Hate Crimes, North Carolina, and Restroom Confusion: A Response
It was late the other night when my phone went off. I was playing a game on my XBox, so I didn’t really pay it much attention. My professors had been putting grades in all day, so my phone was going off with e-mail vibrations on the table. A text vibration doesn’t sound so different.
When I finally realized just how late it was, I shut everything down and grabbed my phone.
A text message from a friend saying, “Noble strikes again.”
I wrote back, “What happened this time?”
There was a near immediate response with a link to the news article that linked back to this blog praising North Carolina and every other “bathroom bill” as being right. I, of course, read the blog in its entirety before going back and looking at the comments on both the news article and his public Facebook page that posted the article.
I got basically what I was expecting to see: a fairly even mix of “Perry Noble is right because he can basically do no wrong and everything about him smells like roses” and “Perry Noble is a cult leader, and all of his followers are sheep.”
If there were actual posts about why they thought Perry Noble was right or wrong, they were buried under the algorithms because people kept liking all the smear campaigns.
The conversations had degraded so much by the time I got to the feed that my friend texted me back a few minutes later saying, “I just got called a loser on the NewSpring thread in response to my comment.”
For the record, her comment said, “I really wish Perry Noble would educate himself on topics before he made a statement.”
The comment said, “You’re a loser.”
So here we go again:
Several weeks ago I saw an article online that talked about how the mayor of San Francisco was banning travel by city employees to the state of North Carolina because of a “hate crime” law that had been passed.
Later on in the week I began to see musicians cancel concert appearances, a film maker say he would not make any movies in North Carolina…and recently the NBA tell North Carolina that they would not have the all star game there next year unless something was done to repeal the hate crime law.
What is this “hate crime?”
The first thing I would like to point out is the difference between a Hate Crime and a Hate Law/Legislation/Bill. A “hate crime” is a criminal act motivated by racial, sexual, or other prejudice that generally involves some sort of violence. A “hate law/legislation/bill” is any form of law or legislation that creates prejudice and allows it to become the legal norm.
A “hate crime law” is generally any legislation that defines a hate crime and then penalizes it; however, in this case the “hate crime” law that Perry Noble is talking about is really a Hate Bill called HB2 that North Carolina passed not too terribly long ago.
It’s not that the bill itself is a hate crime so much so that it will allow hate to become law.
The south isn’t know for being welcoming.
It’s known for shooting first and asking questions later. It’s knows for its King of the Castle Laws and Castle Doctrine, where it’s okay to shoot someone coming onto your property if you think you’re in trouble. It’s known for being the single most Christian area in the country, where people “Vote Bible” and select whoever yells and scream about God the loudest, but then stand by and let children starve or go homeless… or prevent healthcare for the poor… I could go on.
The point is: the south isn’t known for being a welcoming and inclusive place. It’s known for its hate.
So no, HB2 isn’t necessarily a “hate crime,” but it will lead to hate crimes. It will lead to men and women being assaulted in bathrooms, or outside the bathrooms. And we’ll see an example of this in Perry Noble’s blog in a little bit.
Apparently it’s a law that has been passed in North Carolina that says if you have a penis then you are required to use the men’s restroom, and if you have a vagina you are required to use the women’s restroom.
To the best of my knowledge (which I often admit I do not possess a lot of)—that’s it. And now because of this law, men who “feel like women” and women who “feel like men” claim they are facing discrimination because they’re being told how they feel is not a justifiable reason for switching restrooms.
I just want to requote this one line before I go on:
“To be bet of my knowledge (which I often admit I do not possess a lot of)”
Perry Noble, do yourself and all of your followers a favor: please do more research before you blindly go out and give an opinion that affect THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE in the state of South Carolina. You have the single biggest church in South Carolina, and that is a lot of responsibility to be giving out opinions before you fully feel comfortable about the information you are talking about.
If you have to say that you do not possess a lot of knowledge on a topic, then you should probably stop what you are doing until you do.
Okay, so who, exactly, is going to check to see if “these people” have a penis or a vagina?
And that is not even what the law actually says. In fact, if you’d like to read the actual bill, you can read it here.
The bill defines biological sex as “the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person’s birth certificate.”
This first line presents a problem for a number of reasons, but before I get into that, I want to point out one other thing:
One would have to commit intellectual dishonesty to claim that there is not a glaring scientific difference between a male and a female, the female having two X chromosomes while the male has an X & Y. DNA screams there are differences that I am afraid feelings cannot do away with.
Perry Noble, you don’t know science. I’m not trying to be rude, but coming from someone who is a science teacher, who has a degree in science and is currently working on a Master of Science degree, you do not know science.
If you knew science then you would know the following information:
- Not everyone is born with with an XX and an XY. Some people are born XO, meaning they don’t have a second X chromosome. These individuals have what is called Turner’s syndrome. Some individuals are born with XXY, Klinefelter’s Syndrome. Or XYY, Jacob’s Syndrome. Or XXYY.
- There are even males with Androgen Insensitive Syndrome. These individuals who are born XY, but because their body’s do not respond to testosterone, they develop as female.
- While some of these individuals may present as one sex or the other, they don’t always. At birth, they are assigned a “gender” or a “sex” for their birth certificate. There are times when these people age and begin to feel like the opposite of what they were assigned at birth.
Besides the DNA evidence that XX and XY do not necessarily make a person a female or a male, there’s the stipulation put on by the bill: that biological sex is defined as a person marker on their birth certificate.
When a person goes through transition, they begin, usually, by undergoing hormone treatments that put them through a second puberty. Following that, there’s usually “sex reassignment” surgeries that take place.
The state requires varying degrees of transition before allowing for the marking to be changed. Some trans individuals can’t go through those surgeries for whatever reason. Maybe it is cost because insurance doesn’t cover these surgeries. Some may just not want the surgeries at all.
But no matter how much these individuals look like one gender or the other, they will, because of HB2, be required to use the bathroom according to their birth certificate or their ID.
I challenge you to put yourself in their shoes for an time: how would you feel if you, as you are currently, were forced to use the women’s bathroom. You would probably feel uncomfortable, and your feelings would be completely valid.
That is the every day life and experience of trans people in the state of North Carolina now.
But I understand you have problems (five to be exact), so I’d like to address them now.
#1 – To call this a hate crime is an insult to actual victims of hate crimes in the past. People who were murdered because of their race or sexual orientation has always turned the stomach of the majority of people in America – however, being told to go to the restroom that matches your biological gender is far from what people experienced in the Civil Rights movement, or even the Holocaust.
Firstly, no one is calling this bill a hate crime. A Hate Crime is what is going to happen as a result of this law. When trans people who do not identify as their “biological gender” are forced to use the restroom, they are going to be attacked. And that will be the hate crime.
Except that this law prevents that from happening and gender identity isn’t federally protected against hate crimes.
Even you, Perry Noble, talk about committing a hate crime against the transgender community.
I can honestly say that if I am standing outside a restroom and my wife and little girl are inside and a man approaches the door and attempts to go in – let’s just say it ain’t happening.
Why? Because I hate a certain group of people? No way!
Because I want people to feel discriminated against and shamed? Nope!
It simply comes down to the safety of my wife and daughter.
Okay, so here’s the deal. This law now says that individuals who look like men… on any kind of degree or level… must use the women’s restroom because their ID and birth certificate say they are female.
But here’s the real problem: there are going to be individuals who look like women… on any kind of degree or level… who must now use the men’s restroom because their ID and birth certificate says they must.
And that is going to put them at risk of being assaulted.
Imagine your wife and daughter being forced to use a public men’s restroom. There’s really not much difference.
#2 – Labeling this as a hate crime because someone is being told the way they feel is inaccurate does not carry out logically.
No one is calling transphobia and cisism a hate crime. They are, however, calling it intolerance. It’s not a hate crime to tell someone their feelings aren’t real or inaccurate, but it is a little insensitive.
Transgender feelings aren’t “inaccurate.” They are real feelings that shouldn’t be ignored, and when people in a position of power, such as yourself, come out against these people, it creates depression. It creates situations where these transgender individuals feel helpless and hopeless.
Did you know that the attempted suicide rate among the trans population in the U.S. is 41%? That’s nearly HALF of all people identifying as transgender attempting suicide at some point in their life. That’s an absolutely horrible number.
But you know what lowers that rate by 57%? Affirmation. Being in an affirming environment reduces that 41% to 23%, which is still way higher than the national average of 4.6%, but it’s a whole heck of a lot better than 41%.
For example, let’s say I wake up tomorrow and I feel like Taylor Swift. I can play guitar, sing her songs and mimic her movements. And let’s say I go to her next concert, show up early and tell them they need to allow me to perform because I feel like I am Taylor Swift.
No one is going to stand with me and say because I feel like Taylor that I am Taylor.
No one is going to label the people who stop me at the gate as “haters and intolerant.”
No one is going to label me as a victim of a hate crime, but merely someone who was offended because someone had the courage to tell me the truth.
Unfortunately, Perry, your example doesn’t hold up.
First of all, if you woke up in the morning, and you felt like Taylor Swift, then who are we to tell you that you don’t feel like Taylor Swift? Your feelings would be your own, and we can’t tell you what your feelings are because we aren’t you.
But here’s the reality: You aren’t Taylor Swift. No one can be Taylor Swift but Taylor Swift.
When you go to her concert and tell everyone you are her, when you aren’t, is a lot different than when a trans person stands up and says they are who they are.
Trans people aren’t trying to be someone else (like Taylor Swift). They are trying to be themselves. They are trying to live their life authentically as the person they are, and that person happens to not be whatever is written on their ID.
And no one would label you as a victim of hate crime because “someone had the courage to tell me the truth.”
They’re going to label the other person as insensitive and misguided.
Are you going to argue with the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and others?
Please, show me your medical degree that tells me you know more about transgender rights and health and whether or not being trans is “real” than all these different organizations.
#3 – Allowing people to choose which restroom they want to use puts the safety of women and children at risk.
And this is where I start getting frustrated because you aren’t protecting women and children from men who would like to use the women’s restroom.
- Preventing law abiding trans people from using a bathroom where they are going to feel more comfortable.
- Opening the doors for non-law abiding perverts, both male and female, to walk into the opposite restroom, claim they are transgender, and then do whatever perverted thing they were going to do.
- Avoiding the “real problem:” If we are so worried about our women and children who are trying to use the restroom, then we should be making laws that prevent sex offenders from using public restrooms.
At this point, I do not care about popular opinion
That is abundantly clear at this point, sir. But the popular opinion is something you don’t need to worry about because, unfortunately, the majority of people in the South believe and feel like you do.
What I wish you would do is sit down with trans people and talk to them, like you say you did with gay people because I feel like if you did, you might have more sympathy for them in the end.
I am in complete favor of separate restrooms, individual places where guy or girl can go in alone and do their business. However, I must take a strong stand here and say there is absolutely no reason for a man to go into a woman’s bathroom.
And I really do believe that restrooms are the first step, next it will be middle school and high school locker rooms!
Perry Noble, I understand where you are coming from when you say this. I understand the need to categorize everything into neat little boxes, but when it comes to humanity, that’s basically impossible to do.
When has men assaulting women in bathrooms ever been a real actual problem to the point where we’ve needed a law to make sure they stop?
And you are absolutely right: there is no reason for a man to go into a woman’s bathroom…
- Unless that man is a child going to the women’s restroom with his mother.
- Unless that man is disable and has to be accompanied by whoever female caregiver he has.
- Unless that man is a trans man who is now being forced into the women’s restroom because, for whatever reason, he can’t get his ID or birth certificate changed.
#4 – If you do not disagree with the NC law…then you are automatically labeled a “hater.” Anyone who has had the courage to speak out in favor of this law has been attacked, marginalized and experienced overwhelming public shame. Because of this I believe many people who should be contributing to the conversation have decided to stay hidden in the shadows rather than expose themselves to the slander of those who are against the law.
There are some really scared and angry people out there right now, Perry. There are a lot of people out there who are terrified that they are not going to be harassed by others or hurt by others or arrested because of the bathroom that the law now tells them they have to use.
And scared people lash out. Angry people lash out.
Personally, I don’t think that “hater” is a proper term for anyone who does not disagree with the NC law. I’m sure there are some out there that know full and well that this law targets and marginalizes a minority group, and those people are “haters,” but for the vast majority of the population, I think “misguided” or “misinformed” are better terms to use.
“Slander” is also a strong word to use here, as it implies that the bashing that’s going out in the community is affecting the reputation of the victim in a negative way, which calling someone a hater, while hurting another’s feeling, is certainly not hurting their reputation, is it?
I agree that the conversations that need to happen aren’t happening as much as they need to be, but they are happening. And while there are a lot of people out there who are “bashing” others, on both sides of the conversation, there are a lot of people out there doing good work. I really encourage you to go out and look into that conversation more.
My question is this – I do not hate anyone, but I agree with the premise of the law – so, what is the position I am allowed to have? Can I not disagree without being a “hater” – or could it be that those in opposition to the law are using the “hater” tag to scare people into silence?
I don’t think that you are a hater, Perry Noble, but I wonder about your level of understanding that you previously stated wasn’t that great. (By the way, HB2 not only regulates bathrooms, but also prevents cities and counties from expanding their hate crime laws to protect trans individuals) This law is so, so, so much more than “keeping the perverts out so we can protect our women and children.”
#5 – I am a Christian who believes God’s Word, and Scripture says in Genesis 1:27,
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
The Bible is clear that God made man and God made woman. Even the way He created them was different.
I’m not going to argue the Bible here.
But we clearly see, in nature, that male and female isn’t always the case. There are, as I said earlier, intersex individuals. Are they a mistake of God, by your standards then? Does God make mistakes then?
No. No, God doesn’t make mistakes. So then how do we explain these individuals that don’t fit into the one or other? How do we then deny them access to bathrooms because we think they should fit into a nice box when they don’t?
You finish up your blog with the following call to act for Christians:
#3 – Understand that no matter how out of control things seem to be—God is still in control and really will, according to Ecclesiastes 3:11, make everything beautiful in His time.
This world is already beautiful, and if Jesus accepted all people, then who are we to not accept anyone?
I don’t agree with people who murder, but that doesn’t mean I feel that they should be denied basic rights to things like a safe space to pee. They are, in fact, still human. And yes, I agree that that example is a little extreme (but maybe not as much as your Taylor Swift analogy?)
Finally, I want to leave you with this thought:
If we don’t expect criminals to follow gun laws, then why do we expect them to follow bathroom bills?
Because this bathroom bill isn’t about the criminals and perverts: it’s about keeping trans people out of the bathrooms where they feel more comfortable.
We’ve spent decades keeping people out of the bathroom because we don’t like them. We use to scream from the roof tops that black people needed their own bathroom because they were diseased.
Now, it’s trans people who are supposedly “perverts,” which, again, simply isn’t the case.