North Carolina has been in the news a lot lately and it’s not because of the sports or state fair. Unfortunately, it’s been because of Governor McCory and his determination to avoid all good advice. It’s been two and half years now since I’ve lived in North Carolina, one and a half of which has been out of the country. It can be hard to keep up with everything that’s going on back home, but it has been almost impossible to avoid the constant updates about the North Carolina government. And I’m not just talking about Facebook feeds–no, it’s on Digg, Slate, Education blogs galore, and even a sadly truthful article in The New York Times. When I first started looking at coming back to the States, Moral Mondays had just started. The decline of the public education system due to test-driven administration is nothing new, but arresting educators who are fighting for their students is just appalling. Now I don’t mean this to be a Democrat or Republican argument. It’s just that, as an educator, it’s hard not to get caught up in the reforms that McCrory wants. And now the governor is focused on voting rights and limiting them so that certain parties or candidates have a better chance for the election.
And I’ve heard the rumors. North Carolina and the South already come with a slew of stereotypes portraying the people there as uneducated, unworldly, racist, and fake. But I can speak from personal experience that this is not the case. Of course there are some people who fit the stereotypes, but there are more people who do not. Now when people look at North Carolina, it’s masked by the Governor’s efforts to fit some disillusioned agenda. They see North Carolina as crazy and backwards, which of course would again fit the stereotypes. But I want to reassure you that people are fighting. People are trying to make a difference and trying to make things right. The people of North Carolina do not all agree with what’s going on and they are smart, they are interesting, they are lovely, they are determined. And they’re starting young.