We are at a point where the only weapon we have against such bills is economic. We must start using that weapon right now.
In essence, if we start boycotting any state that allows such discrimination, we will be telling our politicians that their hatred towards minorities of any kind is a crime and the consequences will be dollars for their state.
In my opinion, these bills are nothing short of terrorism. They are intended to scare the living hell out of the LGBT community. They are designed to legally discriminate against a group of people for no reason other than they exist. That is wrong and that is state sponsored terrorism of the worst kind.