Dolly Parton and The Neutering of Some in North Carolina by a Bathroom Bill

We have some crude adages when it comes to expressing how people lack the courage and conviction to say what is true or do what is right. Many of those unsophisticated terms and sayings involve the use of expressions with references to anatomy.

“You don’t have the “@#$%^” to go through with that!”

“You’re just a “#$#%$^”!

I am trying not to be vulgar here, but many came to mind when the North Carolina General Assembly refused to repeal the anti LGBT law known as HB2 – the Bathroom Bill this past week when it had a chance to.

It made me think of a recent conversation that Dolly Parton had with the media when she came to NC last month while other entertainers had boycotted performing in the state because of the discrimination of the LGBT community. And her statement was timeless and classy and pointed. She said,

“I think everybody should be treated with respect. I don’t judge people and I try not to get too caught up in the controversy of things. I hope that everybody gets a chance to be who and what they are.”

That’s Dolly Parton. “9-5”. “Islands in the Stream”. Dollywood. Tennessee. One of a handful of entertainers to actually be nominated for an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award.

And she is very candid and humble. She calls them like she sees them.

I am not a huge country music fan, but I do know that Dolly Parton’s appeal to her audience goes far beyond her work. She is one who truly has given back to her community. Just drive on I-40 West to Knoxville, TN. You’ll see it.

Additionally, she generates so much income for that part of the Smoky Mountain region in Tennessee that it would be hard not to call her one of the most successful business people in the Southeast. And she still tours regularly, performing to sold-out shows.

Her quote made me think of how neutered in many ways our General Assembly has become. While fixated on a red-herring of a problem and unwilling to even think about doing what is right, these lawmakers have literally dug in their heels for the sake of avoiding humiliation. And Dolly Parton knows heels. She wears them very well. Except she doesn’t dig them in. She uses them to gracefully carry on.

It’s like many in the GOP would rather cut of their noses to spite their faces and create a rainy day fund in the budget to fight a hopeless battle for HB2 that will ultimately be money wasted.

Maybe, it’s not really the cutting off of noses that has happened, but rather some other part of the anatomy. Game of Thrones style.

Consider this:

  • The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has already ruled on a matter of a transgender student.
  • The Federal Government has already filed a lawsuit citing discrimination.
  • The Pentagon has even now allowed transgender people to serve in battle.

And that’s not even counting the many suits sure to be filed against the state.

Furthermore, the Williams Institute out of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), put out a study that says HB2 could cost North Carolina over $5 billion a year (

And if you think that it is just a California university creating headlines, UCLA is considered a top public institution in the nation by many. In fact, California is considered by some to have the best public university system in the nation. Some would say that New York follows, and then arguably North Carolina’s system – at least up until about three or four years ago.

When the General Assembly had a chance to repeal HB2 in the summer session at the behest of groups that included the NBA (who has an All-Star game here next year scheduled), it decided not to. Rather many in the GOP sought to find more ways to blame others for their self-gelding.

Oddly, Gov. McCrory’s campaign spokesperson, Ricky Diaz, was quoted as saying, “Any Democrat standing with the Human Rights Campaign and other out-of-state liberal interest groups by refusing any compromise is attempting to drive the NBA All-Star Game from North Carolina” (

Is this the same Human Rights Campaign that McCrory called stronger than the NRA on Meet The Press this past spring? Yep.

Is this the same Ricky Diaz who was once the highly paid spokesperson for the DHHS and Dr. Wos who resigned when it became known that he was paid exorbitant amounts of money with no experience? Yep.

Is he attempting to say that Dolly Parton is a Democrat with the Human Rights Campaign funded by out-of-state liberal interests groups? Sounds like it.

Responses like the one Diaz gave are simply emasculated words, barren of reason and simply infertile to logic. Why? Because to even suggest that others are to blame for not willing to compromise on an issue that has no middle ground to begin is an act of castration from reality and truth.

All I can say is that many in Raleigh just need to grow a pair, at least metaphorically.

Balls or ovaries. It doesn’t matter. Dolly Parton isn’t judging.