Patrick J Hamilton
Patrick J Hamilton campaign leader

I had this quote, from an article in The Charlotte Observer about the NBA pulling out of the state due to HB2, as an intro to an article, but I think the quote alone carries its own weight, and bears repeating:

"First, the sobering: What Republicans have wanted to happen with HB2 has happened. Momentum against the law has stalled. Businesses and performers have stopped taking bold stands. The headlines have moved on to other issues."

You might wonder why HB2 and North Carolina are so important to me, why I’ve been so relentless, with my posts, this petition, and with many of you (some who share my zeal, many who don’t). I’ve lost friends over this (but if that’s why, I’m okay with it) and have jeopardized relationships with companies I love, who employ people I love dearly (many from North Carolina, many more, actually not.) Why does a New York designer care so much about what happens (if you believe the conservative shorthanded talking points about HB2) in the bathroom stalls of North Carolina?

It’s because, all too often, when a truck runs down families watching fireworks in the south of France, when a gunman kills 49 men and women in a Gay nightclub, when our sea waters rise and turn green with algae, when the slaughter of first-graders in their classrooms fails to make change because our government (and many of our citizens) are beholden to a commercial lobbying group, the only feeling I have is helplessness. A deep feeling of pure and utter helplessness, that sharing links or hashtagging a post or wearing a button just does not assuage. But, it’s often the best we can do, given the circumstances.

But it’s NOT the best we can do now, when we HAVE the power to make change. REAL change, for REAL people, who have had their rights and dignity stripped away after 12 hours of secret deliberation.

When the governor of a state where my own industry does millions and millions of dollars treats its most vulnerable citizens with disdain and dismissal, and then counts on our collective short memories and a 24-hour news cycle to have our concern dry up or move on to another cocktail party, and I KNOW we as an industry have the clout to make change, I can not sleep at night knowing we have this chance, and are not taking it.

We are starting to prepare for the fall market at High Point, and we are, it seems, ready for business as usual. I just can’t accept that from my industry, one that professes to be caring and responsible and communal and regularly raises money for all sorts of causes. I can’t accept it from friends, I can’t accept it from vendors, I can’t accept it from colleagues launching lines, or their PR people promoting them. These are just not the people I want to do business with, or share chardonnay with at a showroom opening.

How is it possible we are putting our own seasonal profits ahead of the civil rights of an entire state, a state we profess to love and support, yet won’t put their rights above our own opportunity and profit?

What we did in spring DID NOT WORK. We HAVE to do better.

We all say we want a better world. THIS is an ACTUAL CHANCE to make one.

#DesignAgainstHB2 #DesignBoggersTour #StyleSpotters #sitthisoneout #HPMKT

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